Fairfax Immigration Attorneys: What You Should Know about Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries, who are already in the United States.

The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country:

  • Ongoing armed conflict;
  • An environmental disaster, or an epidemic; or
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions

During a designated period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries are not removable from the United States, can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD) and may be granted travel authorization.

Once granted TPS, an individual also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States. However, TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for TPS, you must:

  • Be a national of a country designated for TPS;
  • File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or meet the requirements for late initial filing;
  • Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country; and
  • Have been continuously residing in the United States since the date specified for your country.

You may not be eligible for TPS or to maintain your existing TPS if you:

  • Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States;
  • Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;
  • Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum. These include, but are not limited to, participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity;
  • Fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements;
  • Fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements; or
  • If granted TPS, you fail to re-register for TPS, as required, without good cause.