Temporary Protected Status announced for new countries

Last updated on December 6, 2022

Good News! Immigrants from more countries can now apply for a form of protection from deportation called Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

This post explains what TPS is, what countries currently have TPS, and how to apply.  If you are interested in applying for TPS for the first time, you need to apply before the deadlines listed below.

What is TPS?

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

TPS is temporary and does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or citizenship. 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 countries has the U.S. government announced new protections for?

  • Afghanistan: Immigrants from Afghanistan who have been in the United States since March 15, 2022 can now apply for TPS. USCIS must receive your TPS application for Afghanistan by November 20, 2023. Learn more here.
  • Burma (Myanmar): Immigrants from Burma who have been in the United States since September 25, 2022 can now apply for TPS. If you already have TPS for Burma and you would like to keep your TPS, USCIS must receive your TPS application by November 26, 2022. If you are applying for TPS for Burma for the first time, USCIS must receive your TPS application by May 25, 2024. Learn more here.
  • Cameroon: Immigrants from Cameroon who have been in the United States since April 14, 2022 can now apply for TPS. USCIS must receive your TPS application for Cameroon by December 7, 2023. Learn more here. Another organization may be able to assist you in applying for TPS for Cameroon. Sign up here.
  • Haiti: Immigrants from Haiti who have been in the United States since November 6, 2022 can now apply for TPS. USCIS must receive your TPS application for Haiti by August 3, 2024. Learn more here.
  • Somalia:  Immigrants from Somalia who have been in the United States since July 19, 2021 can now apply for TPS. USCIS must receive your TPS application for Somalia by March 17, 2023. Learn more here.
  • South Sudan: Immigrants from South Sudan who have been in the United States since March 1, 2022 can now apply for TPS. USCIS must receive your TPS application for South Sudan by November 3, 2023. Learn more here.
  • Sudan: Immigrants from Sudan who have been in the United States since March 1, 2022 can now apply for TPS. USCIS must receive your TPS application for Sudan by October 19, 2023. Learn more here.
  • Syria: Immigrants from Syria who have been in the United States since July 28, 2022 can now apply for TPS. If you are applying for TPS for Syria for the first time, USCIS must receive your TPS application by March 31, 2024. Learn more here.
  • Ukraine: Immigrants from Ukraine who have been in the United States since April 11, 2022 can now apply for TPS. USCIS must receive your TPS application for Ukraine by October 19, 2023. Learn more here.
  • Venezuela: If you already have TPS for Venezuela and you would like to keep your TPS, USCIS must receive your TPS application by November 7, 2022. Learn more here. You can also watch this video created by USCIS for more information about TPS.
  • Yemen: Immigrants from Yemen who have been in the United States since July 5, 2021 can now apply for TPS. USCIS must receive your TPS application for Yemen by March 3, 2023. Learn more here.
  • Hong Kong: Immigrants from Hong Kong who have been in the United States since August 5, 2021 may be able to receive a different form of protection from deportation called Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). DED is different from TPS and you can learn more here.
  • Liberia: Immigrants from Liberia who have been in the United States since May 20, 2017 may be able to receive a different form of protection from deportation called Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). DED is different from TPS and you can 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.

Recently, the U.S. government announced that immigrants from some countries will automatically have their TPS extended. If you already have TPS, you can visit the USCIS website here and click on your country to learn more.

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.

Is there a fee for TPS?

Yes, there is a fee for applying for TPS. The fee amount depends on your age, whether you are registering for TPS for the first time or re-registering, and whether you are applying for a work permit at the same time. You will need to include the correct fee with your application. If you cannot pay the fee, you can submit a fee waiver request. Please go to this USCIS webpage and look under “Filing Fee” for the correct fee amount.

If you are an ASAP member, your ASAP membership does not affect the fee for TPS. In other words, even if you are an ASAP member, you still have to pay the correct fee for TPS, or submit a fee waiver request.

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 residence, and TPS does not.  Learn more about asylum here.

If I apply for TPS, do I still have to go to my scheduled immigration court hearings?

Yes. If you have a case in immigration court, it is very important to attend your immigration court hearings, even if you are pursuing TPS at the same time. If you miss a hearing, you will most likely receive a deportation order. Go here to check your next immigration court hearing.

Please note that this answer only applies if you have a case in immigration court. Not everyone does, it depends on your specific case!

I am applying for TPS. When do I qualify for a work permit?

You are eligible to apply for a work permit if you have applied for TPS and you are waiting for TPS approval. In fact, you can submit an application for a work permit at the same time that you submit your application for TPS.

People who are approved for TPS are automatically allowed to work in the United States while their TPS is valid. Even though it is not required, you may still wish to apply for a work permit as proof of your identity and proof you can legally work in the United States.

You can learn more about the process to apply for a work permit based on TPS.

How long will it take to receive an initial work permit if I apply based on TPS?

It is taking a long time for people to receive work permits based on TPS. These delays are affecting people who have already been approved for TPS and people who have applied for TPS and are waiting for approval. You can use this USCIS tool to check how long it typically takes USCIS to process different types of work permits. You can find more instructions explaining how to use the tool here.

If you are applying for both asylum and TPS, you may be able to receive a work permit faster if you submit a work permit application based on asylum, instead of TPS. As of June 2022, work permit applications based on asylum are being processed more quickly than work permit applications based on TPS. You can learn more about the process to apply for a work permit based on asylum. You may also wish to look for legal assistance.

How long will it take to renew my work permit based on TPS?

It is taking a long time for USCIS to renew work permits based on TPS. However, once you submit your work permit renewal application, you can still use your work permit for 540 days after the original expiration date. Read more about the 540-day automatic extension here.

In addition, USCIS has automatically extended the expiration date on work permits based on TPS for certain countries. This means you may not need to apply for a work permit renewal until a later date. To learn if your work permit has been automatically extended by USCIS, go to the following USCIS website and select your country from the left side of the screen.

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.

The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) will do our best to keep our website updated with current information.

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