Temporary Protected Status
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of designated countries who cannot return home because of a crisis in the home country or national disaster. This relief from removal is invoked by the President or Attorney General and is often granted when civil wars break out, or hurricanes strike.
TPS beneficiaries are not required to leave the U.S. and may obtain work authorization for the initial TPS period and for any extensions of the designation. TPS does not lead to permanent resident status, however, and when the Executive Branch of government determines that TPS status is no longer warranted, the individual in TPS status reverts to the same immigration status they had before TPS, (unless that status has lapsed or expired) including undocumented status.
The Attorney General designates TPS when it is determined that:
- There is an ongoing armed conflict within the state and, due to that conflict, return of nationals to that state would pose a serious threat to their personal safety;
- The state has suffered an environmental disaster resulting in a substantial, temporary disruption of living conditions, the state is temporarily unable to handle adequately the return of its nationals, and the state has requested TPS designation; or
- There exist other extraordinary and temporary conditions in the state that prevent nationals from returning in safety.
A TPS designation will be effective for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 18 months. Before the end of the TPS designation period, the Attorney General will review the conditions in the designated state and determine whether the conditions that led to the TPS designation continue to be met. Unless a determination is made that those conditions are no longer met, the TPS designation will be extended for 6, 12, or 18 months. If the conditions that led to the TPS designation are no longer met, the Attorney General will terminate the TPS designation.
Who is eligible to apply for TPS?
If you are a national of a country designated by the Attorney General for temporary protected status, you must:
- Apply for TPS during the specified registration period;
- Demonstrate that you have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since the temporary protected status designation began, or since the effective date of the most recent re-designation; and
- You have continuously resided in the U.S. since a date specified by the Attorney General.
An applicant is not eligible for TPS if he or she:
- Has been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the U.S.;
- Is a persecutor, terrorist or otherwise subject to one of several security-related bars to asylum; or
- Is subject to one of several criminal-related grounds of inadmissibility for which a waiver is not available.
If you are granted TPS, you must re-register with the USCIS for each period that your TPS benefits are extended. If your TPS application is approved, you will receive work authorization if it was requested at the time you applied for temporary protected status.
May I travel outside the United States?
An individual granted TPS must remain continuously physically present in the U.S. The grant of TPS status does not mean that you have permission to travel abroad, though permission to travel may be granted in emergency circumstances. Failure to obtain permission to travel prior to traveling abroad may result in the withdrawal of your TPS and the institution of removal proceedings.