Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
TPS provides temporary foreign status in the U.S. for foreign nationals of designated countries who are unable to return to their home countries because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary condition.
According to USCIS, the following countries are eligible for Temporary Protected Status:
- El Salvador
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
Generally, individuals are granted temporary status for 12-18 months, which may be extended based on country conditions. Individuals are also eligible for employment authorization (EAD), may adjust or change status, shall not be detained or deported during TPS status, and may travel abroad with permission.
Each country has specific and unique designated eligibility dates. There are certain eligibility requirements in addition to residence, including the following:
- Applicant must establish identity and nationality of TPS county;
- Applicant must have been physically present in the United States since the time his or her country was designated or re-designated for TPS. Other than “brief, casual, and innocent” travel outside the U.S., the applicant must have remained in the United States.
- Applicant must have continuously resided in the United States from the date that his or her country was designated for TPS.
- Applicant must not have any serious Criminal Record.
- Applicant must not otherwise be inadmissible and applicant must not be subject to Asylum bars.
Spouse and children of a person granted TPS status may register after the initial registration period as long as: the marriage existed at the time of the spouse or parents initial TPS; and spouse and child are nationals of the TPS designated county and meet all other requirements of TPS as outlined above.