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What is Temporary Protected Status?

On occasion, the Secretary of Homeland Security will designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) because of dangerous conditions in the country, or because the country cannot handle the safe return of its citizens.

USCIS may grant TPS to certain nationals when they cannot return to home safely and when they are already in the United States. Additionally, someone may be considered eligible for TPS if they last lived in the designated country, but are not from there originally.

Under the following conditions, the Secretary may decide to designate a country for TPS:

  • The country is in the midst of an armed conflict, for example, a civil war
  • The country experienced an environmental disaster, such as an earthquake or hurricane
  • Some other temporary and extraordinary condition that deserves TPS

While a country is designated TPS, the individuals who are granted TPS for that country:

  • May be authorized to travel
  • Will not be removable from the United States
  • Will be allowed to obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)

Once an individual has been granted TPS, DHS cannot detain him or her based on their immigration status in the U.S. If you are granted TPS, please understand that TPS is only temporary and it will not grant you any immigration status, nor will it lead to becoming a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).

TPS & Applying for Other Immigration Benefits

TPS is temporary, but it won’t stop or prevent you from applying for nonimmigrant status, or adjustment of status based on your immigration petition, or from applying for another immigration benefit that you may qualify for.

TPS will not affect a person’s application for asylum or any other immigration benefit they may be seeking.

If your application for asylum or another immigration benefit is denied, that has no impact on your ability to register for TPS, however, the grounds for denial on another application may lead to having your TPS application denied.

As of this writing, the countries that are designated for TPS are: El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

To learn more about TPS, contact us to speak with a Plano immigration attorney!