Temporary Protected Status, TPS for short, is a special designation from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of a country where the current conditions prevent the safe return of its nationals currently in the US. The reasons for a country to receive that designation include wars, natural disasters, or other extraordinary temporary circumstances.
The following countries are currently under TPS designation:
In recent days the DHS has announced that Ukraine and Afghanistan are in the process of receiving this designation and soon the nationals of these countries will be able to apply for TPS protection.
Who can benefit from TPS? TPS benefits are reserved for citizens of the countries designated by the DHS, AND that are present in the US by the date established by the date that the country receives the designation. All nationals of those countries that arrive to the US past that date will not be eligible. Additionally, there is a specific registration period by which those wishing to benefit from TPS need to submit their application.
TPS is an 18 month protection period at the end of which the DHS evaluates the country’s conditions and determines if it is possible to end TPS for that particular country or if they will re-designate the country for another 18 months. The specific benefits include:
Individuals with TPS are protected from deportation from the US
Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
May be granted authorization to travel abroad and return to the US
Finally, individuals with TPS cannot be detained by the DHS based on their immigration status in the United States.
TPS is only for a limited number of people already present in the US at the time that it is enacted. It does offer protection for other individuals that are fleeing the same dire circumstances but who are outside the US at the time. Also, TPS is, as indicated in the name, a temporary relief. It does not lead to any other immigration benefit and does not place the beneficiary on track to lawful permanent residency (green card). However, TPS does not preclude the beneficiary to pursue other immigration benefits for which they might be eligible.
Nationals from Ukraine and Afghanistan should be looking forward to the formal announcement of the date when the period of initial registration starts. If you or someone you know might benefit from TPS you can schedule a consultation and our team will be happy to provide all the assistance needed for a successful application for TPS.