What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
TPS is available to immigrants of certain countries, who live in the United States, and who the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has said their home countries unsafe for return.
Presently, immigrants of the following countries are eligible for TPS: El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This list is not complete, and DHS does consider other countries suffering from temporary and extraordinary conditions.
Typically, DHS considers such temporary conditions as:
(1) Environmental disasters;
(2) Public health crises; and,
(3) Armed conflict.
What kinds of status am I eligible for with TPS?
TPS status does not automatically lead to lawful permanent resident status, nor does it automatically lead to any other kind of immigration status.
HOWEVER, while you are in the United States with TPS you may obtain work permit AND apply for any other immigration benefit for which you qualify. The fact that you have TPS has NO impact on your eligibility to apply for other forms of immigration relief.
How long does TPS last?
It depends. Every country is different, but TPS generally lasts for 6-18 months. After your initial TPS period ends, you also may be eligible for to extend your TPS.
How long does it take to apply for TPS?
There are 5 basic steps to your TPS application:
(1) File your application including the necessary forms and evidence with USCIS;
(2) USCIS will review your application and may ask for more evidence;
(3) USCIS will schedule an appointment to have your biometrics collected;
(4) USCIS will determine whether or not you are eligible to obtain an EAD;
(5) USCIS will grant or deny your application.
The entire process usually takes between 3-6 months from start to finish, it can be long, complicated, and sometimes frustrating. Our office can help you determine your eligibility for TPS and other forms of immigration relief.
To be eligible for TPS, you must:
- Be born in a country designated for TPS.
- File within the initial registration or re-registration period. If you don’t file during the allotted time you must meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation
- Must have been continuously physically present in the U.S since the date the designation took effect for your country.
You may NOT be eligible for TPS or to maintain your existing TPS if you:
- Have been found guilty of any felony or two or more misdemeanors in the United States;
- Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;
- Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum.
- Fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements;
- Fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements; or
- If granted TPS, you fail to re-register for TPS, as required, without good cause.