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An immigrant's guide: what does temporary protected status (TPS) protect against and how long can you live with it in America

TPS (Temporary Protected Status) - a status that gives a foreigner temporary protection from deportation from the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintains a list of countries whose citizens can obtain Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in America. A country is included in this list if its conditions temporarily prevent the safe return of its citizens or if it cannot adequately manage their return to their home country. TPS is available to eligible citizens of certain countries (or parts of countries) if they are already in the United States at the time the decision to add the country to the TPS list is made.

A country may be listed for TPS if it has the following conditions:

  1. ongoing armed conflict;
  2. Natural disaster (such as an earthquake or hurricane) or an epidemic
  3. Other emergency and temporary conditions

In the case of each individual country, the TPS is assigned for a specific period. During this period, citizens of this country who are in the United States and have received TPS (this is not an automatic status, it requires an application and following the procedure):

  • protected from deportation;
  • can get a work permit (EAD)
  • may obtain permission to travel outside the United States and re-enter the country.

Once a TPS has been granted, a person also cannot be detained by immigration agents based on their immigration status.

TPS is a temporary protection against deportation, which is not an immigration status in the United States and does not give the right to permanently live in America. However, if you have TPS, you can apply for nonimmigrant or immigrant status, as well as asylum (if you qualify).

Having a TPS does not affect your asylum or other status. Denial of an asylum application or any other immigration status does not affect your eligibility for TPS, although reasons for rejecting your application may also result in your TPS being denied.

Citizens of 13 countries are currently eligible for TPS in the United States. From the post-Soviet in the list - Ukraine. Ukrainians are eligible to apply about protection against deportation (namely, it is provided by TPS) if they were in the United States on April 11, 2022. Protection can be granted until October 19, 2023. Further, the US Department of Homeland Security can either extend or terminate the program for Ukrainians.

A brief summary of the main characteristics:
  • The right to live in the US - yes, during the TPS period
  • The right to work in the USA - yes
  • The right to transport relatives to America - no
  • Eligibility for citizenship in the future – no
  • The right to serve in the US military - no
  • The right to leave the United States and return - yes, but you must first obtain special permission
  • U.S. Benefits Eligibility - Selected Benefits Only
  • Eligibility for a driver's license and SSN - no

More information about TPS is fashionable to find here.

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