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Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Immigration Benefits

Haroen Calehr Jan. 6, 2014

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc on the Philippines. It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record claiming at least 6000 lives in the Philippines. On November 15, 2013, USCIS released a statement reminding Filipino nationals impacted by Typhoon Haiyan that they may be eligible to benefit from several immigration benefits. The US has not explicitly granted Temporary Protected Status to Filipino nationals affected by the typhoon.

The Philippines has formally requested Washington that Filipino nationals in the US be granted Temporary Protected Status. Filipino-American organizations, members of the US Senate, House of Representatives, NGOs, and legal organizations have requested a TPS designation for those Filipino nationals. Four other countries were placed under TPS after going through similar natural catastrophes, including El Salvador and Haiti. A grant of TPS would allow Filipinos in the U.S. to work and support their families in the Philippines who were impacted by the Typhoon.

To be eligible for TPS, you must:

  • Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;

  • File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation;

  • Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country; and

  • Have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country. The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When you apply or re-register for TPS, you must inform USCIS of all absences from the United States since the CPP and CR dates. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.