Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of designated countries. Congress decides when people in the United States from certain countries will be eligible for TPS based on its determination that people from that country are unable to safely return home because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.
A person who is a national of a country (or foreign national having no nationality who last habitually resided in that country) designated for TPS is eligible to apply for TPS benefits if he or she:
- Establishes the necessary continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States as specified by each country designation,
- Is not subject to one of the bars to TPS, which are primarily criminal-based or security-related, and
- Timely applies for TPS benefits.
If the Secretary of Homeland Security extends a TPS designation beyond the initial designation period, the beneficiary must timely re-register to maintain his or her TPS benefits under the TPS program.
A person is not eligible for TPS if he or she:
- Has been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States,
- Is a persecutor, or otherwise subject to one of the bars to asylum, or
- Is subject to one of several criminal-related or terrorism-related grounds of inadmissibility for which a waiver is not available.
During the period for which a country has been designated for TPS, TPS beneficiaries may remain in the United States and may obtain work authorization. However, TPS does not lead to permanent resident status. When the Secretary of Homeland Security terminates a TPS designation, beneficiaries revert to the same immigration status they maintained before TPS (unless that status has since expired or been terminated) or to any other status they may have acquired while registered for TPS. Accordingly, if an alien had unlawful status prior to receiving TPS and did not obtain any other status during the TPS designation, the alien reverts to unlawful status upon the termination of that TPS designation.