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​​​​​​​​Welcome to the LSNJLAWSM website, provided by Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ). LSNJ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit offering free legal advice to low-income people in New Jersey. Find legal information by clicking on a legal topic or typing a few words into the search box. ​

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Immigration
Temporary Protected Status Information

What is Temporary Protected Status?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary benefit. It does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status, but it does provide some protections.

For a specified period of time, people who have been approved for TPS or appear to be eligible upon initial review of their cases:

  • Cannot be removed from the United States
  • Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
  • May be granted travel authorization

Also, an individual who has been granted TPS and does not violate the terms of the status cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States.

Who Can Get TPS?

The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate an entire country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to conditions in the country that make it unsafe to return, such as:

  • Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
  • An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions

USCIS may also grant TPS to eligible nationals of those countries (or parts of countries), who are already residing in the United States, or to those without nationality who last resided in the designated country.

To be eligible for TPS, you must:

  • Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;
  • File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation;
  • Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country; and
  • Have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country. The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When you apply or re-register for TPS, you must inform USCIS of all absences from the United States since the CPP and CR dates. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.

You may NOT be eligible for TPS or to maintain your existing TPS if you:

  • Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States;
  • Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;
  • Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum. These include, but are not limited to, participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity;
  • Fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements; 
  • Fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements; or
  • If granted TPS, you fail to re-register for TPS, as required, without good cause.

How does TPS affect other applications for immigration status?

If you register for TPS, you may still:

  • Apply for nonimmigrant status
  • File for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition
  • Apply for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible

PLEASE NOTE: To be granted any other immigration benefit you must still meet all the eligibility requirements for that particular benefit.  An application for TPS does not affect an application for asylum or any other immigration benefit and vice versa. Denial of an application for asylum or any other immigration benefit does not affect your ability to register for TPS, although the grounds of denial of that application may also lead to denial of TPS.

Which countries have been designated for TPS?

A complete list of countries designated for TPS and relevant deadlines and evidentiary guidelines can be found on the USCIS website.

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7/17/2017