Temporary Protected Status
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of designated countries (or parts thereof). In 1990, as part of the Immigration Act of 1990 (“IMMACT”), P.L. 101-649, Congress established a procedure by which the Attorney General may provide TPS to aliens in the United States who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, the temporary effects of an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. On March 1, 2003, pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, the authority to designate a country (or part thereof) for TPS, and to extend and terminate TPS designations, was transferred from the Attorney General to the Secretary of Homeland Security. At the same time, responsibility for administering the TPS program was transferred from the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (Service) to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
During the period for which a country has been designated under the TPS program, TPS beneficiaries may remain in the United States and may obtain work authorization. However, TPS does not lead to permanent resident status. When the TPS designation of a country is terminated, beneficiaries revert to the same immigration status they maintained before TPS (unless that status had since expired or been terminated) or to any other status they may have acquired while registered for TPS. Accordingly, if an alien had unlawful status prior to receiving TPS and did not obtain any status during the TPS period, the alien reverts to unlawful status upon the termination of that TPS designation.