TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS (TPS)
You may be eligible for Temporary Protected Status (i.e. TPS) if your home country has been designated for TPS by the Department of Homeland Security. TPS designation can be made when conditions in your home country temporarily prevent you and others from your country from returning safely. Your home country can be designated for Temporary Protected Status due to the following:
- Ongoing armed conflict such as a civil war;
- An environmental disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake;
- An epidemic such as an Ebola outbreak; or
- Other extraordinary and temporary circumstances.
To be eligible for TPS, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a national of a foreign country that has received TPS designation (or if stateless, have last habitually resided in a country that has received TPS designation);
- Be continuously physically present in the U.S. since the effective date of the TPS designation;
- Have continuously resided in the U.S. since the date specified by the Department of Homeland Security in the TPS designation; and
- Not be inadmissible to the U.S. or be barred from asylum for criminal or national security-related reasons.
You will not automatically receive TPS upon your home country’s TPS designation. You must request TPS during the specified registration period. IF USCIS grants your application for TPS, you
- Will be granted a temporary stay of removal from the United States;
- Can be issued an employment authorization document (i.e. an EAD or work permit);
- May be granted advance parole, which allows you to travel overseas and return to the U.S.; and
- Cannot be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (i.e. ICE) simply because of your lack of immigration status in the U.S.
It is important to keep in mind that TPS is a temporary benefit. Being granted TPS does not give you a path to lawful permanent residence (i.e. a green card) or citizenship. However, as a TPS recipient, you are not prevented from:
- Applying for nonimmigrant status;
- Seeking adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident through a family or employment-based immigrant visa petition; or
- Applying for any other immigration benefit for which you may be eligible.
Once TPS designation ends, you will return to the immigration status you had prior to being granted TPS unless that status has expired or you changed/adjusted your immigration status. If you entered the U.S. without inspection (i.e crossed the border without permission) or are otherwise without a valid immigration status, you would return to undocumented status and could be subject to removal from the U.S.