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How to apply for TPS (Temporary Protected Status)

How to Apply for TPS

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Last updated: April 1, 2024.

By Asel Williams, Esq. · Columbia Law School · Licensed immigration attorney

What is TPS? (Temporary Protected Status)

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a humanitarian benefit that was first introduced in the U.S. in 1990. 

The Department of Homeland Security has the authority to designate TPS for nationals of a particular country who are physically present in the U.S. and unable to return to their home countries due to:

  • Ongoing armed conflict within the country that will make the return of nationals to that country a serious threat to their personal safety;
  • An environmental disaster where the country is unable to adequately handle returning nationals;
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions in the state that prevent nationals from returning safely.

In order to be eligible for TPS the foreign national must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a national of a foreign state designated for TPS status;
  • Has been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation of that foreign country;
  • Has continuously resided in the United States since such date as the Secretary of Homeland Security may have designated;
  • Is admissible as an immigrant;
  • Registers for TPS during the initial registration period announced by DHS or during any subsequent extension of such designation if, during the initial registration period, the applicant is a nonimmigrant or has been granted voluntary departure or other relief from removal; or has an application for change of status, adjustment of status, asylum, voluntary departure, or any relief from removal that is pending or subject to further review or appeal; is a parolee; or is a spouse or child of someone currently eligible for TPS;
  • Must not be firmly resettled in a third country.

If a foreign national is granted TPS, they will not be deported during the designated TPS period and will be granted employment authorization for a period of one year or for the duration of the TPS period, whichever is shorter. 

If TPS is extended, the employment authorization may be extended for additional 18 months. TPS rules are subject to change. 

Who is eligible for TPS?

Current TPS designated countries:

The list of countries eligible for TPS can change over time, and new designations may be made, while others may be terminated.

Please visit the USCIS website for the up-to-date TPS information.

How to apply for TPS

If you want to apply for TPS, you will need to file the following forms with USCIS:

As part of the application process, you are also required to submit biometrics at an Application Support Center. 

Note: Form I-765 must be submitted even if the applicant doesn’t need the employment authorization document (EAD). In this case no government fee will be charged for EAD.

If TPS is granted, it will be valid for a period of six, twelve, or eighteen months and will be eligible for extension as long as TPS designation continues for the particular country. 

TPS extensions or terminations are announced 60 days prior to TPS expiration on USCIS website.

If there is no published announcement, the TPS will be automatically extended for six months, and there is no limit on the number of extensions.

TPS Application Deadline

Applications for TPS must be submitted during the period specifically stated for your particular TPS country. 

Exceptions to timely filing are provided below.

Late applications can be submitted within 60 days following the expiration or termination of any of the following conditions:

  • The applicant is a nonimmigrant or has been granted voluntary departure status or any relief from removal;
  • The applicant has an application for change of status, adjustment of status, asylum, voluntary departure, or any relief from removal that is pending or subject to further review or appeal;
  • The applicant is a parolee or has a pending request for reparole; or
  • The applicant is a spouse or child of an alien currently eligible to be a TPS registrant.

USCIS may also accept a late re-registration if the TPS applicant can show a good cause for late filing. 

If you are filing your late re-registration, then you must submit a letter explaining the reason for filing late, along with the supporting documents.

TPS Checklist of Required Documents

Type of documentExamples of documentsWho provides it
Proof of identity and nationality of the TPS country

Provide as many documents as possible:

  • Passport;
  • Birth certificate;
  • Government-issued ID (e.g., state identity documents, driver’s license, military identity documents, or public educational documents, etc.);
  • If the above documents are not available, please submit an affidavit proving your attempts to obtain identity documents and affirming that you are a national of the designated country.
  • TPS applicant
Proof of Date of Entry and Residence in the U.S.

Documents showing that you have entered, and continuously resided in the U.S. since a date specified by DHS:

  • Payroll stubs, W-2 forms, copies of the filed tax returns
  • Employment verification letters on company’s letterhead with employer’s signature and the specific dates of applicant’s employment;
  • Bank statements, money transfer receipts, money orders
  • Utility bills, rental lease agreements
  • Auto registration documents
  • Receipts for services, deeds, mortgages, contracts, insurance policies, financial services received by an applicant in the U.S.
  • Medical bills, prescriptions, hospital records, or medical records of the applicant’s children
  • Birth certificates of children born in the U.S. if the applicant is the mother or father of the child;
  • School records of the applicant or their child or children (for example, academic report cards, letters, enrollment applications, etc.) if the child attended a school in the U.S.;
  • Affidavits from churches, unions, and other community organizations confirming an applicant’s residence in the U.S.
  • TPS applicant

TPS Filing Fees

The filing fee you must pay depends on the following factors:

Below you will find the current TPS filing fees:

TPS Filing CategoryPaper Filing Fee
If you are filing for initial registration.$50 plus additional fees
Submitted through USCIS-recognized state or local government legal services clinics hosted through June 30, 2024.$0 (no additional fees)
If you are filing for re-registration.$0 plus additional fees

Additional Fees:

Biometrics Services Fee


Certain applicants may be eligible for a Fee Waiver. Learn more: Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, Instructions.

TPS filing fees are subject to change.

For the latest fees and methods of payment, visit USCIS TPS Filing Fees page.

Can TPS recipients travel outside the U.S.?

TPS recipients can apply for Advance parole which will allow them to travel outside of the U.S. 

Individuals who travel on advance parole and return to the U.S. before the expiration date of their advance parole are generally admitted in the same TPS status.

Keep in mind that it is recommended to consider all risks associated with travel abroad while you are in TPS status.

We recommend that you consult an immigration attorney before departing the U.S.

What Happens After TPS Expires?

When TPS status terminates, the TPS recipient’s status reverts back to the immigration status they held at the time TPS was granted.

Recipients will be considered out of status if the earlier status has expired and no new status has been approved.

Keep in mind that foreign nationals who have no status after TPS status has expired are subject to removal (deportation).

Related Links:

Employment Authorization Document – Form I-765

Advance Parole