Fact Sheet: Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is granted by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (Secretary) to eligible foreign-born individuals who are unable to return home safely due to conditions or circumstances preventing their country from adequately handling the return.

When can the Secretary designate a country for TPS?

The Secretary can designate a country for TPS due to:

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

Who is eligible for TPS?

TPS can be granted to an individual who is a national of a designated country, has filed for status during a specified registration period, and who has been continuously physically present in the U.S. since a designated date.

What are the benefits of TPS?

During a designated period, TPS holders are:

  • Not removable from the U.S. and not detainable by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status,
  • Eligible for an employment authorization document (EAD), and
  • Eligible for travel authorization.

How many individuals are currently granted TPS?

The U.S. currently provides TPS to over 400,000 foreign nationals from the following countries:

Country Estimated Number
El Salvador 247,697
Honduras 79,415
Haiti 55,338
Nepal 14,550
Syria 6,934
Nicaragua 4,421
Yemen 1,646
Sudan 774
Somalia 455
South Sudan 96

Where do TPS holders live?

TPS holders reside all over the United States. The largest populations of TPS holders live in California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Maryland. Most TPS holders from El Salvador live in the Washington, DC (32,359), Los Angeles (30,415) and New York (23,168) metropolitan areas. Honduran TPS holders live mostly in the New York (8,818), Miami (7,467) and Houston (6,060) metropolitan areas. Haitian TPS holders live mainly in the Miami (16,287), New York (9,402) and Boston (4,302) metropolitan areas.

When do TPS designations expire?

 

Country

Most Recent Designation Date Secretary’s Decision Due Expiration Date Or Extension Date Due to Litigation DHS Automatic Extension of Documentation Expiration Date
Sudan 5/3/2013 N/A 11/2/2018 1/4/2021
Nicaragua 1/5/1999 N/A 1/5/2019 1/4/2021
Nepal 6/24/2015 N/A 6/24/2019 1/4/2021
Haiti 7/23/2011 N/A 7/22/2019 1/4/2021
El Salvador 3/9/2001 N/A 9/9/2019 1/4/2021
Honduras 1/5/1999 N/A 1/5/2020 1/4/2021
Syria 8/1/2016 1/20/2021 3/21/2021 N/A
Yemen 3/4/2017 7/5/2021 9/3/2021 N/A
Somalia 9/18/2012 7/19/2021 9/17/2021 N/A
South Sudan 5/3/2016 03/4/2022 5/2/2022 N/A

The Secretary can extend TPS after a review of country conditions. A decision concerning a 6, 12 or 18 month extension must be made at least 60-days before the TPS designation is set to expire. TPS extensions only apply to those who already have TPS status. Foreign nationals who arrive after the designated start date are only made eligible for status if TPS is re-designated for their country.

For example, the Secretary has let TPS expire for Honduras, Nepal, El SalvadorHaitiSudan and Nicaragua, but in September 2020 it chose to extend TPS for eligible immigrants from South Sudan through May 2022.

What will happen to TPS holders whose countries’ designations were terminated?

It is unclear due to litigation. Currently several lawsuits challenging the terminations of TPS are pending. Termination of TPS for Haiti, Honduras, and Nepal are currently blocked by court issued preliminary injunctions.

On September 15, 2020 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the termination of TPS for El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Sudan to proceed but that decision will be appealed, and deportations will not proceed until March 2021 at the earliest. Ramos v Nielsen was filed in March 2018 on behalf of over 250,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan, alleging the government’s termination of TPS was unlawful. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned the lower court’s preliminary injunction staying the termination of TPS for the four countries.

On February 10, 2019, a group of Nepali and Honduran TPS holders filed a separate lawsuit claiming that the termination of the two countries’ TPS designations violated the law. On March 12, 2019, a federal district court in California temporarily stayed the termination of TPS for Nepal and Honduras and consolidated the case with Ramos v. Nielsen. A third lawsuit, Saget v. Trump, challenges the termination of TPS for Haitians. In that case, a federal court judge in New York on April 11, 2019 issued a preliminary injunction blocking the termination of TPS for Haitians. That case is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

On November 4, 2019, DHS issued a notice in the Federal Register that extended the validity of TPS documentation for TPS holders from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan until January 4, 2021 while litigation is on-going. DHS will continue to extend the validity of these immigration documents in nine-month intervals. Once the litigation is completed, and if the courts have issued a final ruling that the terminations were proper, DHS will allow for a 365-day “orderly transition” period for those from El Salvador and a 120-day period for those from all other countries before deportations would begin.

How do TPS holders contribute to our economy?

TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti contribute a combined $4.5 billion in pre-tax wages or salary income annually to our nation’s gross domestic product. The total Social Security and Medicare contributions of those individuals is estimated at more than $6.9 billion over a ten year span.

Where do TPS holders work?

An estimated 130,000 TPS holders are working as “essential critical infrastructure workers” working shoulder to shoulder with Americans during the coronavirus pandemic and helping with our economic recovery in a number of industries including healthcare and food services.

According to a 2017 survey of TPS holders from El Salvador and Honduras, overall 88.5% are working — 94% of men and 82% of women. Male TPS holders work in the following sector or occupation: construction/painting (23%), driving/delivery (13.7%), cleaning buildings or houses (7.3%), gardener (5.4%), cook (3.9%), or store clerk (2.5%). Female TPS holders are concentrated in cleaning buildings or houses (27.9%), childcare (6.6%), cooking (5.2%), clothing factory work (4%), or store clerk (3.8%).

 

Related Topics

Legal Immigration The Undocumented

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