KATHMANDU, April 27: The United States has said the decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPA) of Nepali nationals was taken following an assessment that overall humanitarian situation in Nepal had stabilized after the devastating earthquakes of 2015.
According to a press statement issued by the US Embassy in Kathmandu on Friday, the US government determined that Nepal is ready to graduate from its TPS designation after the assessment. “Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen announced her decision to conclude Temporary Protected Status designation for Nepal on April 26, 2018. TPS for Nepal will now expire on June 24, 2019,” said the statement.
This means that Nepalis under TPS in the US are given a one-year grace period to prepare their departure. However, they would face deportation after June 24, 2019 if they failed to leave the country prior to that deadline.
TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country designated due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. On June 24, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security had announced the designation of TPS for Nepalis temporarily in the US who had been displaced by the April 25 and May 12, 2015 earthquakes.
Nearly 15,000 Nepali migrants received TPS status after the 2015 quakes. However, only about 9,000 remain in the US, mostly in the New York City area, with that status, according to estimates by the US Congressional Research Service.
The statement said that the US took the lead among donors in its commitment to help Nepal recover and build back safer through $190 million in grant assistance for earthquake relief, recovery and reconstruction assistance to date.
“This assistance exceeded our initial pledge of $130 million made at the International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction in June 2015 and demonstrates the United States' commitment to a long-term partnership with Nepal and is focused on investing in sustainable efforts to transform Nepal into a resilient, capable partner,” added the statement.