Immigration Decoded

Published — January 8, 2018 Updated — April 27, 2018 at 3:20 pm ET

TPS 101: What you need to know


  • What is TPS?
    TPS, or temporary protected status, is a designation Congress created in 1990. It allows individuals from certain countries to apply, if they are already in the United States, for temporary U.S. status if their home countries suffer a disaster — including armed conflicts or civil wars, environmental disasters, epidemics, or other extraordinary and temporary situations. TPS has also been granted or extended if a country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.
  • Who oversees TPS?
    The Department of Homeland Security controls whether nationals of a country are eligible to apply for TPS.
  • What does it mean to have TPS?
    Eligible individuals are protected from deportation by the U.S., and they cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of immigration status. They can obtain work permits and travel authorization.
  • What countries does the TPS program currently cover?
    Individuals already in the United States prior to a crisis or disaster who are from Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and, pending review, Honduras. TPS is set to expire for individuals from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Sudan.
  • What impact does TPS have on someone’s immigration status?
    TPS does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or any other immigration status. People with TPS can still attempt to apply to adjust to permanent legal status, but qualifications are narrow.

Source: Department of Homeland Security, Citizen and Immigration Services

Read more in Inequality, Opportunity and Poverty

Share this article

Join the conversation

Show Comments

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments