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 eligible 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), or an epidemic
Other extraordinary and temporary conditions
During a designated period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases (prima facie eligible):
Are not removable from the United States
Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
May be granted travel authorization
Once granted TPS, an individual also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States.
TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status. However, registration for TPS does not prevent you from:
Applying for nonimmigrant status
Filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition
Applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible
To be eligible for TPS, you must:
Be 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 initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation;
Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country; and
Have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country. The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When you apply or re-register for TPS, you must inform USCIS of all absences from the United States since the CPP and CR dates. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.
Each country has a different registration period, a different continuous physical presence date, and a different date to re-file when a TPS period is ending. In many instances, the government is automatically extending certain countries due to federal litigation. Consulting with a lawyer who understands TPS will give you a chance to know what you can do and whether you can apply.
If you are a person from a country designated by the United States and you are interested in TPS, contact my office. Quirk Law has handled many TPS cases for individuals from around the globe. We are here to help you with your applications.