Temporary Protection Status (TPS) is a type of immigration status granted to certain individuals from specified countries. TPS is reserved for immigrants who are temporarily prevented to returning to their country of origin due to safety concerns. It is also available in other instances, such as when the country is unable to process the return of its citizens properly.

Countries that are eligible for protected status designations include: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. This list is subject to constant changes and updates, with different countries being added nearly every year. 

Persons who have been granted Temporary Protection Status are not automatically granted lawful permanent residence status (hence the term “temporary protection”). However, they may become eligible for permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship later on.

Who is Eligible for Temporary Protected Status?

Only certain aliens traveling from these countries are eligible for TPS. This is somewhat similar to political refugee and asylum requirements. Requirements for TPS may include:

  • Being a national of a country that is included on the TPS list (or, habitually residing last in a designated country, if the person is without nationality)
  • Meeting the various requirements for open, initial, or re-registration filing dates
  • Having “continuous physical presence” (CPP) in the U.S. since the date the country became a designated country
  • Having “continuous residence” (CR) in the U.S. since the specific date listed for the country of origin (this will be different for each country). Brief, casual departures out of the U.S. are sometimes allowed

These requirements can sometimes be calculated, especially when it comes to issues like “continuous physical presence” and “continuous residence.” These sometimes require the assistance of a lawyer, as complex formulas are often involved.

Also, you should be aware that a person who is eligible for TPS designation may be disqualified or have their privileges revoked for various reasons, including: being convicted of a felony; being convicted of two or more misdemeanors in the U.S.; failing to keep up with CPP and CR requirements; and other reasons.

What is Identity and Nationality Evidence?

TPS applicants will be required to furnish proof of their identity as well as their nationality. This is known as “identity and nationality evidence.” This may include primary evidence such as copies of passports, birth certificates, and photo ID’s. Secondary evidence may be considered, such as nationalization documents, medical or school records, and copies of other immigration documents. Again, requirements may depend on specific immigration laws, which can change every year. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Temporary Protection Status?

Temporary protection status is a very specific route for immigration. You may need the assistance of a immigration lawyer if you or a loved one will be applying for temporary protected status. The application process may be complicated and may require the assistance of a lawyer.  A qualified lawyer can provide the legal advice and guidance needed throughout the process.