How Do I Apply For Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

If you are applying for TPS for the first time, you must complete USCIS Form I-821  (Application for Temporary Protected Status) and submit a filing fee, supporting  evidence of identity and nationality, proof of residence, and, if you are age 14 or older, a  fee for biometric services. If you are between the ages of 14 and 65 and want  employment authorization, you should also complete and submit USCIS Form I-765  (Application for Employment Authorization) with the appropriate fee. Applicants who  already have or do not wish to receive employment authorization still must submit a  completed USCIS Form I-765 with their Form I-821, but without the accompanying fee.  If you are over the age of 14, you will be called by the USCIS for biometrics after you  send in your application.  If you are granted TPS, you must re-register with the USCIS  for each period that your TPS benefits are extended.

What are the TPS eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for TPS a person must:

  1. Be a national of one of the seven designated countries eligible for TPS.
  2. File during the initial registration, re-registration or meet the late filing requirements.
  3. Be continuously physically present in the United States and continuously residing in the U.S. since the date the country was designated for TPS.

Exceptions to the continuous physical presence and residence include brief, casual and innocent absence due to emergency or extenuating circumstances outside the TPS applicant’s control. Certain factors affect TPS eligibility, including:

  • Failing to timely file the TPS application either through the initial or late registration period;
  • Failing to re-register for TPS extension during the registration period, without showing good cause;
  • Inadmissible due to non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;
  • Convicted of any felony or two misdemeanors in the United States.
  • Failing to meet the requirements of continuous physical presence and continuous residence inside the United States. 

What are the conditions for TPS status?

The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a country for TPS for the following conditions:

  • There’s an ongoing armed conflict in that country;
  • Environmental disaster such as earthquake, flood, drought, epidemic;
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

Seven (7) countries are currently designated for TPS and include: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan.

How do I know if my Immigration problem involves the Department of State, USCIS, or the Department of Labor?

The answer depends on whether the problem involves a visa, a petition requesting permission to enter the United States, or labor certification.If the problem involves a visa, it probably involves the Department of State, which is the only federal agency than can issue a visa. There are two types of visas:

  • Nonimmigrant Visa: a multicolored stamp placed in the passport, allowing the bearer to enter the United States temporarily for a specific purpose, identifies this visa.
  • Immigrant Visa: not stamped in a passport, but is a packet of documents surrendered to an immigration officer at the port of entry. The packet includes an approved petition filed by an individual, a business or an organization (such as a religious group) seeking to sponsor an immigrant's entry into this country.

If the problem involves a petition requesting permission to enter the United States as an immigrant, or under certain circumstances, as a nonimmigrant, such as for employment or as a fiancé, the situation involves USCIS. If the problem involves labor certification, it involves the Department of Labor.

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