Immigration Newswire

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Jan 13, 2023 | 0 Comments

TPS is a temporary status provided to nationals of specific countries designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security when ongoing circumstances in the designated country prevent its nationals from safely returning home or where the country is unable to adequately handle the return of its nationals. Those who are approved for TPS cannot be detained or removed from the United States

The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a country for TPS due to temporary current conditions in a country such as, but not limited to: armed conflict, environmental disasters, and epidemics.

TPS designations are given for a set period of time subject to renewal by the Secretary of Homeland Security. If TPS designation for your country is not extended, you will need to leave the United States or pursue other immigration options. You should consult with an immigration attorney for the options available to you. 

Currently, the TPS designated countries are: 

  • Afghanistan
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Cameroon
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopia
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Ukraine
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

Who is Eligible for TPS?

TPS applicants must be national of a designated country or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in a designated country. All applicants must have had continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States since the dates specified by their country's TPS designation. You can locate these dates by checking your country's TPS page on the USCIS website.

There is an exception available to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When applying or re-registering for TPS, applicants must include from the United States on their application. USCIS will then determine whether the exception applies in your case. 

You may NOT be eligible for TPS or to maintain your existing TPS if you:

  • Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States;
  • Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;
  • Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum. These include, but are not limited to, participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity;
  • Fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements specified in your country's designation;
  • Fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements; or
  • If granted TPS, you fail to re-register for TPS, as required, without good cause.

What to File

Applicants must submit their Form I-821 during the initial registration period or re-registration period. All applications must include evidence of your identity and nationality, date of entry to the United States, and your continuous residence in the United States.

Each country has its own filing location. Please refer to your country's TPS page on the USCIS website for filing locations. 

Filing fees also vary by the type of application, your age, and whether you are requesting an EAD (Employment Authorization Document). Please refer to the Form I-821 page on the USCIS website for more information. 

When to File 

Once a country is designated as being eligible for TPS, a registration timeframe will be provided with through the Federal Register and posted on USCIS' TPS webpage

Late initial filings during any extension of your country's TPS designation must show that during either the initial registration period of your country's designation or during any subsequent initial registration period if your country was re-designated:

  • 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 are a spouse of an individual who is currently eligible for TPS
  • You were a child of an individual who is currently eligible for TPS*

You must register while the condition still exists or within a 60-day period immediately following the termination of the condition. 

*There is no time limitation on filing, however, if you were the child of an individual who is currently eligible for TPS. 

Travel with Approved TPS

You will need to apply for and obtain an Advance Parole travel document before traveling outside of the United States. Travel outside of the United States before your Advance Parole is approved may result in loss of TPS status. You can obtain Advance Parole by filing a Form I-131 with USCIS. 

Advance Parole does not guarantee that you will be allowed to reenter the United States, especially if you are subject to any grounds of inadmissibility. At the airport or border, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will make the final decision about whether to allow you to reenter the United States. Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns about grounds of inadmissibility including unlawful presence in the United States, entry without inspection, and criminal records. 

You should consult with an immigration attorney prior to departing the United States if you have concerns about applying for or traveling with Advance Parole. 


Contact the Law Offices of James D. Eiss if you would like to schedule a consultation about TPS. We offer full service filings and review of applications. 

About the Author

Emilie (Ronald) Gough

Emilie E. Ronald is an Associate Attorney. She first joined the Law Offices of James D. Eiss in 2018 as a Law Clerk during her second year of law school. She was admitted as an attorney in the state of New York in January 2020. Emilie primarily focuses on TNs, L-1s, E-1s, E-2s, O-1s, and R-1s. Sh...


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