The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions that temporarily prevents the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.
USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality, who last resided in the designated country, may also be granted TPS.
DHS designates a country to fall under TPS for several reasons, which include:
- Ongoing armed conflict;
- An environmental disaster;
- Other extraordinary and temporary conditions.
During a designated period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries, or who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases:
- Have a basis for lawful presence in the U.S. and therefore, cannot be deported;
- May obtain an employment authorization document (EAD);
- May be granted international travel authorization.
Temporary Protected Status Eligibility
To receive Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States, foreign nationals must:
- Be a national of a country currently designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a TPS country or, if the foreign national claims no citizenship, have last resided in a designated TPS country prior to arrival in the U.S.,
- File a TPS petition during the initial registration or re-registration period for the applicable country;
- Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the U.S. since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country;
- Have been continuously residing (CR) in the U.S. since the date specified for your country. The law allows an exception to the CPP and CR requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States.
What TPS Does Not Grant
TPS is a temporary benefit. It is not a pathway to lawful permanent resident status (green card). TPS does not automatically grant any other immigration status or benefit. However, TPS beneficiaries may:
- Apply for nonimmigrant status,
- File an immigrant petition with USCIS,
- File an adjustment of status application based on a family or employment-based immigrant petition, and/or
- Apply for any other immigration benefit or protection for which they may be eligible.
Please note, to be granted any other immigration benefit, you must still meet all the eligibility requirements for that particular benefit. Further, TPS holders filing for adjustment of status to Lawful Permanent Resident status based on an immigrant petition must demonstrate that they were lawfully admitted or granted parole on entry to the United States.