Temporary protected status is a humanitarian provision under United States immigration law. It’s designed to protect foreign nationals who can’t return to their home countries due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.
TPS provides beneficiaries a temporary haven in the U.S., allowing them to live and work legally. Understanding the nuances of TPS is crucial for those it may affect.
Only certain countries or regions qualify
The U.S. government designates specific countries or regions for TPS based on careful assessments. This is done by the Secretary of Homeland Security. These designations are typically for 6 to 18 months but can be extended if conditions in the country don’t improve sufficiently to allow for the safe return of nationals.
Must be in the United States
One of the essential requirements for TPS eligibility is that individuals must already be present in the United States when their country is designated for TPS. It’s not a tool for individuals outside the U.S. to gain entry but rather a means to safeguard those already in the country when a crisis erupts in their homeland.
No direct citizenship path
Understanding that TPS doesn’t provide a direct path to U.S. citizenship is crucial. Instead, it offers a temporary solution to a pressing problem, allowing beneficiaries to remain in the U.S. under protected status until it’s safe for them to return home.
Under TPS, individuals can’t be deported without just cause. They can also obtain an employment authorization document and may be granted travel authorization. Working with someone familiar with this program may be beneficial for those who qualify.