Learn About Temporary Protected Status

If you have come to the United States due to environmental disasters or civil war in your home country, you may be eligible to request temporary protected status but are unsure what that means, or how to request it.

Temporary protected status (TPS) can allow people from designated countries to safely remain in the United States and receive permission to work. Persons with TPS can also request travel documents so they can visit their home country or travel elsewhere outside the United States.

Countries are designated for TPS by the Secretary of Homeland Security. The Secretary may designate an entire country to be eligible for TPS if the country is in the midst of a civil war or has just gone through a large environmental disaster. There are 13 countries currently designated: Yemen, Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, Nepal, Liberia, Honduras, Haiti, Guinea, El Salvador.

After designation, there is a set time in which people from that country, who are already in the United States, may request TPS and a work permit. Only people in the United States on the date set by the Secretary of Homeland Security may request TPS. In addition, persons who do not file for initial TPS promptly may not be permitted to file late, even if they were in the United States on the right date.

Because TPS is not permanent, people given TPS must renew it periodically. The expiration date is marked on the card issued to all TPS recipients. If you have TPS, you should file your renewal in advance of the expiration date on your card.

While TPS does not grant permanent residency status, it does not stop you from taking steps to achieve permanent residency. TPS does not prevent someone from applying for other visas, or a green card based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen, or other immigration benefits.

If your home country has been designated for TPS, call the Affordable Law Group at 617-971-8295 to schedule a time to talk with our Immigration Attorney, or e-mail.

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