Temporary Protected Status Announced for Venezuela, Burma, and Syria

Last updated: March 18, 2021. 

Good News: In March 2021, the Biden Administration announced that immigrants from Venezuela, Burma (Myanmar), and Syria can now apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States! This post explains what TPS is, what countries currently have TPS, and how to apply.  If you are interested in applying for TPS from Venezuela, Burma, or Syria you need to apply before the deadlines listed below. ASAP will do our best to keep our website updated with current information about TPS.

What is TPS? 

Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) is a temporary immigration status provided to individuals from specific countries that are experiencing problems such as war or natural disasters. The U.S. government decides what countries should receive TPS.

What are the benefits of TPS? 

If you receive TPS, you:

  • Cannot be deported from the United States while the TPS is valid
  • Can apply for a work permit
  • Can apply for permission to travel outside of the United States and then return

Note: TPS is temporary and does not lead to lawful permanent resident status. However, the U.S. government can decide to extend TPS, so the status can be valid for many years.

Who can receive TPS? 

To receive TPS, you must be from a specific country that is designated by the U.S. government and already be located in the United States at a specific date. You also have to submit an application by a specific date, and re-register if the TPS for your country is extended. The dates are different for each country with TPS. Some people may be able to apply or re-register for TPS late, but you should talk to a lawyer about that possibility.

If you have a criminal history, you should speak to a lawyer before applying for TPS, because some crimes will prevent you from receiving TPS.

What new countries have TPS and when do I have to apply?

  • Venezuela: Immigrants from Venezuela who have been in the United States since March 9, 2021 can now apply for TPS. You must submit a TPS application for Venezuela by September 5, 2021. Learn more here.
  • Burma (Myanmar): Immigrants from Burma who have been in the United States since March 11, 2021 can now apply for TPS. The U.S. government has not shared details yet, but you can read the announcement here.
  • Syria: Immigrants from Syria who have been in the United States since March 31, 2021 can now apply for TPS. You must submit an initial TPS application for Syria by September 15, 2021. If you already had TPS from Syria and you want to keep your TPS, you must re-register by May 18, 2021. Learn more here.

What other countries have TPS? 

Some people from the countries below received TPS in the past because they were in the United States on specific dates and have remained in the U.S. since then. For more details on TPS from these countries, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website here or click the links below.

How long does TPS last? 

TPS can be granted for 6 months, 1 year, or 18 months. When the TPS for a specific country is about to expire, the U.S. government decides whether to extend it for another 6 to 18 months, or end it. The government can extend TPS for a country as many times as it wants. This page has information on upcoming deadlines.

How do you apply for TPS? 

To apply for TPS, you can submit an application to USCIS. You can find the application with instructions on the USCIS website here. Scroll down to the “What to File” section to learn more about the required documents.

Can you apply for both asylum and TPS? 

Yes. You can consider applying for both asylum and TPS, if you qualify. Asylum has a pathway to permanent residency, and TPS does not. We recommend you speak to a lawyer about your specific case.

Will the Biden Administration add more countries that qualify for TPS? 

We do not know! Many people and organizations are fighting for more countries to be added. We will do our best to keep this website updated with news.

You can read more about TPS here

Note: This information is not a substitute for advice from an attorney.