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An Overview of Temporary Protected Status

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status that allows for immigrants to stay in the US temporary if they are experiencing problems in their home country, such as an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or another extraordinary and temporary condition that makes it unsafe for them to remain in their home country. Congress created TPS in the Immigration Act of 1990. Temporary Protected Status designations can be made for 6,12, or 18 months at a time. To be eligible for TPS, you must be a citizen or a habitual resident of a foreign country with a TPS designation and be continuously present in the US since the effective date of designation. Further, you must have continuously resided in the United States since a date specified by the Secretary of Homeland Security and not be inadmissible to the US or barred from asylum for reasons related to criminal activity or national security-related reasons.

If you are eligible for TPS, you must register by submitting an application the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). If you are granted Temporary Protected Status, you receive a temporary stay of deportation and temporary authorization to work in the United States. However, if you receive TPS, you will not be eligible for public assistance. While TPS does not provide a separate path to permanent residence (a green card) or to citizenship, if you are a TPS recipient and are otherwise eligible for permanent residence, you can still apply for that status.

When a TPS designation ends, they return to the status that they had prior to receiving TPS. For instance, if a TPS beneficiary had entered the US without papers and are not eligible for other immigration benefits, they would return to being undocumented at the end of their TPS designation.

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