Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary status granted to citizens of certain countries who are already in the United States and unable to safely return to their home country due to armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary circumstances.

Designated countries are determined by the Department of Homeland Security and subject to change. Typically the Department of Homeland Security will designate a country for an initial period of 12-18 months.

After the initial period, the Department of Homeland Security may elect to extend TPS for additional periods in increments of 12-18 months.

When an individual is granted TPS they are permitted to work with an approved employment authorization document(EAD). In addition, if an individual who has been granted TPS was present in the United States illegally for less than six months prior to filing for TPS, s/he may also travel outside of the United States with an approved travel document known as an advanced parole (AP). They are also not subject to removal and they cannot be detained by the Department of Homeland Security.

To qualify for temporary protected status, individuals must demonstrate that s/he:

  • Have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since the effective date of the most recent designation of their country
  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. since the date designated by the Attorney General for their country
  • Have not been convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors
  • Have not persecuted others
  • Registered for temporary protected status during a designated registration period or qualify for late registration

If a citizen of one of the countries that have been designated by the President of the U.S. to qualify for temporary protected status, individuals may be able to apply for temporary protected status as a defense against deportation. Individuals may apply for temporary protected status even if they are not currently in removal proceedings. In addition, individuals who are currently in a valid nonimmigrant status may also apply for temporary protected status.

To determine which countries are designated for temporary protected status, please click here. The specific requirements with regard to designated dates and registration periods vary by country. Citizens of any of the above-listed countries may want to consider contacting our office to determine if they qualify for temporary protected status.