How to Apply for TPS for Cameroon

After a years-long concerted people-powered campaign, CASA and partners have won Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Cameroon. TPS offers temporary work authorization and protection from deportation for eligible individuals. Fill out the survey below to connect with CASA’s Legal Department and find out if you are eligible to benefit. Get answers for commonly asked questions in the FAQs below.

TPS Legal Services Interest Survey

Frequently Asked Questions

TPS is a temporary legal status established by Congress as part of the Immigration Act of 1990, for people from designated countries fleeing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary circumstances that prevent them from safely returning to their home countries.

Once a country is designated, nationals from that country who are already living in the US may apply. TPS recipients must regularly re-register to maintain their status for as long as the designation continues.

Benefits include:

  • Protection from deportation. You cannot be deported while maintaining TPS, as long as you do not commit a crime or otherwise violate your TPS status.
  • Protection from immigration detention. You cannot be detained by ICE while you have TPS status as long as you do not commit a crime or otherwise violate your TPS status.
  • Work Authorization. You are eligible to apply for work authorization
  • Apply for Permission to Travel. You can apply to travel outside the United States. Please note that this is not automatic and requires a separate application from your TPS application, after you have been approved for TPS. CASA recommends consulting with an attorney before traveling outside the United States.
  • No Unlawful Presence. You will not acquire unlawful presence ( which can affect applications in the future and other immgration relief that you may qualify for in the future).

On April 15, 2022, the Biden Administration announced a new 18-month Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Cameroon. This applies to people who are Cameroonian nationals or people who do not have a nationality and their last country of residence was Cameroon.

Soon (but not yet!)  There is currently no registration period stated by USCIS.  The government will publish a notice in the Federal Register soon to tell people when they can apply.

CASA is offering free consultations for our members to help guide you through the TPS process. Depending on where you live, and CASA’s capacity, we may also be able to represent you in your TPS application for an additional fee of $50.

The TPS application costs $50 (regardless of age) and $85 for biometrics (if you are older than 14) for a total fee of $135. If you are over 14 and are also applying for work authorization there is an additional $410 fee (for a total of $545).

Everyone has to apply individually for TPS (you cannot apply for your children or other family members.)

CASA is offering free legal consultations to CASA members. If CASA is able to assist you with your TPS application, there will be an additional $50 fee to cover our costs.

In order to apply:

  • You must be a national of Cameroon (or a noncitizen without a nationality who last habitually resided in Cameroon)
  • Have continuously resided in the US since April 14, 2022
  • Have been continuously physically present in the US since April 14, 2022
  • File your TPS application by the deadline (which will be announced soon)

No. Only Cameroonians who have been in the United States since at least April 14, 2022, and meet other requirements can apply.

No.  TPS is not a path to permanent residency or citizenship.

You are NOT eligible for TPS, even if you meet the basic requirements, if you:

  • Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the US
  • Are found to be inadmissible (immigration laws require admissibility for TPS) under criminal and security related grounds that are not waivable
  • Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum – such as participation in the persecution of another individual or engaging in terrorist activity

CASA recommends consulting with an immigration attorney before you apply for TPS.

TPS is a temporary status. There is no path to citizenship. TPS is only valid for the 18 month designation period. This period may be extended by the Department of Homeland Security.

Asylum is a permanent status and can lead to permanent residency and citizenship.

CASA recommends consulting with an immigration attorney to decide how to proceed.

Yes. Under current regulations and policy, the Asylum Office may find that you are ineligible for asylum and either:

  • refer your case to the immigration court where you may re-apply for asylum; or
  • deny your application for asylum without a referral to the immigration court.

 

If the Asylum Office finds that you are ineligible for asylum, your legal status at the time of that decision will determine what process the Asylum Office must follow.

If you have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and the Asylum Office finds you are ineligible for asylum your case will not be referred to the immigration court. This means that you likely will not have the opportunity to continue to pursue asylum unless you are placed into removal proceedings in the future or you meet the criteria to reopen your asylum case with the Asylum Office.

If you do not have TPS, and you appear to be inadmissible or deportable, and the Asylum Office finds you are ineligible for asylum the Asylum Office will issue a decision finding that you are ineligible for asylum and will refer your case to the immigration court to appear before an immigration judge for deportation proceedings. In immigration court, if the immigration judge finds that you are inadmissible or deportable, you will have the opportunity to apply for asylum for a second time as a defense to deportation.

 

Yes. Having a pending asylum application will not affect your eligibility for TPS, but could affect how your asylum case proceeds (as explained above).

Yes. When you apply for TPS, you are not required to also apply for a work permit. You can decide if you want to apply for a work permit based on TPS or keep the work permit associated with your asylum application. CASA recommends consulting with an immigration attorney before making this decision.

If you have a work permit under a different category, and the benefit associated with that category has not been decided (for example if it is based on a pending asylum application) then you may not need to apply for a work permit associated with TPS.

You can keep those benefits. Receiving TPS will not affect them. If you lose those benefits (for example if your asylum application is denied) you will still have access to the benefits available to TPS recipients.

TPS recipients are not eligible for federal student aid, but you may be eligible for state or local financial aid, or private scholarships, or direct aid from your school. CASA can help direct you to some resources that may be helpful.

No. However, there is legal analysis that needs to be done in order to verify that you are not inadmissible and that you do not have any other barriers to filing for TPS. CASA recommends consulting with an immigration attorney prior to filling for TPS.

Fill out the interest survey above to connect with the CASA legal department. We will provide members with a free consultation to determine if they are eligible for TPS.

If you cannot fill out the survey for any reason, please call 1 866-265-2272 and someone from the CASA legal department will return your call.