Temporary Protected Status(TPS): How to Apply and Which Countries Qualify

Temporary Protected Status or TPS is a temporary immigration status designated for some migrants from certain countries that prevent their deportation and allows them to have certain benefits, such as a work permit or travel permits. The TPS was created by the congress in the Immigration Act of 1990, its objective was to help citizens of countries that faced some type of problem and prevented their citizens from returning to their country.

According to the American Immigration Council, in October 2021, there were an estimated 319,465 people with TPS and 481,980 people eligible for TPS under new designations or redesignations.

In order for a migrant to enjoy TPS, her country must be designated. There are three reasons why a country can be designated; An ongoing armed conflict, An environmental disaster, and Extraordinary and temporary conditions.

An example of this benefit was received by the citizens of Honduras who were designated the TPS in 1999 after Honduras was affected by Hurricane Mitch at the end of 1998. Since its implementation, the beneficiaries have received 15 extensions and are still beneficiaries.

TPS beneficiaries cannot obtain a green card or US citizenship but are eligible to change their immigration status in the future through other means such as family-based or employment-based petitions.

Since its implementation, 29 countries have been nominated for TPS, 12 no longer have the benefit; 2 countries, Afghanistan and Cameroon, are awaiting approval; and 15 countries are currently TPS beneficiaries.

The countries that currently have TPS are:

  • Burmese
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syrian
  • Ukraine
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

To apply for TPS, the migrant must meet certain criteria; must be a citizen of one of the beneficiary countries, enroll during the initial registration or re-registration period, and live and physically reside in The US when the designation was approved.

Also, the applicant must fill out form I-821, pay the filing fee and provide all required evidence and supporting documentation. Among the evidence must be documented that prove the applicant’s citizenship, and documents that prove that the applicant was living in The US when TPS was approved.

Migrant citizens who cannot apply for TPS are those who are convicted of any felony, are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum and were not present at The US continuously when the designed were established.

In addition, people who do not have any citizenship can apply for TPS, such as those who were born in transit or in a region that no longer recognizes them as a citizen.

A country designated for TPS recently was Venezuela, on September 9, 2022, its designation will be approved and Venezuelans can apply to be beneficiaries.

Do you want to know if you can apply for TPS? Call our office, we might be able to help. Call us at 630 504 0648.