Temporary Protected Status (TPS) FAQs:

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of designated countries. If granted TPS, you will not be required to leave the United States for the initial TPS period and for any extensions of the designation.

Does TPS lead to permanent resident (green card) status?

TPS alone does not lead to permanent resident status.  But here is more information on how you may apply for a green card once you have TPS.

What happens when TPS ends?

When the Secretary of Homeland Security terminates a TPS designation, beneficiaries will return to the same immigration status they had before TPS (unless that status has expired or has been terminated) or to any other status they may have been granted while in TPS.

How are TPS countries designated?

The Secretary may designate a country for TPS when:

1.  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;

2.  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

3.  There exist other extraordinary and temporary conditions in the state that prevent nationals from returning in safety, unless the Secretary finds that permitting nationals of the state to remain temporarily is contrary to the national interest of the United States.

What Countries are Currently Designated as TPS Countries?

El Salvador

Haiti

Honduras

Nicaragua

Somalia

Sudan

South Sudan

Syria

How long can a person stay remain in TPS?

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 Secretary 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 Secretary will terminate the TPS designation.

 Where Can I Find the Law on TPS?

Section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act establishes the general framework and substantive standards of the TPS program. The specific eligibility requirements and procedures for applying for temporary protected status are included in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR § 244.

Who is Eligible for TPS?

You may be eligible to apply for temporary protected status if:

1.  You are a national of a country designated for TPS;

2.  You apply for TPS during the specified registration period;

3.  You have been continuously physically present in the United States since the TPS designation began, or since the effective date of the most recent re-designation;

4.  You have continuously resided in the United States since the date specified in the Federal Register notice of designation. This date may be different than the effective date of the TPS designation; and

5.  You are admissible as an immigrant and are not otherwise ineligible for TPS.

How Do I Apply for TPS?

If you are applying for TPS for the first time, you must complete USCIS Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status) and submit a filing fee, supporting evidence of identity and nationality, proof of residence, and, if you are age 14 or older, a fee for biometric services.  If you are over the age of 14, you will be called by the USCIS for biometrics after you send in your application.

What Must I Do to Extend My TPS?

If you are granted TPS, you must re-register with the USCIS for each period that your TPS benefits are extended.

Will I Get a Work Permit?

If your TPS application is approved, you will receive work authorization if you have requested it. At the same time you apply for temporary protected status, you must submit USCIS Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and the appropriate fee to apply for a work permit.

Can I Travel Outside of the United States?

Generally, no.  Once you are on TPS status you must remain in the United States.  However, you may be able to apply for advanced parole.

For additional information, please see the United States Citizens and Immigration Services website.