What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

Those who are coming to the United States have many different types of status that can be used. One of these is known as Temporary Protected Status, or TPS. This is administered by the executive branch of the United States government.

Temporary Protected Status can be both granted and rescinded. In many cases, it is applied to a specific region for a short period of time – 6, 12 or 18 months. Later, the decision can be made whether to extend it to a further date or to remove that status from the country in question. So what is the status and how does it work?

Ongoing conflicts and risks

Essentially, the immigration act of 1990 was passed by Congress to create TPS for those who were living in countries experiencing ongoing difficulties. These could be “extraordinary and temporary” conditions, such as an environmental disaster or some type of armed conflict.

For instance, if a country was involved in a civil war, nationals from that country may feel that they cannot return home without severe risk. They can then be given Temporary Protected Status so that they are allowed to immigrate to the United States. In this sense, it is a bit similar to those who are seeking asylum, except that the status is granted to these individuals in advance and they can then apply to be recognized under it.

While civil wars and violent types of persecution are common examples, environmental disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes or major epidemics can also qualify. These conditions can ruin the living conditions in the country and make it too dangerous for people to live there. TPS is used to protect people by giving them other options.

Do you qualify?

The first thing to do is to find out if you live in a country that has already been granted Temporary Protected Status. If you do, then you need to know how to apply and what legal steps to take.

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