What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?


What is Temporary Protected Status?


Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of certain countries experiencing problems that make it difficult or unsafe for their nationals to be deported to those countries. TPS has been a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of individuals already in the United States when problems in a home country make it difficult for them to depart or be deported to their home country.


Congress created TPS in the Immigration Act of 1990. It is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of specifically designated countries that are confronting an ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. It provides a work permit and stay of deportation to foreign nationals from those countries who are in the United States at the time the U.S. government makes the designation.


For what reasons can a country be designated for TPS?

A country may be designated for TPS for one or more of the following reasons:


· An ongoing armed conflict, such as a civil war, that poses a serious threat to the personal safety of returning nationals;

· An environmental disaster, such as an earthquake, hurricane, or epidemic, that results in a substantial but temporary disruption of living conditions, and because of which the foreign state is temporarily unable to adequately handle the return of its nationals; or

· Extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign country that prevent its nationals from returning to the country in safety (unless the U.S. government finds that permitting these nationals to remain temporarily in the United States is contrary to the U.S. national interest).


How long are TPS designations?

A TPS designation can be made for 6, 12, or 18 months at a time. the Secretary decides whether to extend or terminate a designation based on the conditions in the foreign country.


What are the benefits of TPS?

During a designated period, TPS holders are:

  • Not removable from the U.S. and not detainable by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status,

  • Eligible for an employment authorization document (EAD), and

  • Eligible for travel authorization if granted that authorization.


Does TPS create a path to permanent residence or citizenship?

TPS does not provide beneficiaries with a separate path to lawful permanent residence (a green card) or citizenship. However, a TPS recipient who otherwise is eligible for permanent residence may apply for that status. If you have a family member who can file for you, you can under TPS apply for that benefit.


For a list of countries currently designated for TPS you can visit USCIS website.


If you would like us assist you with your particular immigration issue, or know someone who would benefit from the information that we provide please give us a call at 201.565.0099