By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) led a panel with lawyers and immigration service directors to inform Yemeni nationals on temporary protected status Oct. 14.
Yemen was designated for TPS on Sept. 3 after the ongoing armed conflict within the country, putting those planning to travel at risk for danger.
“This session is important because most immigrants are reluctant to interact with government officials in public,” Dingell said. “I will work with organizations on a constant basis to have more forums on TPS and other issues as needed.”
Yemeni nationals who have been living in the United States since Yemen was designated on Sept. 3 are qualified for TPS.
The deadline to apply for TPS is March 1, 2016. If accepted Yemeni nationals can remain in the United States until March 3, 2017.
“As long as the situation in Yemen remains the same, the designation will most likely be renewed,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Detroit Field Officer Director Michael Klinger said. “If that happens, anyone who plans to renew their designation will be required to fill out a new application and pay fees again.”
The basic requirements to apply for TPS include proof the applicant is a national of Yemen and have been living in the United States since Sept. 3 and the filing of the proper forms by the application deadline.
Yemeni nationals interested in TPS will have to fill out the general application for TPS and an employment authorization application costing $50 and $380, respectively.
Those not interested in employment authorization must fill out the form but can select the “not applicable” box.
A $85 fee will also be required for biometrics, identification card and photo and fingerprinting.
Any Yemeni national seeking travel authorization will be required to fill out a separate application with a $360 fee.
A separate application can be filled out for those who can prove they cannot pay fees, to have them waived.
“Anyone with a pending immigration or deportation case should consult with a lawyer to have the process ended and begin the TPS application,” attorney Nabih Ayad said. “F-1 students are able to apply for TPS but must keep their required 12 credits a semester at the university they attend.”
Yemeni nationals who have been convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors cannot file for TPS.
People in attendance at the information session held at the UAW 600 thanked Dingell for her coming to their community.
“I care about the deeper issues that affect your community and will continue to work with organizations to bring services here,” Dingell said. “I’m out here fighting and I need friends to help me fight.”
Attendees also asked Dingell to hold an information session regarding other issues for the Arab-American and Yemeni community which she promised she would plan within the next month.
Members of the community who need assistance should contact Dingell’s Dearborn office at 313-278-2936.
Translation or application filing services will be available for Yemeni nationals at the Arab-American Civil Rights League, 6700 Chase Road.
For more information call the ACRL at 313-633-0231.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])