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Who is Eligible for Temporary Protected Status?

Who is Eligible for Temporary Protected Status?

PUBLISHED ON: November 01

In May of 2021, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti. The purpose of this designation is to allow certain foreign nationals from the designated country to remain in the United States legally until they can safely return home. As the political conflict in Afghanistan continues to develop, many advocates and lawmakers are also calling for that country to receive TPS designation. But despite wars and natural disasters affecting people all over the world, TPS designation is only available for a few countries. So who is eligible for temporary protected status, and how can they apply?

Countries Eligible for Temporary Protected Status

The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security may choose to designate a country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) when conditions in that country make it impossible or unsafe for nationals to return to living there. Once the designation is in effect, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant TPS to individuals from the designated country who are already living in the U.S.

As of the posting of this blog, the countries listed below are currently designated for TPS. Click on the country name to learn more about specific eligibility requirements, including filing and re-registration deadlines.

Eligibility Requirements for TPS

To be eligible for temporary protected status, a person must be a national of a country designated for TPS. Persons who do not hold nationality in the affected country but lived there habitually before arriving in the United States may also be eligible. Other important factors for eligibility include:

  • Meeting the filing deadline – When a country receives TPS designation or TPS designation is renewed, an initial registration period or a re-registration period will also be announced. The dates and duration of the registration period may vary, so if you’re considering applying, it’s best to discuss your specific situation with an experienced immigration lawyer or advocate as soon as possible.
  • Maintaining continuous physical presence in the U.S. – Only foreign nationals who are already living in the U.S. when TPS eligibility becomes available will be eligible. The exact date for required presence in the U.S. will vary by country.
  • Continually residing in the U.S. since required date – In addition to being physically present in the U.S., you must also maintain continuous residence in the United States since the date required for your country’s TPS guidelines. Exceptions can be made for short, casual trips outside the U.S., but extreme caution should be used when applying for these exceptions.

There are also several factors or conditions that can make you ineligible for TPS, including but not limited to certain criminal convictions, inadmissibility under INA section 212(a), terrorist activity, or failing to maintain physical presence and/or residence after the required date for your country.

We Help Immigrants Obtain TPS Designation

Temporary Protected Status exists to help protect foreign peoples who are forced to leave their home country due to extraordinary conditions beyond their control. It allows them to live safely and legally in America until they can return to their home country. However, like many of the immigration benefits available in the United States, it often takes careful planning and great attention to detail to successfully obtain this status.

At Sverdloff Law Group, we have spent many years helping immigrants reach the U.S. and remain here legally in order to pursue a better life. If you or a loved one believes you are eligible for TPS status but need help to apply, please contact our office to learn how we can help.


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