Temporary Protected Status

A foreign country, or a specific area of a country, may be designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a designated period of time due to conditions that temporarily make it unsafe for its citizens to return or if the country is unable to handle the return of its citizens. Foreign nationals of the designated countries who are currently in the U.S. can be granted TPS by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The temporary conditions that may cause a country to be designated for TPS include:

  • Armed conflict such as civil war
  • Environmental disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, or an epidemic
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions

Individuals found eligible or who receive TPS or who are found eligible may not placed in removal proceedings. They are eligible to receive and employment authorization document (EAD) and they may be granted travel authorization. After TPS has been granted, DHS cannot detain you on the basis of your immigration status in the United States.

TPS is a temporary benefit only. It does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status. However, registration for TPS does not prevent you from applying for nonimmigrant status, applying for another immigration benefit such as asylum, or adjusting status based on an approved immigration petition. An application for TPS does not affect an application for asylum or any other immigration benefit. Denial of an application for asylum or any other immigration benefit does not affect your ability to register for TPS, although the grounds of denial of that application may also lead to denial of your TPS. If you currently have TPS, you should have your situation reviewed by an immigration attorney to see if you qualify for any other immigration benefit.

 Countries currently designated for TPS and dates of eligibility

Country Designation Date Expiration Date Re-Registration Period Initial Registration Period Employment Authorization Automatically Extended Through
El Salvador 3/9/2001 3/9/2015 5/30/2013 – 7/29/2013 N/A 3/9/2014
Haiti 7/23/2011 1/22/2016 3/3/2014 – 7/22/2014 N/A 1/22/2015
Honduras 1/5/1999 July 5, 2016 10/16/2014 – 12/15/2014 N/A 7/5/2015
Nicaragua 3/9/2001 July 5, 2016 10/16/2014 – 12/15/2014 N/A 7/5/2015
Somalia 9/18/2012 9/17/2015 11/1/2013 – 12/31/2013 N/A None
Sudan 5/3/2013 5/2/2016 9/2/2014 – 11/1/2014 N/A 5/2/2015
South Sudan 9/2/2014 5/2/2016 9/2/2014 – 11/1/2014 9/2/2014 – 3/1/2015 5/2/2015
Syria 10/1/2013 3/31/2015 6/17/2013 – 8/16/2013 6/17/2013 – 12/16/2013 N/A