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Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a humanitarian program established by the United States government to provide temporary protection to eligible individuals from certain countries facing crises. The crisis may include armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary conditions.

The primary purpose of TPS is to offer refuge to individuals who are unable to return to their home countries safely due to these adverse conditions. It serves as a means of humanitarian relief by allowing eligible nationals of designated countries to reside and work legally in the United States for a specified period.

Eligibility Criteria for Temporary Protected Status

Eligibility for TPS is determined based on several criteria like the applicant’s nationality, residency in the United States, lack of felony convictions, compliance with immigration laws, etc.

  • Individuals applying for TPS must be nationals of a country designated by the U.S. government for TPS status.
  • Applicants must have been physically residing in the U.S. without extended absence since the effective date specified by DHS for their country’s TPS designation.
  • Anyone convicted in the U.S. of a felony or two or more misdemeanors might not be approved for TPS.
  • Anyone who would not be considered admissible to the U.S. or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility might not be approved for TPS.
  • Compliance with immigration laws and regulations, such as not being subject to removal or deportation proceedings for certain reasons.
  • Nationals may apply even if they are already in the U.S.
  • People who do not have an official nationality may apply if the TPS country is the last country they live in.
  • Anyone who wouldn’t be approved for asylum might not be approved for TPS.

It’s important to note that meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee TPS approval. Contact our immigration professionals to help your chances of approval.

TPS Designated Countries

The Secretary of Homeland Security can give foreign countries Temporary Protected Status under certain conditions. If a foreign country meets one or more of the following conditions, they might be given Temporary Protected Status:

  • There is armed conflict happening that makes the citizens returning unsafe.
  • An environmental disaster has happened, like an earthquake, flood, or tsunami.
  • A dangerous disease is spreading to large numbers of people.
  • The country cannot handle the return of its citizens. Usually, this is because there isn’t enough food or clean water.

As of 2024, several countries are designated for TPS due to various crises:

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

These designations are not permanent and are subject to periodic review by the U.S. government based on conditions in each country. The state of the crisis that initially earned the country eligibility is crucial to determining whether TPS should be extended, terminated, or re-designated.

How to Apply for TPS

Navigating the temporary protected status application process can be quite complex. However, here’s a breakdown of the steps involved if you are looking to apply:

  1. Determine if you meet the eligibility criteria set by USCIS. Check the eligibility criteria details above.
  2. Complete Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status.
  3. If seeking employment authorization, submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization alongside Form I-821.
  4. Provide supporting documents to substantiate your eligibility.
  5. Pay filing fees if USCIS did not offer fee waivers due to inability to pay.
  6. You may be scheduled for a biometrics appointment at a local USCIS Application Support Center (ASC).
  7. Await USCIS’s decision on the application.
  8. If approved, you will receive an approval notice indicating your TPS status and, if requested, employment authorization.
  9. Reapply for TPS and employment authorization during designated registration periods to maintain your status.

Careful preparation and attention to detail will help in ensuring the right documents are submitted and increase approval chances. Hiring an experienced immigration attorney can help the daunting process and ensure the application is gotten right.

Important Information about Applications for TPS

  • There is a registration period after a country is given TPS. Applications have to be turned in during this period. There are some exceptions for late applications, like for spouses or children.
  • Three types of evidence have to be included with the application:
    • Evidence that the person is a national of the country or doesn’t have any nationality, but last resided in the country has to be included.
    • If the person is already in the U.S., evidence of the date they entered the U.S. has to be included.
    • If the person is already in the U.S., evidence that they have lived in the U.S. for a certain amount of time has to be included. This is called continuously residing evidence.
  • Any document that isn’t in English has to include a legitimate translation
  • Even after a person is approved for TPS, they have to re-register during re-registration periods.

Benefits and Limitations of TPS

When a country is given Temporary Protected Status, its citizens are allowed certain opportunities with restrictions. Understanding both aspects is essential for those considering applying for TPS or currently holding TPS status.

Benefits of Temporary Protected Status

Some of the benefits of the temporary protected status include:

  • They can’t be held by the Department of Homeland Security based on immigration status.
  • Immigrants on temporary protected status are generally safe from deportation.
  • They can get an employment authorization document that allows them to get a job.
  • TPS beneficiaries may be allowed to travel outside the U.S.
  • They may be eligible for other immigration benefits like driver’s licenses and in-state tuition rates for higher education, etc.

Limitations of Temporary Protected Status

Some of the limitations of the temporary protected status include:

  • TPS does not provide a direct path to obtaining lawful permanent residency (green card) or citizenship in the United States.
  • If conditions in the home country improve, TPS may be terminated.
  • It is a temporary immigration status, typically granted for periods of 6 to 18 months at a time, with no guarantee of renewal.
  • TPS holders do not have access to federal public assistance programs, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Contact CFUIS – Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Lawyer

You are more likely to be approved for Temporary Protective Status if you work with our TPS lawyer. Our lawyers have been through the process many times and can give you advice on how to complete the application.

We can also give you advice on what evidence to include in your application. Call us today at 813-298-7222, email us, fill out our Contact Us form, or schedule an appointment.