Temporary Protected Status

Temporary protected status (TPS) is an immigration status for foreign nationals residing in the United States whose home countries are temporarily unsafe or overly dangerous. Situations that can make a country unsafe and lead to TPS include:

  • Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war) or other political turmoil
  • An environmental disaster such as earthquakes, floods, or other natural disasters
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions

Note that TPS differs from asylum in that asylum relates more to your personal situation, while temporary protected status relates to conditions in a country or region, not necessarily any one person. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.

During a designated period, eligible individuals:

  • Are not removable from the United States
  • Cannot be detained by DHS
  • Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
  • May apply for travel authorization

Application Process

Step 1: File Your Petition

Step 2: USCIS Receives Your Application

Step 3: USCIS Contacts You

Step 4: Go to the Application Service Center

Step 5: USCIS Determines Work Eligibility

Step 6: USCIS Adjudicates the Application

 Step 7: USCIS Approves or Denies the Application

Applying for Temporary Protected Status

The process for applying for temporary protected status is also different from applying for asylum. To request temporary protected status you must submit two forms: I-821 and I-765. The I-821 form is the application for temporary protected status. It must be filed during the time that your homeland is considered a designated country.

If the crisis ends before you file your application, your request for TPS will usually be denied. The I-765 form is an employment authorization request. You should submit this form even if you do not intend to work.

When filing an initial temporary protected status application, you must submit evidence of:

  • Identity and nationality: to demonstrate your identity and that you are a national of a country designated for TPS.
  • Date of entry into the United States
  • Continuously residing (CR) evidence: to demonstrate that you have been in the United States since the CR date specified for your country.

Temporary Protected Status Eligibility

You are eligible for temporary protected status if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • Are a national of a country designated for temporary protected status, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country
  • File during the open registration or re-registration period or you meet the requirements for late initial registration (see below) regardless of whether there is currently an open registration or re-registration period
  • Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the most recent designation date of your country
  • Have been a continuous resident (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country
  • Have not been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors in the United States
  • Are not a persecutor, or otherwise subject to one of the bars to asylum
  • Are not subject to one of the criminal or security-related grounds of inadmissibility for which a waiver is not available
  • Have met all the requirements for temporary protected status registration or re-registration as specified for your country

Once your request for temporary protected status is approved, you may remain in the U.S. temporarily as long as your native country continues to be a designated country. Recently designated countries include El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, and Sudan.

If and when conditions improve in your homeland, your country will be removed from the designated list of countries, and you must then return to your homeland. If you would like to extend your time in the U.S. through a different type of status, such as asylum, you must submit your request before your temporary protected status expires.

Although having temporary protected status, by itself, does not lead to permanent resident status (a green card), a temporary protected status beneficiary may immigrate permanently under another provision of law if qualified.

Appealing a Denial

You will be informed in the denial notice whether you have 30 days to appeal to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). If your TPS application was denied by USCIS, you will not have the right to appeal because you were placed in removal proceedings. You petitioner can still request for the immigration judge to adjudicate your TPS application.

You may also choose to file a motion to reconsider with the Service Center that adjudicated your TPS application by submitting:

Speak With an Attorney

To find out if you qualify for temporary protected status or are eligible to obtain a green card through another provision of law, while on temporary protected status, please fill out the Free Consultation form on the top right side of this page or call us at 877-811-3541.