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How can you get temporary protected status?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | Visa

People who live in certain countries that are going through armed conflicts, natural disasters and specific other circumstances may be able to come to the United States under the temporary protected status (TPS) program. There are very specific requirements for this. 

TPS is handled by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and serves to prevent hazardous deportation. The goal is to provide individuals with a safer country than what they’d have in their home country. 

Eligibility and benefits

To qualify for TPS, individuals must be nationals of a country designated for TPS or stateless individuals who last resided in such a country. Applicants must also have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since the most recent designation date of their country. Additionally, they must not have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors in the U.S. or be inadmissible due to security-related concerns.

Those granted TPS receive several key benefits. They are protected from deportation and may obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), allowing them to work legally in the U.S. TPS beneficiaries can also apply for travel authorization if they need to travel abroad temporarily. Importantly, TPS does not lead to permanent resident status, but beneficiaries can seek other immigration benefits they may qualify for.

Designation and duration

TPS designations are initially granted for periods ranging from 6 to 18 months and can be extended if the unsafe conditions persist. TPS beneficiaries must re-register during each extension period to maintain their status. 

If conditions in the designated country improve significantly, the TPS designation can be terminated, and beneficiaries will need to return to their home country or seek alternative immigration status. This process can be complex, so people who want to seek TPS or maintain their eligibility may opt to work with someone who stays abreast of the most current updates.