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Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a humanitarian protection granted by the United States government to eligible nationals from designated countries experiencing ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent their safe return.

Under TPS, people can live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation. But who is eligible for TPS, and what are its benefits? Let’s explore more about Temporary Protected Status, how it compares to other forms of protection, and how you can apply if you qualify.

What Is Temporary Protected Status?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a humanitarian program established by Congress in 1990 that provides relief to foreign nationals from designated countries who cannot return safely due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other conditions. The Secretary of Homeland Security has the discretion to decide whether a country merits TPS designation without judicial review.

TPS is a temporary immigration status that allows individuals to remain in the United States for a limited period of time. TPS does not directly lead to permanent or lawful permanent residence, but it allows individuals to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

  • Criteria for TPS eligibility: To qualify for TPS, applicants must meet specific requirements such as proving when they were present in the U.S., having no significant criminal record (no more than one misdemeanor conviction and having no felony convictions), and registering during their country’s TPS designation period.

TPS recipients are also eligible for certain travel documents and may be able to adjust their status to become lawful permanent residents if they meet certain requirements.. In addition, TPS holders from certain designated countries may also be eligible for Deferred Enforced Departure or “DED”, another form of temporary relief from deportation. DED can be issued based on the president’s constitutional authority to exercise foreign policy.

TPS is granted to eligible individuals for a limited period of time, but it can be extended if the country’s TPS designation is extended. Therefore, TPS beneficiaries should regularly check the status of their country’s TPS designation to ensure they are aware of any changes that may affect their immigration status. USCIS regularly posts information regarding TPS for each country at its website.

The Temporary Protected Status program offers a valuable opportunity for immigrants to remain in the United States safely and legally. However, it is important to understand its benefits and limitations.

Benefits and Limitations of TPS

The main advantage of Temporary Protected Status is that it grants eligible immigrants a temporary visa, allowing them to work legally in the United States. TPS recipients are issued Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) as proof of their right to work.

  • Work permit provisions: These permits not only provide financial stability for beneficiaries but also contribute positively to the US economy.
  • Advance parole opportunities: Some TPS holders may be eligible for advance parole, which allows them temporary re-entry after traveling abroad and can potentially lead to an adjustment of status under specific circumstances.
  • Prevention of deportation: Even if there is an order of removal to be deported from the United States, the government cannot deport TPS holders.

Limitations of the program include no access to public assistance or separate paths toward lawful permanent residence for most individuals receiving TPS protection. The benefits and limitations of TPS are important to consider when making decisions about immigration status.

How Does TPS Compare to Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)?

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) is another form of protection similar to TPS. However, there are a few important differences between these protective statuses. Unlike TPS, DED recipients do not need to register with USCIS but may receive work authorization at the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security.

  • Differences between DED and TPS: While both programs provide temporary relief from deportation, they differ in their eligibility criteria, application processes, and legal basis. TPS requires that the Department of Homeland Security follow laws passed by Congress to issue TPS to individuals, with due process protections and regulations to extend and terminate TPS. DED is traditionally a short-term action based on a constitutional authority to exercise foreign policy by the President, and has more flexibility to allow nationals to stay in the United States. 

Does TPS or DED Offer a Path to Permanent U.S. Residency?

TPS and DED are two forms of protection that provide temporary relief to individuals facing difficult situations in their home countries. While they do not provide permanent residency, some recipients may be eligible for permanent residency through other means.

TPS holders may be eligible for permanent residency if they adjust their status or meet other requirements outlined in the Immigration Act. In addition, deferred Enforced Departure (DED) can offer a pathway for certain immigrants to obtain permanent residency in the U.S., too. Either way, having TPS or DED may be advantageous to finding a path to permanent resident status.

To understand if you qualify for permanent residency as a TPS or DED recipient, it’s essential to consult an experienced immigration attorney.

What Is the Current State of TPS in the U.S.?

Under President Joe Biden’s administration, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) protections have been renewed and expanded to include several additional countries. This move aligns with his campaign promises of comprehensive immigration reform and reflects a commitment to providing humanitarian relief for those in need, demonstrating the importance of Temporary Protected Status within America’s overall approach toward compassionate immigration policy.

New countries added to the list

The Biden administration has recently granted TPS designation for nationals from Burma (Myanmar) and Haiti and Venezuela and extended it for other designated countries like El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Nepal, and Yemen.

The future of TPS expansion

In addition to these expansions, extending TPS for existing beneficiaries remains an ongoing priority as part of broader efforts toward creating more inclusive immigration policies that recognize migrants’ contributions while addressing their unique challenges.

FAQs About Temporary Protected Status

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

TPS allows beneficiaries to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation for a limited period. Learn more about TPS here.

How long can you be on Temporary Protected Status?

The duration of TPS varies depending on the country designation and may range from 6 to 18 months initially. However, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the authority to extend or terminate these designations based on current conditions in each country. Therefore, beneficiaries must re-register during designated periods to maintain their status.

Can an immigration judge grant Temporary Protected Status?

No, an immigration judge cannot grant TPS directly, although they can review and grant TPS for applications that have been denied by U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). In general, eligible individuals must apply through USCIS first. If facing removal proceedings, their case can be administratively closed or terminated/dismissed while awaiting USCIS’s decision on their Form I-821 application.

Can I work with Temporary Protected Status?

Yes, individuals with approved TPS are eligible for employment authorization by filing Form I-765. Once granted a work permit (Employment Authorization Document), they can legally work in the United States for as long as their TPS remains valid.

Get Help With Your TPS Registration

If you or someone you know needs assistance with immigration issues related to TPS, DED, or another concern, don’t wait to contact an immigration attorney. The Lopez Law Firm is here to assist you with your immigration needs, so contact us today to schedule an appointment.