How Do Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Programs Work?


If your home country is experiencing conflicts that make returning untenable or pose a direct threat to your well-being and safety, you may be able to receive Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Please continue reading to learn how to obtain TPS and how a knowledgeable New Jersey Immigration Lawyer can help you today. 

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, established by the U.S. Congress in 1990, grants temporary residency and work authorization to migrants of specifically designated countries confronting ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or extraditionary conditions that make the home countries deemed unsafe. Although migrants under this program are not recognized as lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens, many TPS holders have resided in the U.S. for over two decades. TPS has been a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of individuals already in the U.S. who would be faced with unsafe conditions if they were deported back to their home country. According to research, as of March 31, 2023, there were approximately 610,630 people with TPS living in the U.S.

What are the eligibility requirements?

When a country receives TPS, any national of that country or a stateless person who has habitually resided in the country who is already in the U.S. can apply for this program. TPS can be granted for 6, 12, or 18 months and can be extended under certain circumstances. Nevertheless, to be eligible for TPS, an individual must:

  • Be a national or habitual resident of a designated country
  • Be continuously physically presented in the U.S. since the country’s TPS designation
  • You have continuously resided in the U.S. since a date specific by the Secretary of Homeland Security
  • You pose no threat to the U.S. for nefarious, criminal reasons determined by a U.S. agency

How does the application process work?

If you meet TPS eligibility criteria, the application process will begin by filing Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. To register, you can file this form through USCIS’ webpage. It’s often beneficial to file Form I-765, Request for Employment Authorization, alongside Form I-821. However, it’s imperative to note that it’s unnecessary to file Form I-765 with your TPS application, as it can be filed at any time. Filing this form will speed up the process if you’re eligible. In addition, if applicable, you can file Form I-160, Application for Waiver of the Grounds of Admissibility. If you are considered inadmissible to the U.S. but want a waiver on the grounds of that judgment, you would file this form.

Furthermore, you will have to provide supporting evidence and documentation. You must provide evidence of your identity and nationality to prove you are a habitual resident in a country with a TPS destination. You will also have to provide evidence of the date of entry. Essentially, this proves when you entered the U.S. Moreover, you will have to provide documentation that shows you were residing in the U.S. at the time your country of origin was granted TPS by providing continuous residence (CR) evidence. To register for TPS for the first time, various fees are involved. If you are re-registering, you will not be subject to any fees for filing Form I-821.

For more information regarding TPS, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted lawyer from the Law Offices of Aditya Surti, LLC. Our legal team is prepared to help guide you through each phase of this process.

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