Congress created Temporary protected status (TPS) in 1990 to provide a temporary safe haven to certain foreign nationals in the United States who are unable to return to their countries of origin due to an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. TPS protects a person from deportation. A TPS holder is eligible for an employment authorization document and travel authorization. Read the Law: 8 USCA §1254a
To be eligible for TPS, individuals generally must prove the following:
- Identity and nationality
- Continuous presence in the United States since the designation date, and a
- Clean criminal record (two misdemeanor convictions will disqualify an applicant for TPS)
To view the current list, visit the USCIS website.
Information on filing requirements can be found at the links above. TPS designation can be granted for 6 to 18 months, and the designation may be extended by the Secretary of Homeland Security after a review of country conditions and consultation with the country itself. For assistance with filing a Temporary Protected Status application, please contact an immigration legal service provider. A list is available in the Legal Services Directory.