The Secretary of Homeland Security can designate citizens of foreign countries as temporarily protected in the U.S. under certain conditions.
Conditions for Temporary Protected Status
If a foreign country meets one or more of the following conditions, they might be given Temporary Protected Status:
- There is armed conflict happening that makes the citizens returning unsafe.
- An environmental disaster has happened, like an earthquake, flood, or tsunami.
- A dangerous disease is spreading to large amounts of people.
- The country cannot handle the return of its citizens. Usually, this is because there isn’t enough food or clean water.
Benefits of Temporary Protected Status
When a country is given Temporary Protected Status, its citizens are allowed certain opportunities, but it does not allow a person to get a green card. Benefits include:
- They can’t be held by the Department of Homeland Security based on immigration status.
- They are generally safe from deportation.
- They can get an employment authorization document that allows them to get a job.
- They are allowed to travel outside the U.S.
- They are eligible for other immigration benefits.
Important information about who is approved for TPS
- Nationals may apply even if they are already in the U.S.
- People who do not have an official nationality may apply if the TPS country is the last country they lived in.
- Anyone convicted in the U.S. of a felony or two or more misdemeanors might not be approved for TPS.
- Anyone who wouldn’t be approved for asylum might not be approved for TPS.
- Anyone who would not be considered admissible might not be approved for TPS.
Important information about applications for TPS
- There is a registration period after a country is given TPS. Applications have to be turned in during this period.
- There are some exceptions for late applications, like for spouses or children.
- Three types of evidence have to be included with the application:
- Evidence that the person is a national of the country or doesn’t have any nationality, but last resided in the country has to be included.
- If the person is already in the U.S., evidence of the date they entered the U.S. has to be included.
- If the person is already in the U.S., evidence that they have lived in the U.S. for a certain amount of time has to be included. This is called continuously residing evidence.
- Any document that isn’t in English has to include a legitimate translation.
- Even after a person is approved for TPS, they have to re-register during re-registration periods.
You are more likely to be approved for Temporary Protective Status if you work with a lawyer. We have been through the process many times and can give you advice on how to complete the application.