What is Temporary Protected Status?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was created by the Immigration Act of 1990 and is a temporary status granted to foreign nationals whose countries are facing an emergency, such as war, environmental disasters, and other extraordinary and temporary conditions. TPS is a temporary solution and will not lead to permanent resident status (green card) in the US.

As of March 21, 2016, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has designated citizens of the following countries eligible for TPS if they meet the regulatory eligibility requirements:

  • El Salvador
  • Guinea
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Liberia
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Yemen

For a list of all countries designed under the TPS program, visit the Federal Register at https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status.

Eligibility for Temporary Protected Status

To be eligible to apply for TPS, you must be a national or have last resided in a country designated under TPS. In addition, you must:

  • Establish continuous physical presence in the US since the effective date of the TPS designation
  • Establish continuous residence in the US
  • Not be subject to the criminal and security-related bars to TPS
  • Apply for TPS during the specified registration period

You are not eligible for TPS if you meet one of these criteria:

  • You have been convicted of a felony or more than two misdemeanors in the US (in certain jurisdiction this can include traffic violations).
  • You are a persecutor, terrorist or subject to one of several bars to asylum.
  • You are subject to one of several criminal-related grounds of inadmissibility for which a waiver is not available.

For more information on the effective date of TPS designation, effective date of residence, registration dates and procedures for registering, visit the Federal Register at https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status.

How do I apply for Temporary Protected Status?

Once a country has been designated for TPS, you must file an application. A petition for employment authorization may also be included. Family members may not be included on the application. Instead, they must apply independently to receive the TPS benefits.

Once approved, you may remain and work in the US for the initial TPS period and for any extensions of the designation. Travel abroad may be limited and the foreign national, if eligible, must seek permission and a travel parole.

A TPS designation will be effective for a minimum of six months and a maximum of 18 months, and may be extended for 6, 12, or 18 month periods depending on the circumstance. If extended, you must re-register during the time period as specified in the Federal Register notice of extension or risk losing TPS.

Does TPS expire?

The Secretary of Homeland Security reviews the conditions in the designated country, and will extend or terminate the TPS designation. If terminated, your status will revert to the immigration status held prior to the TPS designation (unless status has expired or has been terminated).

To learn more about Temporary Protected Status, contact our attorneys today or call us at 404-850-9394.

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