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Many aliens wonder what TPS is in USA. For this reason, in this article we will go deeper into explaining Temporary Protected Status.

Aliens are not alone when it comes to processing or requesting immigration reliefs in the United States. The immigration lawyers in Los Angeles at Lluis Law are willing to help you in this process. Call us today and we will examine your case.


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What Is Temporary Protected Status (TPS) In The USA

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary benefit in the United States. TPS does not lead to lawful permanent residence or grant other immigration status. However, those who benefit from TPS will have temporary protection against deportation.

Please note the following:

  • Certain aliens may qualify for TPS if conditions in their home country are unsafe or difficult to return to;
  • TPS has been a lifeline for thousands of foreign nationals in the US because their country of origin makes their departure or deportation from the US untenable;
  • Eligible individuals who do not have a nationality and whose residence was a country designated for Temporary Protected Status can also obtain TPS.

It is estimated that in February 2022, more than 350,000 aliens were granted TPS in the US. In addition, approximately 145,000 additional aliens may be eligible for TPS under the designations established by the Joe Biden administration.

how to get tps in the united states

What Are The Benefits Of TPS In The United States?

  • Being able to get authorization to work;
  • Avoid deportation from the US;
  • Option to obtain a travel authorization;
  • By obtaining TPS, you cannot be detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for your immigration status.

Note: Being eligible for TPS in USA does not affect applications for refugee status in the United States , NACARASpecial Immigrant Juvenile Status, or any other type of immigration benefit.

Who Is Eligible For TPS?

The requirements to be eligible for TPS in the USA include the following:

  • Be a citizen of a TPS-designated country, or be a non-national whose last residence was in a TPS-designated country;
  • Have been continuously physically present and continuously resided in the United States since the most recent date of designation from your home country;
    • The law allows an exception to this requirement, as long as they are short, casual, and innocent trips outside the US. When an alien registers for TPS, they must report all absences to USCIS;
    • USCIS will be the one to determine whether or not the exception applies to your case.
  • Apply during the initial enrollment or re-enrollment period, or meet the late application filing requirements in a home country designation extension.
my passport wasn't stamped when I entered us

Wasn’t your passport stamped when you entered or left the United States? Don’t worry, find the answer to your concern in our blog.

Who Are Not Eligible To Apply For Or Maintain TPS

Aliens will not be eligible to apply for or maintain their TPS if they:

  • Are subject to any of the statutory bars to asylum in the USA. For example, participating in a pursuit of another individual or engaging in terrorist activities;
  • Have been convicted of any crime or more than two misdemeanors committed in the US;
  • Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under the applicable criteria of section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA);
  • Do not meet the requirements for continuous presence or continuous residence in the US;
  • Have been granted TPS but are not re-registering as required.

Not eligible to apply for TPS? If you are a Cuban national, you may be eligible for the Cuban Adjustment Act.

Who Else Can Apply For TPS in the USA?

On some circumstances, USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries who are already in the United States. To find out if you can apply for this program, it is advisable to speak with an immigration attorney.

Our immigration lawyers at Lluis Law have more than 50 years of combined experience helping foreign nationals in these types of processes. 

How Are Extended Voluntary Departure And Deferred Enforced Departure Related To TPS?

  • Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) is much like TPS, but is derived from a foreign policy authority of the president and not a specific law;
    • Some countries are designated for DED under the executive right of the presidential administration to manage foreign relations; 
    • DED extends authorized stay in the US for aliens from those countries.
  • Extended Voluntary Departure (EVD) was a predecessor to TPS. This was used by the Attorney General to give temporary permission to stay in the US to foreigners from certain countries with turbulent conditions.

Countries Designated For TPS In 2024

The designated countries that currently qualify for TPS in the USA are:

  • Afghanistan (until November 20, 2023);
  • Burma (Myanmar) (until November 25, 2022);
  • Cameroon (until December 7, 2023);
  • El Salvador (as long as the preliminary court order on the Ramos case remains in force);
  • Haiti (until February 3, 2023 for beneficiaries who obtained TPS under the August 3, 2021 designation. Beneficiaries under the 2011 designation will remain under TPS while the Ramos case remains in effect);
  • Honduras (until further notice);
  • Nepal (until further notice);
  • Nicaragua (as long as the Ramos case continues);
  • Syria (until September 30, 2022);
  • Somalia (until March 17, 2023);
  • Sudan (until October 19, 2023 for beneficiaries who obtained TPS under the April 19, 2022 designation);
  • South Sudan (until November 3, 2023);
  • Ukraine (until October 19, 2023);
  • Venezuela (until March 10, 2024);
  • Yemen (until March 3, 2023).
eligibility for tps in the united states

Conditions For A Country To Qualify For TPS

The Secretary of DHS is the one who grants Temporary Protected Status to a country when any of the following causes occur:

  • Natural disaster such as hurricane, earthquake, epidemic and others;
  • Ongoing armed conflict or civil war;
  • Other extraordinary circumstances of a temporary nature.

How To Obtain TPS In The United States?

In order for an alien to apply for TPS in the United States, they must file Form I-821 online with USCIS , Application for Temporary Protected Status. Then they must wait for a response. The application process is as follows:

  1. Submit the petition. Once the applicant has prepared their TPS application with the proper forms, evidence, and fees, they must make sure to sign the application and include the correct fee;
  2. Review by USCIS. When USCIS receives the application, they will review it to determine if it is complete. Applicants can verify their case online through the following link;
  3. Wait for the response from USCIS. If USCIS needs the applicant’s biometric data, it will send an appointment notice. This appointment will be at an Application Assistance Center (ASC);
  4. Attend the ASC. The applicants must bring to his appointment an evidence of their nationality that has a photo of themselves, the acknowledgment of receipt, the appointment notification in the ASC and the current Employment Authorization Document (EAD), if they have one;
  5. Apply for the EAD. USCIS will review applicants’ cases to determine if they are eligible to work in the US. If eligible, they will receive an EAD. This step is optional, so if you are not interested in an EAD you can skip to the next step;
  6. Additional documentation. USCIS may request additional documentation to determine TPS eligibility. If you have grounds of inadmissibility, you can file Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility; 
  7. Final decision. USCIS will send a notification when TPS has been approved for the first time or for a re-registration. If the application is denied, USCIS will send a letter indicating the reason and an opportunity to appeal the denial.
waiver of inadmissibility

If you are inadmissible to the United States, it is possible that in addition to applying for the I-601 waiver, you may also be eligible to apply for another type of immigration waiver of inadmissibility. In our website we have a blog focused on explaining these immigration pardons.

Appealing A TPS Denial

In the denial, USCIS will tell you if you have 30 days to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). If the causes were security or criminal records, you must request it before the immigration judge.

As an alien, you should know that you can win an immigration appeal process in the US. You will find extensive information on this subject in our respective article.

How To Keep The TPS status in the USA?

After the alien has obtained their TPS, they must continuously re-register during re-registration periods to continue to maintain TPS benefits. This applies to all beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status.

If you must travel abroad for emergency humanitarian reasons, you can apply for advance parole using Form I-131. This must be done after attending the biometrics appointment at an ASC. 

You have extensive information on the subject in our blog “What is advance parole“.

Submitting a Late Application for Re-Enrollment

If you have good cause to file your expired application, USCIS may accept it. Along with your application you must submit a letter explaining the reasons for the late filing.

Please note that this may delay your process and cause interruptions in employment authorization.

Late Initial Submission For TPS

You can apply for TPS for the first time during an extension of the TPS designated period in your country. You must meet all eligibility requirements.

To be eligible for the late initial filing for TPS you must meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • During your country’s initial designation period or subsequent period in which your country was reassigned, you met one of the following conditions if you:
    • Were a nonimmigrant, obtained voluntary departure status, or any relief from deportation;
    • Had an application for change of status, adjustment of status, voluntary departure from the United States, asylum, or any relief from removal pending or subject to review or appeal;
    • You were the spouse of a TPS-eligible person;
    • You were an immigrant with a temporary stay permit or had a pending application for reissuance of a new parole.
  • During your country’s initial designation period or subsequent period in which your country was reassigned, you were the child of a person who is currently eligible for TPS.

There is no time limit to apply if you meet this condition. That is, if your parent is eligible for TPS and you were their unmarried child under the age of 21 during the initial TPS registration period, you are still eligible to file late. Even if you are now 21 or older and married.

Important: You cannot get TPS as a derivative just because your parent or child has it.

Evidence Required To Apply For TPS

Knowing what TPS is in the United States implies knowing the evidence that needs to be submitted. With the initial TPS application you must submit the following:

  • Entry Date: This shows when you entered the US;
  • Identity and Nationality: To prove your identity and that you are a national of a country designated for TPS. Failing that, you do not have a nationality and your last habitual residence is in the country designated for TPS;
  • Continuous Residence (CR): In order to show that you have been living in the US since the CR date specified for your country.

Any document that is not in English must be accompanied by a full translation. In addition, the translator must certify the following:

  • Master both the English language and the language used in the original document and;
  • The translation is accurate and correctly done to the best of your knowledge, ability, and judgment.

Do you want to become a US citizen but do not speak English? Don’t worry, clear all your questions with our article on how to become a US citizen without speaking English.

benefits of tps in usa

Evidence Of Identity And Nationality

USCIS recommends submitting primary evidence whenever possible. This consists of:

  • Passport copies;
  • Copy of the birth certificate accompanied by an identification photo and/or;
  • Any type of national identity documentation issued by your country that contains your photograph or fingerprints, or both. This includes:
    • Documents from your country’s consulate or embassy in the US For example, a certificate of naturalization or national identification.

If you do not have primary evidence, you must submit an affidavit with:

  • Sufficient evidence of efforts without results in the procedures to obtain said documents;
  • Detailed explanation about the problems for the consular processing in the country of origin to obtain the documentation. Along with a written and signed oath that he is a citizen of the respective country.

Later, USCIS may require an interview to verify the applicant’s identity and nationality. At that time you can submit the missing documents.

Secondary Evidence To Submit

  • Naturalization certificate, including without photograph and fingerprints;
  • Certificate or proof of baptism, if the nationality of the applicant or that of their parents is indicated in the document;
  • Copies of medical or school records as long as they have information showing that you are a citizen of a TPS-designated country;
  • Copies of other types of immigration documentation that can evidence the nationality and identity of the applicant;
  • Affidavits from friends or relatives about the identity and place of birth of the applicant.
    • The person making the affidavit must prove their relationship to you as well as knowledge of your place of birth, date and nationality of your parents;
    • This last point is important especially if you come from a country where nationality is derived from a parent.

Evidence Of Date Of Entry Into The US

  • Copy of passport;
  • Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record;
  • Copies of documents specified in the following section of “Evidence of continuous residence”.

Evidence Of Continuous Residence

  • Employment records;
  • Rent payment receipts, purchase or sale invoices, bank receipts or letters from companies;
  • School records of the applicant or their children in US schools;
  • Medical treatment records for the applicant or their children;
  • Statements from representatives of the church or social, economic, sports organization to which they belong.

What Is TPS In The USA For Venezuelans?

Venezuelans may already be eligible to apply for TPS. You already know what TPS is in the United States and for Venezuelans it involves the same general process. Therefore, they must file Form I-821 online. Also:

  • Venezuelans benefiting from TPS can work legally in the US as long as they file form I-765;
  • To qualify for TPS, the applicant must be a citizen of Venezuela or an individual without nationality, whose last residence was in Venezuela;
  • The Venezuelan must have continuously resided and maintain a physical presence in the US;
  • The US government has extended TPS for Venezuelans until March 2024.
venezuelan adjustment act

Currently, there is a bill called the Venezuelan Adjustment Act. It is not yet approved, but if it were, it would benefit all those eligible aliens from Venezuela.

What Is The Cost Of TPS In 2024?

The I-821 form has a cost of $50. In addition, USCIS may require payment for the biometric services appointment, which costs about $85. Additionally, applying for employment authorization through form I-765 will cost $410.

In conclusion, applying for TPS has a total cost of:

  • $545 if all required forms are requested;
  • $135 if employment authorization is not requested;
  • $50 for minors.

It is not necessary to apply for an EAD right at the time of applying for TPS. Applicants can apply later and pay said cost at their respective time. As long as they have been granted TPS. 

Applicants who cannot afford to pay these fees may be eligible to apply for a fee waiver through Form I-912, Fee Waiver Petition.

How Long Does TPS Last In The United States?

The Temporary Protected Status or TPS has a duration of 6, 12 or 18 months. How long TPS lasts in the United States depends on the designation your TPS has obtained.

In addition, you must take into consideration the following:

  • The Secretary must decide whether to extend or cancel a designation according to the conditions of the alien’s country of origin;
  • Decisions to initiate, extend, or terminate a TPS designation must be published in the Federal Register;
  • If a decision to extend or terminate the same is not published at least 60 days before expiration, the designation will be automatically extended for 6 months;
  • The Act does not define the temporary term or limit the amount of time in which a country can have a designation for Temporary Protected Status.

Chronology Of Facts And News About TPS In The United States

Next, we will indicate the chronology of important events regarding TPS. Something basic to understand what TPS is in the USA and how it has evolved:

  • 1990: TPS was established by Congress as part of the Immigration Act. El Salvador was the first country to be chosen for this migratory benefit;
  • 1998: Due to Hurricane Mitch, the secretariat announced the temporary suspension of deportation for citizens of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador;
  • 1999: The secretariat grants TPS to Nicaragua and Honduras due to the damage caused by Hurricane Mitch;
  • 2001: Due to the earthquakes in El Salvador, the US government temporarily suspended deportations to that country. Later that same year, TPS was granted to Salvadorans;
  • 2017: The administration revoked TPS to El Salvador and Nicaragua;
  • 2019: The US government decided to extend one more year the permit to live and work in the US without risk of deportation;
  • 2020: DHS extended TPS-related documentation for individuals from Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and other designated countries;
  • March 2021: The presidential administration granted TPS to thousands of Venezuelans so that they can legally remain in the US for at least 18 months;
  • June 2021: The US Supreme Court rejected the Green Card for immigrant beneficiaries of TPS who entered the country illegally;
  • March 2022: The secretary of homeland security designated Ukraine, Sudan, South Sudan, and Afghanistan for TPS;
  • July 2022: USCIS issued a new travel authorization document (Form I-512T). In addition, he extended TPS for Venezuelans. Said extension will be from September 10, 2022 to March 10, 2024.

Can I Obtain The Green Card Through The TPS Law In The USA?

TPS does not provide a direct path to a Green Card or US citizenship, but registering for TPS does not prevent an alien from adjusting status. However, eligibility for such an adjustment depends on how you entered the United States.

Therefore, take into consideration the following:

  • Generally, an individual who entered the US without inspection will not be eligible for a Green Card;
  • To adjust status, it is necessary for the alien to legally enter the country after an inspection and authorization by an immigration officer;
  • If TPS beneficiaries somehow managed to become permanent residents, over time and following the necessary requirements, they can also become American citizens.

These processes can be complex. For this reason, we recommend that you contact our immigration lawyers at Lluis Law so that they can evaluate your case and determine if you apply for such immigration procedures.

If you want to read up-to-date information on how to legally enter to the United States nowadays, check our respective blog where we explain this topic in great detail. 

Immigration Lawyers In Los Angeles To Apply For TPS In The United States

If you think you or a friend or family member qualifies for TPS in the USA, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our attorneys have the prestige of having more than 50 years of combined experience in all types of immigration procedures.

Now that you know what TPS is in the USA, it is very likely that you will need help in the process. Call us today so that we can begin to examine your case through a personalized consultation.


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