Countries that have an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, an endemic or other extraordinary or temporary condition may be designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The purpose of TPS is to provide individuals from countries facing difficulties with legal status in the U.S., so they do not have to return home under such strife. Individuals from a designated country who meet certain criteria will be granted Temporary Protected Status, and can legally remain in the U.S.
Individuals granted TPS will be eligible for work authorization, however they will not be eligible to become lawful permanent residents through their TPS status and the status does not lead to citizenship. If granted TPS, the individual will not be removable from the United States because of their legal immigration status and in certain cases they may be granted travel authorization.
Among the countries currently designated for TPS are El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Syria.
- The individual must be a citizen or national of the TPS designated country
- The application must be filed during the initial registration or re-registration period (there are certain exceptions)
- Have been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent country designation
- Have been continuously residing in the United States since the specific date for the designated country
The application process takes a few months and you will be required to appear for a biometrics appointment (fingerprint and photograph appointment). It is important to understand that travel outside the U.S. is not automatically permitted with TPS. If granted TPS, a separate and specific request must be submitted to obtain a travel document which must be granted prior to traveling, otherwise, there is a risk of being unable to return to the United States.