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What is TPS?

Since 1990, the U.S. government has provided several countries with Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS is a temporary status granted to individuals from countries that are dealing with emergencies such as war or natural disasters. The idea behind TPS is that the return of the individual to his or her country would place that at danger or risk such that the U.S. government will provide the individual with a temporary way to remain safely in the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated citizens of certain countries for TPS status, and the current list of countries can be found here:

Once TPS has been granted, an individual will be provided a work permit for the length of time TPS has been designated. Individuals who obtain the work permit can also apply for travel authorization in certain circumstances, and if approved, would be permitted temporary travel outside of the U.S. and permission to lawfully reenter. It is important to note that if you have obtained TPS, you MUST pay close attention to expiration dates and renewal periods since if you miss a renewal period, you may not be able to recover your TPS.

If you think you may qualify for TPS, please contact Kuck Baxter at your earliest convenience to discuss your case with our experienced immigration attorneys.

TPS is a temporary benefit that does not directly lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status, but see our other page on options beyond TPS to read about ways to acquire other status in the U.S. if you have TPS.

What are the benefits of TPS?

Individuals who are TPS beneficiaries:

  • Are not removable from the United States
  • Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
  • May be granted travel authorization
  • Cannot be detained on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States.

Benefits of employment authorization include:

  • Legally working by filing Form I-9 with an employer
  • Obtaining a Social Security Number
  • Obtaining a driver’s license and state identification
Who is eligible for TPS?

To be eligible for TPS, you must:

  • Be a national of a country designated for TPS
  • File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation
  • Have been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country
  • Have been continuously residing in the United States 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

You may NOT be eligible if you:

  • Have been convicted of any felony or two or moremisdemeanors committed in the United States
  • Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a)
  • Participated in the persecution of another individual or engaged in or incited terrorist activity
What documents are required?

Identity and Nationality Evidence

You will need a copy of your passport, a copy of your birth certificate, accompanied by photo identification, or any national identity document bearing your photograph or fingerprint issued by your country, including such documents issued by your country’s Embassy or Consulate in the United States.

Date of Entry Evidence

You will need a copy of your passport, I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, or copies of documents specified in the ‘Continuous Residing Evidence’ section below.

Continuously Residing Evidence

  • Employment Records
  • Rent receipts, utility bills, receipts or letters from companies
  • School records from the schools that you or your children have attended in the U.S.
  • Hospital or medial records concerning treatment or hospitalization of you or your children
  • Attestations by church, union or other organization officials who know you and where you have been residing