TPS

TPS: What Is It and Who Can Apply for It?

What is TPS?

TPS stands for Temporary Protected Status. TPS is a temporary immigration status for individuals from certain countries following designation by the Secretary of Homeland Security. These individuals are from countries that are currently experiencing an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions that may endanger these individuals, physically present in the United States since the “effective date” of each designation, from returning safely to their home country.

Who Can Apply For TPS?

If you are a national of one of the designated countries or a person without nationality who last resided in one of the designated countries, you may be eligible to apply for TPS.

TPS applicants must file during the open initial registration or re-registration period. Under very limited circumstances, the USCIS allows for late filings. Even then, registration must be filed within 60 days of the termination of the registration period, and you must establish that:

TPS
  • You were a nonimmigrant who was granted voluntary departure or any relief from removal.
  • You have a pending application for change of status, adjustment of status, asylum, or any relief from removal which was pending or subject to further review or appeal during the registration period.
  • You were a parolee or had a pending request for parole.
  • You are a spouse of an individual who is eligible for TPS.

All TPS applicants must provide evidence to corroborate that they have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since the effective date (which vary from country to country).  School records, utility bills, tax returns, lease agreements, medical records and similar documents can be used to show that the applicant has in fact reside in the United States since the effective date.

You can apply for TPS if you entered the country legally or illegally, or if you entered legally and are now without lawful status.

Which Countries’ Initial Registration Periods are Currently Open?

Currently, you can apply for TPS if you are a national from:

  •  Haiti, if you have been residing here since July 29, 2021, and had a physical presence since August 3, 2021. The last day to register is February 3, 2023.
  •  Ukraine, if you have been residing here since April 11, 2022, and had a physical presence since April 19, 2022. The last day to register is October 19, 2023.
  • Venezuela, if you have been residing here since March 8, 2021, and had a physical presence since September 4, 2021. The last day to register is March 3, 2023.
  • Yemen, if you have been residing here since July 5, 2021, and had a physical presence since March 9, 2021. The last day to register is September 9, 2022.
  •  Burma (Myanmar), if you have been residing here since March 11, 2021, and had a physical presence since March 25, 2021. The last day to register is November 23, 2023.
  •  Somalia, if you have been residing here since July 9, 2021, and had a physical presence since September 18, 2021. The last day to register is March 17, 2023.
  •  Sudan, if you have been residing here since March 1, 2022, and had a physical presence since April 19, 2022. The last day to register is October 19, 2023.
  • South Sudan, if you have been residing here since March 1, 2022, and had a physical presence since March 3, 2022. The last day to register is November 3, 2023.
  •  Syria, if you have been residing here since March 19, 2021, and had a physical presence since March 31, 2021. The last day to register is September 30, 2022.

Soon (once the designation is published in the Federal Register), you will be able apply for TPS if you are a national from:

  • Afghanistan, if you have been residing here since March 15, 2022. 
  • Cameroon, if you have been residing here since April 14, 2022.   
TPS

What Does TPS Grant?

TPS grants aliens a temporary legal status in the United States, as well as an Employment Authorization DTPS grants aliens a temporary legal status in the United States as well as the opportunity to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD or Work Permit).  With an EAD you can secure a Social Security number and seek legal employment in the United States.

How Long Does TPS Last?

This depends. Designations from Homeland Security are usually done 6, 12, or 18 months at a time. At least 60 days prior to the termination of This depends. Designations from Homeland Security are usually for 6, 12, or 18 months periods. At least 60 days prior to the termination of the period, Homeland Security announces whether the status will be extended or terminated based on what is happening in the designated country.

If I have TPS, Can I Apply for a Green Card?

This depends. TPS does not make you automatically eligible for a green card. However, it does grant you “status” and you may be able to secure your residency with a family-based or employment-based petition, or under certain special circumstances defined in the law.

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