Temporary Protected Status (TPS): Legal Requirements and Benefits

Temporary Protected Status (known by its acronym TPS) is a legal remedy that has become widespread among the migrant community. But what exactly is TPS? How to apply? Today, together with the experts at Urbina Immigration Law, we will look at everything you need to know to take advantage of this immigration resource.

Requests for humanitarian assistance can be a stressful time. We know that the safety of you and your family is often at stake in these processes. Because of this, these kinds of requests can be overwhelming. But at Urbina Immigration Law we can help you. Tell us about your case and receive the quality legal assistance you need.

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a benefit granted by the Secretary of DHS to aliens from countries affected by extraordinary conditions, such as:

  • Ongoing armed conflicts (e.g., civil war).
  • Natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes or hurricanes) or epidemics.
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

This grants you a temporary status that allows you to remain in the United States, protecting you from deportation and allowing you to work and travel legally. 

Who can apply for TPS?

To apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), migrants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a citizen of a country designated by USCIS for TPS or have your last habitual residence in a designated country.
  • File the application during the initial registration or re-registration period, or meet the late filing requirements during any extension of your country’s TPS designation.
  • Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of your country’s most recent date of designation
  • Have continuously resided (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country.
Natural disasters are one of the extraordinary conditions that put a country on the list of those designated for TPS.
Natural disasters are one of the extraordinary conditions that put a country on the list of those designated for TPS.

The law provides for exceptions to the requirement of continuous presence and residence. Therefore, it is essential to find an immigration attorney who can analyze your case. At Urbina Immigration Law we can help you. Tell us about your situation today and let’s take the first step together towards a better life in the United States.

TPS Designated Countries

As mentioned above, only migrants from certain countries may apply for Temporary Protected Status. The USCIS designees are:

  • Afghanistan
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Cameroon
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopia
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Ukraine
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

What documents do I need to apply for TPS?

In the following table you will find the documentation you must submit for your application for Temporary Protected Status:

Category Documentation
FormsForm I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status
Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (if applying for an EAD)
Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds for Inadmissibility (if required)
Evidence of Identity and NationalityPassport
Birth certificate with photo ID
National identity card with photo and fingerprints issued by the country
Certificate of naturalization (if required)
Affidavit in the absence of primary documents (if required)
Evidence of Date of EntryCopy of passport
Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record
Evidence of Continuing Residency (CR)Employment Records
Rent receipts, utility invoices, receipts or letters from companies
School records of U.S. schools you or your children have attended
Hospital records or medical records relating to the treatment or hospitalization of you or your children
Statements from officials of your church, union or other organization, who know you and know where you live
Additional DocumentationBaptismal Certificate
School or medical records
Other immigration documents
Affidavits from friends or relatives on nationality and place of birth
*Note: All documentation must be submitted in English. Any document in another language must be accompanied by a complete translation. 

Please note that any errors in the documentation (whether due to lack or omission) may hinder your application. For this reason, it is essential to have an immigration attorney to help you gather and complete the necessary documents. At Urbina Immigration Law we are here for you. Contact us and let’s get your paperwork in order.

What are the benefits of TPS?

The main benefits that a Temporary Protected Status brings with it are:

  • Protection against deportation
  • Grants legal immigration status
  • Allows you to apply for an employment authorization
  • Allows you to travel abroad (as long as you have the corresponding permit).
  • Entrance door for:
    • Apply for Nonimmigrant Status
    • Filing an Application for Adjustment of Status based on an immigrant petition
    • Apply for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible.

TPS does not grant permanent status and to obtain any other benefits you must meet the corresponding requirements. Therefore, it is best to seek an attorney to help you continue your immigration process. At Urbina Immigration Law we can assist you. Tell us about your case and take the first step towards your new life in the United States.

What is the TPS application process like?

The process of applying for Temporary Protected Status can be summarized in the following steps:

Step 1: Application Submission

Once you have prepared your Temporary Protected Status application package with all the necessary documentation, you will need to send it to the address indicated for your country. Be sure to sign your application and pay the appropriate fees (or attach the fee waiver request, if applicable).

Step 2: USCIS receives the application

At this stage USCIS will review the documentation submitted. If you meet the acceptance criteria, they will enter your application into the system and send you an acknowledgement of receipt. At the top of the acknowledgement you will find a receipt number, which you can use to check the status of your case online.

If you do not receive an acknowledgement within three weeks of filing your application, call the USCIS Contact Center for assistance. If your application was rejected during the review stage, you may resubmit it during the reentry period, after correcting the problems noted by USCIS.

Step 3: Biometric Data

USCIS will send an appointment notice to take your biometrics at an Application Support Center (ASC). Please note that this is mandatory for all TPS applicants over 14 years of age, in order to corroborate identity, perform background checks and generate an EAD (if requested).

Step 4: Appointment at the ASC

Keep your appointment at the ASC, presenting evidence of your nationality and identity (e.g., a passport), your acknowledgement of receipt, your appointment notice, and your current EAD (if you have one). If you are unable to attend, you should submit a rescheduling request as soon as possible. Please note that this may delay your case.

Step 5: Adjudication of the application

Once USCIS has analyzed your application and has your biometrics, the authorities will make a decision on your application. If approved, they will send you a notice of approval and an EAD (if you requested one and have not received one prior to this step).

Please note that you may be asked to provide additional documentation to determine your eligibility. In these cases, you should respond promptly and seek the assistance of an attorney to avoid rejection of your application. Do not risk your future. Contact us today and get the legal assistance you need.

How long does Temporary Protected Status last?

TPS is generally renewed annually. However, this depends on the Attorney General‘s outreach decisions. Beneficiaries must re-enroll during the corresponding period to maintain benefits, regardless of whether it was granted by USCIS, an Immigration Judge or BIA.

You can check the status of your Temporary Protected Status application online with your receipt number.
You can check the status of your Temporary Protected Status application online with your receipt number.

What is a “late application” for TPS?

A late application for Temporary Protected Status refers to filing after the re-registration deadline or during an extension of the designation period. To apply, you must meet certain conditions, such as being a spouse or child of someone eligible. Check the registration dates on your country’s TPS page.

Can I get a Green Card through TPS?

Yes, some beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status may be eligible for permanent residency in the United States. However, please note that TPS does not automatically grant a green card; you will need to go through the application process.

Do I have to pay a fee to apply for TPS?

Yes, you must pay the official U.S. Immigration Service fees for Forms I-821, I-765 and for the collection of your biometrics. However, you may file a fee waiver request if you meet the applicable requirements.

Can I travel outside the United States with TPS?

Yes, you may travel outside the United States with an approved Temporary Protected Status. However, please note that you must first apply for a travel permit. Otherwise, you could lose your status and face serious legal consequences, such as deportation.

Can I appeal if my Temporary Protected Status is denied?

Yes, you can appeal the denial of your application for Temporary Protected Status. Once USCIS denies your application, you have 30 days to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).

Note that you cannot appeal if you were placed in removal proceedings when your TPS application was denied. However, in these cases you can request that an immigration judge adjudicate your application to avoid deportation.

As we have seen, Temporary Protected Status is a great resource for those fleeing their home country in search of humanitarian relief. In addition, it is a form of defense against deportation, offering its beneficiaries a work permit and opening a door to apply for permanent residency in the future.

However, the amount of documentation required and the strict registration deadlines can make the process difficult. For this reason, the assistance of an attorney is essential. Don’t risk your future by applying on your own. At Urbina Immigration Law we can help you. Tell us your case and let’s defend together your right to a better life.


USCIS – Temporary Protected Status

Other Resources

How to obtain a Green Card in the United States – Updated Guide

What to do if you have a deportation order?

What are the reasons to deport a person from the United States?

How to avoid deportation in the U.S.: the complete guide

Immigration Form 42B: the remedy for cancellation of removal in the U.S.

Classification of Deportations in the U.S.

What is a Migratory Waiver and how should I apply for it?

What is an I601 Waiver and what is it for?

How long does it take to resolve a deportation appeal in the United States?