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What is Temporary Protected Status?

Posted by Peter Loughlin

Temporary protected status was first authorized by Congress in 1990 as a means of granting a form of lawful immigration status to persons from certain designated countries.

In many cases this may be the only means relief available to persons who would otherwise face removal proceedings and ultimately being removed (deported) from the United States.

Congress enacted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in recognition of the fact that many individuals cannot reasonably and safely return to their home country because of some temporary circumstance such as political/military conflicts, natural disasters or other extremely harsh conditions. The authority to determine which countries meet the requirements of designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and the administration of this program rests with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In addition to the obvious benefit of being able to remain lawfully in the United States, (albeit temporarily), the beneficiaries of TPS are also eligible to obtain an employment authorization document (EAD) allowing them to legally work in the United States as long as they remain in protected status.

Finally, it is important to understand that as valuable as this status may be for the beneficiaries, Temporary Protected Status is just that, “TEMPORARY" and, as such is subject to periodic review by the Department of Homeland Security in order to renew or terminate a particular country and its eligible nationals and residents.

Who is Eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)? Currently only eligible nationals and residents of the following countries may be beneficiaries of TPS status:

  1. El Salvador
  2. Honduras
  3. Nicaragua
  4. Somalia
  5. Sudan
  6. Haiti

Please check link below for currently designated countries

Additional resources provided by the author

This Guide is for information purposes only and does not, and is not, intended to constitute legal advice.

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