Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
What is 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 eligible 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), or an epidemic
- Other extraordinary and temporary conditions
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.
Who is eligible?
An alien who is a national of a country (or alien 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 designation;
- Is not subject to one of the criminal, security-related, or other bars to TPS; 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.
An alien 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.