What is temporary protected status?
The Secretary of Homeland Security designates foreign countries for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS is granted if conditions in the country prevent its nationals from returning home safely or if for some reason the country is not able to properly handle the homecoming of its nationals.
TPS is granted in circumstances such as civil unrest, armed conflict and natural disasters.
Temporary Protected Status Countries
The following countries have Temporary Protected Status that expires on the listed date. If the conditions that caused the country to be designated for TPS continue past the expiration date, TPS status is often extended.
- El Salvador – September 9, 2016
- Guinea – November 21, 2016
- Haiti – July 22, 2017
- Honduras – July 5, 2016
- Liberia – November 21, 2016
- Nepal – December 24, 2016
- Nicaragua – July 5, 2016
- Sierra Leone – November 21, 2016
- Somalia – March 17, 2017
- Sudan – November 2, 2017
- South Sudan – November 2, 2017
- Syria – September 30, 2016
- Yemen – March 3, 2017
Temporary Protected Status
To receive Temporary Protected Status you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Be a national of a TPS country or a person who has no nationality but habitually resided in the country;
- File during the registration period; and
- Have been physically present in the United States since the most recent date that your country was designated as TPS.
The application for Temporary Protected Status is Form I-821 to be filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The cost to file the form varies depending on your age. You must provide documents that prove you are a national or habitual resident of the TPS country with your I-821 application.
If you are eligible for TPS, you are eligible for employment authorization. To apply for work authorization, file Form I-765 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
What is a refugee?
According to U.S. law, a refugee is someone who is located outside of the United States; is of special humanitarian concern to the United States; was persecuted or fears persecution due to his/her race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group; has not stably resettled in another country; and is admissible to the United States.
What is asylum?
Asylum is granted to people who meet the definition of a refugee, according to US law. Asylum offers refugees temporary settlement in the United States until the conflict in their home country is resolved. Asylees may work during their stay in the United States.
On March 23, 2012, the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) was designated with Temporary Protected Status, allowing Syrian refugees to seek asylum in the United States. This status expires on September 30, 2013 but is subject to extend pending current civil unrest and armed conflict is not resolved by that time.