Temporary Protected Status

What is Temporary Protected Status?


Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States is a designation given by the U.S. government to eligible individuals who are unable to return to their home country due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.


To be eligible for TPS, an individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a national of a country designated for TPS.
  • Have been continuously present in the United States since the effective date of the designation of the country for TPS.
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since a date specified by the U.S. government.
  • Meet certain admissibility and eligibility criteria, such as not having a criminal record or being a security risk.
  • Apply for TPS during the designated registration period or meet certain late-registration criteria.


It's important to note that TPS is a temporary benefit and does not provide a pathway to permanent residency or citizenship in the United States. The eligibility criteria for TPS may also vary depending on the country of origin and the specific circumstances that led to the TPS designation.


How do I Apply for TPS in the US


To apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States, you need to follow these general steps:


  • Determine TPS eligibility: Confirm if your country of origin has been designated for TPS by the U.S. government. Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or consult with an immigration attorney to check the current TPS designations.


  • File during the registration period: TPS has specific registration periods announced by the USCIS. Make sure you submit your application within the specified registration window for your country. Late applications are generally not accepted.


  • Gather supporting documents: Collect the necessary documents to support your TPS application. This typically includes evidence of identity and nationality, proof of continuous residence in the U.S., and any other specific documents mentioned in the TPS guidelines for your country.


  • Complete the application forms: Fill out the appropriate USCIS forms for TPS. The main form is typically Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Additionally, you may need to submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization if you want to request work authorization alongside TPS.


  • Pay the application fees: Pay the required fees associated with your TPS application. If you are unable to afford the fees, you may be eligible for a fee waiver. Consult the USCIS website or speak with an immigration attorney for guidance on fee waivers.


  • Submit the application: Compile your completed forms, supporting documents, and payment receipts. Mail the entire application package to the appropriate USCIS address as specified in the TPS instructions or the USCIS website. Ensure that you keep copies of all documents for your records.


  • Await USCIS response: After submitting your TPS application, you will receive a notice of receipt from USCIS. This notice will provide important information about your case, including a receipt number that you can use to track the progress of your application.


  • Attend biometrics appointment (if required): USCIS may schedule a biometrics appointment where they will take your fingerprints, photograph, and signature for background checks.


  • Wait for a decision: USCIS will review your TPS application and supporting documents. If approved, you will receive an approval notice, and if work authorization was requested, you will also receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).


It's crucial to consult with an immigration attorney or accredited legal service provider for personalized guidance during the TPS application process. They can help ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria, complete the necessary forms accurately, and submit the required documents to increase your chances of a successful TPS application.



How long does TPS last?


The duration of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) varies depending on the specific designation made by the United States government for each country.


Generally, TPS is granted for an initial period of 6 to 18 months, after which it can be extended if the conditions that led to the designation persist. Extensions can be granted in 6, 12, or 18-month increments, depending on the country and the determination of the US government.


It's important to note that TPS is a temporary form of immigration relief and does not provide a path to permanent residency or citizenship. TPS holders must continually meet the eligibility requirements to maintain their status and may be required to return to their home country when the designation is terminated.


Who is Eligible?

As of 2023, the United States has granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to individuals from the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Cameroon
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopia
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Ukraine
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

It is important to note that the designation of TPS is subject to change based on the assessment of the US government of the conditions in each country. Eligibility criteria for TPS may also change over time, so it is important to check for updates from the US government or a qualified immigration attorney.