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Temporary Protected Status
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.
The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country:
During a designated period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases (prima facie eligible):
Once granted TPS, an individual also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States.
TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status. However, registration for TPS does not prevent you from:
PLEASE NOTE: To be granted any other immigration benefit you must still meet all the eligibility requirements for that particular benefit. An application for TPS does not affect an application for asylum or any other immigration benefit and vice versa. Denial of an application for asylum or any other immigration benefit does not affect your ability to register for TPS, although the grounds of denial of that application may also lead to denial of TPS.
Select the country link for additional specific country information.
To be eligible for TPS, you must:
You may NOT be eligible for TPS or to maintain your existing TPS if you:
You must include the necessary forms, evidence, fees or fee waiver when filing your TPS application. Below is information about what you must include in your TPS package. Please also check your country’s specific TPS page to the left to see if there are any special filing instructions specific to your TPS designated country.
To register or re-register for TPS you must file:
PLEASE NOTE: Both I-821 and I-765 forms must be filed even if you do not want an Employment Authorization Document.
If you are aware when you apply that a relevant ground of inadmissibility applies to you and you need a waiver to obtain TPS, please include a Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, and fee or fee waiver request, with your TPS application package. However, you do not need to file a new Form I-601 for an incident that USCIS has already waived with a prior TPS application. USCIS may grant a waiver of certain inadmissibility grounds for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is in the public interest.
These forms are free and available on the forms section of the USCIS website at: www.uscis.gov/forms or by calling the toll-free USCIS Forms Hotline at 1-800-870-3676. Please look below at the fee chart to see what fees you must pay (a properly documented fee waiver request may be submitted. If you do not pay the proper fees (or submit a proper fee waiver request), your application will be rejected.
When filing an initial TPS application, you must submit:
Any document that is not in English must be accompanied by a complete English translation. The translator must certify that:
Identity and Nationality Evidence
The following table explains the different types of evidence you can provide.
You may also provide any other document or information that you believe helps show your nationality.
PLEASE NOTE: Birth in a TPS designated country does not always mean you are a national from that country. Please see your TPS designated country’s nationality laws for further information.
Date of Entry Evidence
Continuously Residing (CR) Evidence
Please see the I-821 Form Instructions for more details on acceptable evidence.
Fees for Registering for TPS for the First Time
NOTE: If you do not want an EAD, do not check any of the three boxes at the top of Form I-765 where it states “I am applying for:”; leave all three boxes blank. Only check one of these boxes if you want an EAD (and then look to the above chart for proper fee).
Fees for Re-registering for TPS
If you are re-registering for TPS you must include the following fees:
If you are not seeking an EAD, you must still submit Form I-765 without fee (and do not check any of the three boxes at the top of Form I-765 where it states “I am applying for:”; leave all three boxes blank). There is no fee required to submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status.
Please check your country’s specific TPS page to see if there is any special fee information specific to your TPS designated country.
If you cannot afford the costs associated with filing, please make sure to include a fee waiver request on Form I-912, Application for Fee Waiver (or other written request). For more information about filing a fee waiver request, visit the Fee Waiver Guidance Web page.
If you are filing an initial application and USCIS denies your fee waiver request on or before the registration deadline, you may re-file and pay the correct fees either before the registration deadline or within 45 days of the date on the fee waiver denial notice, whichever is later. For more information see http://www.uscis.gov/feewaiverin the TPS section.
If you are filing a re-registration application and USCIS denies your fee waiver request on or before the re-registration deadline, you are urged to re-file and pay the correct fees before the re-registration deadline or within 45 days of the date of the fee waiver denial notice, whichever is later. If you are unable to file before the re-registration deadline, you may still re-file after the deadline and this will be reviewed under good cause for late re-registration.
For information about when and where you must file your TPS application, please see the country specific pages to the left.
Step 1: File Your Petition
Step 2: USCIS Receives Your Application
If you do not receive your receipt notice within three weeks of filing, you can call Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283 to request assistance. If your application is rejected at the initial review stage, you may re-file within the registration period after correcting the problems described in the USCIS notification.
If your application was rejected because we determined you were not eligible for a fee waiver, you may submit a new TPS package. Go to the ‘Fee Waiver’ section above for more information.
Step 3: USCIS Contacts You
In certain situations, such as when it’s impossible to take a fingerprint, USCIS can waive the collection of biometrics. In some cases, we may be able to reuse the biometrics previously collected in association with your previous TPS application. Even if you do not need to attend an ASC appointment, you still need to pay the biometrics fee (if required) to help cover costs associated with reusing your biometrics.
Step 4: Go to the ASC
If you cannot make your scheduled appointment, you may reschedule. To reschedule an ASC appointment, make a copy of your appointment notice to retain for your records, then mail the original notice with your rescheduling request to the ASC address listed on the notice. You should submit your request for rescheduling as soon as you know you have an unavoidable conflict on your scheduled ASC date. A new appointment notice will be sent to you by mail. Please note that rescheduling a biometrics appointment may cause the adjudication of your application to be delayed.
If you need an accommodation due to a disability that affects your ability to go to the ASC, please go to the Requesting Accommodations for Disabilities webpage for more information.
WARNING: If you fail to appear for your ASC appointment without rescheduling, or if you repeatedly miss scheduled ASC appointments, your TPS application could be denied for abandonment.
If there is an emergency need for you to travel abroad for humanitarian reasons, you may request expedited processing on your advance parole application (Form I-131) after you have appeared at an ASC for your biometrics appointment. Please see the travel section below for more information.
Step 5: USCIS Determines Work Eligibility
USCIS makes every effort to avoid backlogs at this step, but we urge you to remember that USCIS may experience a higher volume of applications in the first few months of a registration period.
Step 6: USCIS Adjudicates the Application
Step 7: USCIS Approves or Denies the Application
Once you are granted TPS, you must re-register during each re-registration period to maintain TPS benefits. This applies to all TPS beneficiaries, including those who were initially granted by USCIS, an Immigration Judge, or the BIA. Follow the instructions above to apply for re-registration.
Sometimes DHS must issue a blanket automatic extension of the expiring EADs for TPS beneficiaries of a specific country in order to allow time for EADs with new validity dates to be issued. If your country’s EADs have been automatically extended, it will be indicated on your country specific pages to the left.
Late Re-Registration for TPS
Late Initial Filing for TPS
To qualify to file your initial TPS application late, you must meet at least one of the late initial filing conditions below:
Please check your country-specific Web page for the dates of the initial registration period or periods that apply for late initial filing.
PLEASE NOTE: You cannot obtain TPS as a derivative because your parent or child has TPS.
If you have TPS and wish to travel outside the United States, you must apply for a travel authorization. Travel authorization for TPS is issued as an advance parole document if USCIS determines it is appropriate to approve your request. This document gives you permission to leave the United States and return during a specified period of time. To apply for advance parole, you must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (see form on right). If you leave the United States without requesting advance parole, you may lose TPS and you may not be permitted to re-enter the United States.
If USCIS is still adjudicating your TPS application, you may miss important USCIS notices, such as Requests for Additional Evidence, while you are outside the U.S. Failure to respond to these requests may result in the denial of your application.
We encourage you to read and understand the travel warning on Form I-131 before requesting advance parole, even if you have been granted TPS. If you have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for any period of time, you may want to seek legal advice before requesting advance parole for travel.
If your address changes after you file your application, you must notify USCIS immediately. For information about how to notify USCIS go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange.
Please be aware that some unauthorized practitioners may try to take advantage of you by claiming they can file TPS forms. These same individuals may ask that you pay them to file such forms. We want to ensure that all potential TPS applicants know how to obtain legitimate, accurate legal advice and assistance. A list of accredited representatives and free or low-cost legal providers is available on the USCIS website on the finding legal advice Web page.
Step 1: If an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) granted you TPS, you must provide USCIS with proof of the TPS grant (such as a final order from the IJ or final decision from the BIA) when you file for your first TPS benefit (such as an EAD, travel authorization, or with your first TPS re-registration application filed with USCIS). You should also submit a copy of the I-821 TPS application that the IJ or the BIA approved.
Step 2: See the table below for filing information based on the first TPS benefit you are requesting after an IJ or BIA granted you TPS.
Step 3: USCIS will send you a receipt notice. Once you get the receipt notice, immediately send an email to the TPS IJ grant email box at the Service Center processing your application.
These email addresses are only for individuals granted TPS by an IJ or the BIA who are requesting their first EADs, travel authorization, or re-registration. The email address is not for individual case status inquires.
If USCIS denies your application, you will be informed in the denial notice whether you have 30 days to appeal to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). In some cases, such as when TPS is denied on certain mandatory criminal or security grounds, you may not have AAO appeal rights, although you can request an immigration judge to review your TPS request if you are in removal proceedings (see below).
You may also choose to file a motion to reconsider with the Service Center that adjudicated your TPS application by submitting:
If USCIS denies your TPS application, we recommend that you consult with an accredited legal representative to determine whether you should pursue an appeal or motion. If you have been placed in removal proceedings, you may request that the immigration judge adjudicate your TPS application. If an immigration judge denies your request for TPS, you may file an appeal with the BIA.
This page can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/tps
Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/18/2013
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