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Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

by Hamid R. Kashani, Attorney at Law
Nov 07, 2018 (last modified Oct 25, 2019)

What is Temporary Protected Status?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary, nonimmigrant status for individuals, who are present in the United States and who are nationals of particular countries stricken by natural disaster, war, or armed conflict.  TPS allows these individuals to live and work in the United States.

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Which countries are designated for grant of Temporary Protected Status to their nationals?

Pursuant to Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) ยง 244(b)(1), the United States Attorney General designates counties (or regions of countries) whose eligible nationals may receive Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

As of July 2081, the designated countries include El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For a current list, see TPS Countries.

Am I qualified to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

To apply for TPS, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • You must be a national of a TPS country. If you have no nationality, you must be a person who habitually resided in the designated area.
  • You must have continuously resided in the United States since the most recent designation of your home country as a TPS country.
  • You must be admissible under the United States immigration laws, except that you may request a waiver regarding certain grounds of inadmissibility.
  • You must apply for TPS during the prescribed registration period.

Note that the same grounds that disqualify an asylum applicant would equally disqualify a TPS applicant.

Can I work in the United States, if I am granted TPS?

Yes. You may apply for Employment Authorization Document (EAD card).  If your TPS application is granted, you will also receive employment authorization.

Can I travel outside of the United States while on TPS?

Yes. You must first obtain advance parole before leaving the country for a temporary visit.  Ensure that your status is current and will remain current while you are out of the country.

Can I apply for asylum while on TPS?

If you meet the eligibility requirements for asylum and if the same conditions which have given rise to TPS designation also support a claim that you have a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, then you should also apply for asylum in addition to TPS.  Whereas TPS is a temporary status, asylum would result in permanent residency (green card) and eventually citizenship.

Related Topics:


Withholding of Removal

Convention against Torture (CAT) Protection

Removal Proceeding Procedure & Defenses

Removal Proceedings

Grounds for Removal

Undocumented Immigrants


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