3 things to know about temporary protected status

People sometimes want to come to the United States to be away from traumatic situations in their home country. The U.S. is well known for offering asylum, but there’s also another program that enables some to come here.

Temporary protected status is another option that’s available to some individuals who are currently in the U.S. and unable to return to their home country due to severe conditions. There are very strict terms that must be met in order to qualify.

1: Only specific countries qualify

The Department of Homeland Security determines when countries qualify for TPS and for how long. As of November 2023, countries that qualify for TPS include:

  • Afghanistan
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Cameroon
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopia
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Syria
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan
  • Ukraine
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

A country can only be eligible for TPS if there are things, such as armed conflict, extraordinary but temporary conditions or natural disasters.

2: Time limits are strict

There are time limits for how long the protections offered by TPS last. These time limits also include limits for registering and re-registering your presence in the U.S. Anyone who misses the deadlines can be deemed ineligible for TPS.

3: No direct citizenship path

TPS isn’t a direct pathway to U.S. citizenship. While people who are in this country under this program can work and can have travel permissions, they’re still limited when it comes to other facets of life as an immigrant in the U.S.

Because TPS is such a strict program, it’s best to have someone on your side who can assist you with the process. This is especially important for anyone who has a circumstance that could potentially disqualify them.

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