Overview of Temporary Protected Status

When conditions in a foreign country temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning home safely, the United States may designate that country for temporary protected status (TPS). TPS allows a national of a designated country who is present in the U.S. to remain in the U.S. for a temporary, specified period. The types of conditions that can give rise to a TPS designation include the following: armed conflicts, environmental disasters, epidemics, earthquakes, and other extraordinary, temporary conditions.

Eligibility for Temporary Protected Status

Each TPS-designated country has a specific application window to apply for an initial grant of TPS. In general, to be eligible for TPS an individual must be a national of a TPS-designated country, apply for, and if applicable, re-register for TPS during the country’s specific registration window, have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since the country’s most recent designation date, and have continuously resided in the U.S. since the date specified for the country. An exception can be made for both the continuous physical presence and residence requirement under certain circumstances for brief or casual trips outside of the U.S. An individual may be ineligible for TPS due to prior criminal matters, certain security-related grounds of inadmissibility, or if the individual is subject to a mandatory bar to asylum, in addition to failing to meet the basic eligibility requirements or having firmly established residency in a third country.

Maintaining Temporary Protected Status Eligibility

Each grant of TPS designation for a particular country is of limited duration. Therefore, to maintain TPS benefits, an individual must re-register for TPS during each TPS re-registration period for the individual’s country. Country specific registration dates are listed on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

Benefits of Temporary Protected Status

An individual granted TPS is generally not subject to removal (i.e., deportation) from the U.S. and is eligible to apply for work and travel authorization. Moreover, TPS designation alone does not prevent an individual from applying for or changing nonimmigrant status, filing for adjustment of status, or applying for any other immigration benefit. Additionally, an individual may hold both TPS designation and a nonimmigrant status at the same time.

Temporary Protected Status and Adjustment of Status

Eligibility for adjustment of status requires that an individual was inspected and lawfully admitted or paroled into to the U.S. and in most cases, (except for an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen), that the applicant is either in valid nonimmigrant status or has been paroled into the U.S. USCIS guidance dictates that if a TPS holder departs and returns to the U.S. on or after July 1, 2022, using a TPS travel authorization form I-512T, the individual is considered inspected and admitted for the purposes of adjustment of status, even if the individual initially entered the U.S. without inspection prior to being granted TPS.

If a TPS holder entered the U.S. with a TPS travel authorization between August 20, 2020 and June 30, 2022, the USCIS may, at its discretion, retroactively apply the current policy. A TPS holder who entered the U.S. prior to August 20, 2020 with a TPS travel document is generally deemed inspected and admitted for adjustment of status eligibility.


The U.S. has a proud tradition of offering humanitarian relief to foreign nationals during emergency situations. The ability for a foreign national impacted by an emergency at home to live, work, and travel to and from the U.S. during trying times should offer at least a modicum of relief and protection to those who are unable to return home.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.