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Temporary Protected Status

TPS

What is Temporary Protected Status?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of designated countries. TPS beneficiaries will not be required to leave the United States and may obtain work authorization for the initial TPS period and for any extensions of the designation. TPS does not lead to permanent resident status. When the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) terminates a TPS designation, beneficiaries will return to the same immigration status they had before TPS (unless that status has expired or has been terminated) or to any other status they may have been granted while in TPS.

The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.  USCIS may grant TPS to eligibile nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States.  Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.

The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country:

  • Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
  • An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane)
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions

During a designated period, eligible individuals:

  • Are not removable from the United States
  • Cannot be detained by DHS
  • Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
  • May apply for travel authorization

Although having TPS, by itself, does not lead to permanent resident status (a green card), a TPS beneficiary may immigrate permanently under another provision of law if qualified. To find out more information about obtaining a green card through another provision of law, see the "Green Card" link to the right.

The laws pertaining to TPS can be found in section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 USC section 1254a, and in the regulations at 8 CFR Part 244. See links to the right.

The forms used to register and re-register for TPS are:

  • I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status
  • I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

You must file both forms together, even if you do not want work authorization. You must also file these forms with the required fees, or a Request for Fee Waiver, Form I-912 (or a written request) if you can show that you are not able to pay the fees.

For more TPS information about your country, including registration requirements, fees and automatic EAD extensions, see the TPS designated countries pages listed to the left.

If you have been granted TPS by an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), you may receive employment authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment. You may also receive travel authorization by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. You must follow the procedures below for notifying USCIS through a specially designated e-mail address for IJ and BIA grants of TPS. PLEASE NOTE, do not request an EAD or travel authorization if you are currently in proceedings and have not yet been granted TPS. Only request an EAD or travel authorization after an IJ or BIA grants you TPS. For more information about TPS grants by an Immigration Judge or the BIA, please see the "Granted TPS by an Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals" section below.

Countries that are Currently Designated for TPS

For more detailed information about TPS for nationals of the below countries, please see the country specific links to the left.

Designated CountryMost Recent Designation DateCurrent Expiration DateCurrent Re-Registration PeriodEAD Automatically Extended Through
El Salvador

March 9, 2001

March 9, 2012

July 9, 2010 to September 7, 2010

March 9, 2011

Haiti

January 21, 2010

July 22, 2011

Honduras

January 5, 1999

January 5, 2012

May 5, 2010 to July 6, 2010

January 5, 2011

Nicaragua

January 5, 1999

January 5, 2012

May 5, 2010 to July 6, 2010

January 5, 2011

Somalia

September 4, 2001

September 17, 2012

November 2, 2010 to January 3, 2011

NO Automatic Extension

Sudan

October 7, 2004

November 2, 2011

December 31, 2009 to March 1, 2010

NO Automatic Extension

TPS Eligibility

You are eligible for TPS if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • Are a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;
  • File during the open registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial registration (see below) regardless of whether there is currently an open registration or re-registration period;
  • Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the most recent designation date of your country;
  • Have been a continuous resident (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country;
  • Have not been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors in the United States;
  • Are not a persecutor, or otherwise subject to one of the bars to asylum;
  • Are not subject to one of the criminal or security related grounds of inadmissibility for which a waiver is not available; and
  • Have met all the requirements for TPS registration or re-registration as specified for your country (See TPS designated countries to the left).

More specific information relating to the grounds of eligibility may be found at INA § 244(c) and 8 CFR §§ 244.1-244.4. See the INA and 8 CFR links to the right.

Designated Country

Must Have CR in the U.S. Since

Must Have CPP in the U.S. Since

El Salvador

February 13, 2001

March 9, 2001

Haiti

January 12, 2010

January 21, 2010

Honduras

December 30, 1998

January 5, 1999

Nicaragua

December 30, 1998

January 5, 1999

Somalia

September 4, 2001

September 4, 2001

Sudan

October 7, 2004

October 7, 2004

Maintaining TPS

Once you are granted TPS, you must re-register during each re-registration period to maintain TPS benefits. This applies to all TPS beneficiaries, including those who were initially granted by USCIS, an Immigration Judge, or the BIA. To maintain TPS benefits you must submit:

  • Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • The relevant application and biometric fees or a Request for Fee Waiver, Form I-912 (or a written request) with supporting documentation if you are not able to pay.

E-filing is available if you are re-registering for TPS during the open re-registration period and do not need to submit any supporting documents. To file electronically, see the "E-filing" link on the right.

Late Re-Registration for TPS

USCIS may accept a late re-registration application if you have good cause for filing after the end of the re-registration period of your country. You must submit a letter that explains your reason for filing late with your re-registration application.

If you are late filing your TPS re-registration application, processing may be delayed and can lead to gaps in your work authorization.

Late Initial Filing for TPS

If the registration period for the most recent designation of your country has closed, you can still apply for TPS for the first time. To be eligible one of the following conditions must have existed during the initial registration period for the most recent designation for your country:

  • You were a nonimmigrant, were granted voluntary departure status, or any relief from removal;
  • You had an application for change of status, adjustment of status, asylum, voluntary departure, or any relief from removal which was pending or subject to further review or appeal;
  • You were a parolee or had a pending request for re-parole;
  • You were a spouse of an individual eligible for TPS or you are still the spouse of that person who is currently eligible for TPS; or
  • You were and remain a child of an individual eligible for TPS.

You must file your TPS application no later than 60 days after one of these conditions ends (except for a continuing spousal or child relationship to an individual eligible for TPS). This means that you do not need to wait until a registration or re-registration period opens for your country.

Granted TPS by an Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals

If an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) granted you TPS, you must provide USCIS with proof of the TPS grant (such as a final order from the IJ or final decision from the BIA) when you file for your first TPS benefit (such as an EAD or travel authorization). You should also submit a copy of the I-821 TPS application that the IJ or the BIA approved. See the table below for filing information based on the first TPS benefit you are requesting after an IJ or BIA granted you TPS.

After receiving your TPS grant from the IJ or BIA, if the first TPS benefit you are requesting is...

Then you must...

Mail to:

Your first EAD,

File Form I-765 only with required fee(s) or fee waiver request. You must also submit a cover sheet that states "DO NOT REJECT - TPS GRANTED BY IJ/BIA."

USCIS Vermont Service Center
Attn: TPS
75 Lower Welden Street
St. Albans, VT 05479-0001

You must also email the TPS IJ grant box (see the email address below)

Your first EAD, AND you provide proof that the IJ or BIA granted you TPS based on the I-821 that USCIS previously denied (known as de novo review or "new" review), AND you had also submitted your I-765 with required fee or fee waiver request at the same time as the I-821 to USCIS.

Email the TPS IJ grant box (see the email address below). In your message, please ensure you state that you were granted de novo review.

NOTE: If the IJ or BIA grant is NOT based on de novo review of your I-821 that USCIS originally denied, then follow the instructions in this table for applicants with IJ or BIA grants requesting a first EAD.

UCIS Vermont Service Center will inform you if you need to submit anything more. If you are asked to submit more information, then mail what is requested to:


USCIS Vermont Service Center
Attn: TPS
75 Lower Welden Street
St. Albans, VT 05479-0001

Travel Authorization,

Form I-131 with required fee or fee waiver request.

USCIS Vermont Service Center
Attn: I-131
75 Lower Welden Street
St. Albans, VT 05479-0001

A re-registration for TPS during any period of a TPS extension for your country that follows the TPS period during which the IJ or BIA granted you TPS,

NOTE: Even if you were granted TPS by an IJ or the BIA, you must re-register with USCIS during each subsequent extension period for your country.

Form I-821 and Form I-765 with required fee(s) or a fee waiver request. If you do not want an EAD, you do not need to pay the EAD application fee, but you may be required to pay the biometric fee for purposes of biometrics collected for identity and background checks required for TPS.

See your country-specific page to the left for mailing information.

For detailed information on the fee(s) you must pay, please see your country-specific page to the left or see the federal Register notice for your country. After following the instructions above, we will send you a receipt notice (Form I-797). When you get the receipt notice, you must immediately send an email to Tpsijgrant.vsc@dhs.gov that includes the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • The receipt number for your re-registration application
  • Your A-number
  • The date the IJ or BIA finally granted you TPS. (Note: To be final, your IJ order granting TPS must not be subject to further appeal, or your BIA decision granting TPS must not be subject to further review.)

The email address is only for individuals granted TPS by an IJ or the BIA who are requesting their first EADs, travel authorization, or re-registration. The email address is not for individual case status inquires.

For information about your case status, see the "My Case Status" link to the right. You may also call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).

Automatic Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Extension

Sometimes DHS must issue a blanket automatic extension of the expiring EADs for TPS beneficiaries of a specific country in order to allow time for EADs with new validity dates to be issued. The Federal Register will tell you if your EAD has been temporarily auto-extended and to what date.

Unless your re-registration for TPS has been denied, you may show your TPS-related EAD that has expired and a copy of the Federal Register notice to employers and government agencies (federal, state, and local). Employers are advised that they may rely on the Federal Register notice as evidence of the continuing validity of your EAD. Any employer or agency having questions or concerns about the automatic EAD extension should contact the following:

  • USCIS Customer Assistance Office- 1-800-357-2099
  • U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer Hotline- 1-800-255-8155

Any employer, employee or government agency may also contact:

The Office of Special Council Employee Hotline- 1-800-255-7688. Additional information is available on the Office of Special Council website link to the right.

Travel Outside the United States

If you have TPS and wish to travel outside the United States, you must apply for a travel authorization. Travel authorization for TPS is issued as an advance parole document if DHS determines it is appropriate to approve your request. This document gives you permission to leave the United States and return during a specified period of time. To apply for advance parole, you must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (see form on right).

If you leave the United States without requesting advance parole, you may lose TPS and you may not be permitted to re-enter the United States.



Last updated: 12/06/2010


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