Temporary Protected Status Explained

The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) based on conditions in a country that temporarily prevent citizens of that country from safely returning to that country, or when a country is unable to adequately handle the return of its citizens. TPS may be granted to eligible citizens of countries or parts of countries who are already in the US. Also, eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may be granted TPS.

The Secretary may designate a country for TPS based on the below conditions.

  1. ongoing armed conflict
  2. an environmental disaster
  3. an epidemic
  4. other extraordinary, temporary conditions

During the period of TPS, individuals can’t be deported, can get an employment authorization document, and can be granted travel authorization. Once a person has been granted TPS, they can’t be detained by the Department of Homeland Security based on their immigration status. TPS is a temporary benefit that doesn’t lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status.

To be eligible for TPS, you must have been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation of your country. You must also have continuously resided in the United States since the date your country was designated. The law allows an exception to the physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual, and innocent departures.

You may not be eligible for TPS or you may be prevented from maintaining TPS if you have been convicted of a felony or at least two misdemeanors in the United States. Also, TPS may not be granted if any of the traditional bars to asylum apply to you.

Thanks to TPS, hundreds-of-thousands of people have resided in America for at least 15 years.

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