Temporary Protection Status
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What is TPS?
TPS or Temporary Protections Status is a temporary immigration status that comes with certain privileges. An individual granted TPS status may apply for work authorization and legally work in the United States. If the TPS period is extended, the work authorization can also be extended for the same period. Once TPS immigration status is terminated (after a maximum of 18 months), the individual will obtain the same immigration status as before.
Who is eligible for TPS? The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security must designate a country for Temporary Protection Status. A country may be given TPS because of an environmental disaster that led to national problems including safety and armed conflicts. If immigrants to the United States fear for their return to their native country, they may be given TPS status in the United States. Eligible countries for Temporary Protections Status are listed in the Federal Register.
How can I apply for TPS? Citizens of a TPS designated country may apply during a specific period. Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status) must be filed along with the filing fee and required supporting evidence to the nearest U.S. Embassy. Individuals wishing to work in the United States while maintaining TPS status are also recommended to file Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) at the same time.
Example: Jose visited the United States on a B-2 Tourist Visa that he obtained from the U.S. Embassy in Honduras. While Jose was in the U.S., Honduras experienced a series of difficulties and the Secretary of DHS gave TPS status to Honduran citizens. Jose then applied for and obtained TPS while in the United States. However, a person applying for TPS abroad may be eligible for TPS status but may not be considered to be admissible to enter the United States. Individuals in the U.S. that have committed certain crimes on a different nonimmigrant visa may also be considered ineligible to receive TPS status.
About TPS applications:
- It is important to document your entry to the United States and your activities since arrival before applying for TPS
- You must have your passport and the I-94Arrival/Departure Record
- It is beneficial if you can show any employment records, rental agreements, utility bills, social security cards, etc.
- Keep any attestations with your name and address from any organization