Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligibile nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.
The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country:
- Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
- An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane)
- Other extraordinary and temporary conditions
During a designated period, eligible individuals:
- Are not removable from the United States
- Cannot be detained by DHS
- Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
- May apply for travel authorization
Although having TPS, by itself, does not lead to permanent resident status (a green card), a TPS beneficiary may immigrate permanently under another provision of law if qualified. To find out more information about obtaining a green card through another provision of law, please contact our office.
The laws pertaining to TPS can be found in section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 USC section 1254a, and in the regulations at 8 CFR Part 244. See links to the right.
The forms used to register and re-register for TPS are:
- I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status
- I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
You must file both forms together, even if you do not want work authorization. You must also file these forms with the required fees, or a fee waiver request if you can show that you are not able to pay the fees.
For more TPS information about your country, including registration requirements, fees and automatic EAD extensions, see the TPS designated countries pages listed to the left
If you have been granted TPS by an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), you may receive employment authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment. You may also receive travel authorization by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. You must follow the procedures below for notifying USCIS through a specially designated e-mail address for IJ and BIA grants of TPS. PLEASE NOTE, do not request an EAD or travel authorization if you are currently in proceedings and have not yet been granted TPS. Only request an EAD or travel authorization after an IJ or BIA grants you TPS.
Countries that are Currently Designated for TPS
|Designated Country||Most Recent Designation Date||Current Expiration Date||Current Re-Registration Period||EAD Automatically Extended Through|
|El Salvador||March 9, 2001||March 9, 2012||July 9, 2010 to September 7, 2010||March 9, 2011|
|Haiti||January 21, 2010||July 22, 2011||—||—|
|Honduras||January 5, 1999||January 5, 2012||May 5, 2010 to July 6, 2010||January 5, 2011|
|Nicaragua||January 5, 1999||January 5, 2012||May 5, 2010 to July 6, 2010||January 5, 2011|
|Somalia||September 4, 2001||March 17, 2011||July 27, 2009 to September 24, 2009||March 17, 2010|
|Sudan||October 7, 2004||November 2, 2011||December 31, 2009 to March 1, 2010||NO Automatic Extension|
You are eligible for TPS if you meet all of the following requirements:
- Are a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;
- File during the open registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial registration (see below) regardless of whether there is currently an open registration or re-registration period;
- Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the most recent designation date of your country;
- Have been a continuous resident (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country;
- Have not been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors in the United States;
- Are not a persecutor, or otherwise subject to one of the bars to asylum;
- Are not subject to one of the criminal or security related grounds of inadmissibility for which a waiver is not available; and
- Have met all the requirements for TPS registration or re-registration as specified for your country.
|Designated Country||Must Have CR in the U.S. Since||Must Have CPP in the U.S. Since|
|El Salvador||February 13, 2001||March 9, 2001|
|Haiti||January 12, 2010||January 21, 2010|
|Honduras||December 30, 1998||January 5, 1999|
|Nicaragua||December 30, 1998||January 5, 1999|
|Somalia||September 4, 2001||September 4, 2001|
|Sudan||October 7, 2004||October 7, 2004|
Once you are granted TPS, you must re-register during each re-registration period to maintain TPS benefits. This applies to all TPS beneficiaries, including those who were initially granted by USCIS, an Immigration Judge, or the BIA. To maintain TPS benefits you must submit:
- Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
- The relevant application and biometric fees or a fee waiver request with supporting documentation
E-filing is available if you are re-registering for TPS during the open re-registration period and do not need to submit any supporting documents.
Late Re-Registration for TPS
USCIS may accept a late re-registration application if you have good cause for filing after the end of the re-registration period of your country. You must submit a letter that explains your reason for filing late with your re-registration application.
If you are late filing your TPS re-registration application, processing may be delayed and can lead to gaps in your work authorization.
Late Initial Filing for TPS
If the registration period for the most recent designation of your country has closed, you can still apply for TPS for the first time. To be eligible one of the following conditions must have existed during the initial registration period for the most recent designation for your country:
- You were a nonimmigrant, were granted voluntary departure status, or any relief from removal;
- You had an application for change of status, adjustment of status, asylum, voluntary departure, or any relief from removal which was pending or subject to further review or appeal;
- You were a parolee or had a pending request for re-parole;
- You were a spouse of an individual eligible for TPS or you are still the spouse of that person who is currently eligible for TPS; or
- You were and remain a child of an individual eligible for TPS.
You must file your TPS application no later than 60 days after one of these conditions ends (except for a continuing spousal or child relationship to an individual eligible for TPS). This means that you do not need to wait until a registration or re-registration period opens for your country.
Granted TPS by an Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals
If an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) granted you TPS, you must provide USCIS with proof of the TPS grant (such as a final order from the IJ or final decision from the BIA) when you file for your first TPS benefit (such as an EAD or travel authorization). You should also submit a copy of the I-821 TPS application that the IJ or the BIA approved. See the table below for filing information based on the first TPS benefit you are requesting after an IJ or BIA granted you TPS.
Automatic Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Extension
Sometimes DHS must issue a blanket automatic extension of the expiring EADs for TPS beneficiaries of a specific country in order to allow time for EADs with new validity dates to be issued. The Federal Register will tell you if your EAD has been temporarily auto-extended and to what date.
Unless your re-registration for TPS has been denied, you may show your TPS-related EAD that has expired and a copy of the Federal Register notice to employers and government agencies (federal, state, and local).
Travel Outside the United States
If you have TPS and wish to travel outside the United States, you must apply for a travel authorization. Travel authorization for TPS is issued as an advance parole document if DHS determines it is appropriate to approve your request. This document gives you permission to leave the United States and return during a specified period of time.
If you leave the United States without requesting advance parole, you may lose TPS and you may not be permitted to re-enter the United States.