What is TPS?

The Department of Homeland Security extends Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to an undocumented person from a country enduring conditions that prevent the person from returning safely, such as a natural disaster or armed conflict. TPS may also apply when the person's home country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. Some people without nationality who last lived in the affected country may receive TPS.

TPS is a conditional status that requires periodic renewal and entitles the recipient to a work permit, protection from deportation, and authorization to travel abroad. Renewal is at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security, which determines whether the conditions that prevented the person's return persist. Note that travel abroad requires a separate application (Advance Parole), which must be approved before the applicant leaves the country.

Do I qualify?

To be eligible for TPS, you must:

  • Be a citizen of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last lived in the affected country
  • File during the initial registration or re-registration period, or meet the requirements for filing late during any extension of the country’s TPS status
  • Have been continuously present in the United States since the effective date of the country's original or extended TPS status 
  • Have been living continuously in the United States (residing at a U.S. address) since the date specified for your country

The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When you apply or re-register for TPS, you must inform USCIS of all absences from the United States. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.

For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please read this.