What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) allows individuals from certain countries to remain in the United States if it is unsafe for them to return to their home country due to a humanitarian emergency there. For example, the federal government may designate a country for TPS if there is an armed conflict (e.g., civil war) or a natural disaster (e.g., earthquake). TPS enables recipients to work in the United States lawfully, and protects them from deportation as long as the TPS designation is in effect.

In order to receive TPS, applicants must prove that they have lived continuously in the United States since a date specified by the federal government. Countries come up for TPS re-designation at 6 to 18-month intervals, at which point the federal government again makes a determination about whether a given country can absorb its returning nationals safely.

Recipients must re-register for TPS if a TPS designation is extended, or in some cases ended. Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website for additional information about TPS.

The countries currently designated for TPS include:

  • El Salvador (subject to termination on September 9, 2019)
  • Haiti (subject to termination on July 22, 2019)
  • Honduras
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua (subject to termination on January 5, 2019)
  • Somalia
  • Sudan (subject to termination on November 2, 2018)
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Yemen

Recent Decision: Termination of TPS for El Salvador

The Trump Administration announced on January 8, 2017 that it would terminate TPS for El Salvador. This means that the estimated 195,000 Salvadorans in the United States who now have TPS will lose legal status on September 9, 2019.

Individuals will have to re-register for TPS in order to remain lawfully in the country until September 9, 2019. Otherwise their TPS status will expire on March 9, 2018.

Instructions for how to re-register for TPS will appear on the USCIS website for TPS for El Salvador.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Temporary Protected Status program ending?

The TPS program is still in effect. However, the Trump Administration has voiced its intent to limit or end TPS for some countries. This means some TPS holders may lose lawful status and their ability to work lawfully, and may become at risk of being deported.

Each country has a different expiration date for TPS. The federal government is required to announce a determination at least 60 days before the expiration date of TPS for a given country.

The federal government is expected to make announcements about the future of TPS for individual countries in the coming weeks and months. By law, the determinations must be made on a country-by-country basis. It is important for you to track when your TPS is set to expire. If you currently have TPS, you will have lawful status and work authorization until the date on which your TPS expires.

Where can I find out more about changes to TPS?

You should continue to check the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website for additional information about TPS and any changes to TPS.

I'm worried that the federal government might not extend my TPS. What should I do?

Now is the time to look into what your legal options might be. You may be eligible for other forms of immigration relief. It is very important for you to get a legal consultation with a trusted legal services provider.

How can I avoid fraud while I am seeking immigration legal help?

Beware of unlicensed immigration service providers who take advantage of their customers. Get help only from a trusted, licensed attorney or an accredited representative. Only lawyers or those who have gotten permission from the Department of Justice can give legal advice. For questions about this, or to report fraud, call the New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 between 9am-8pm, on Monday through Friday, or call 311.

If I lose TPS, will I still have access to City services?

Yes. Most services provided by the City are available to all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status, including:

Additional Resources for TPS Recipients

Get connected to free, confidential legal help.
The City provides free, confidential immigrant legal services. Call 311 and say "ActionNYC," to make an appointment with a provider in your community and in your language.

If you're feeling anxious, stressed or depressed – help is available.
It’s normal to feel anxiety and stress. ThriveNYC will give you access to mental health supports in your language. Call 1-888-NYC-WELL, text “WELL” to 65173, or go online to nyc.gov/nycwell.

Stay connected – get an IDNYC.
IDNYC is a free, official government-issued identification card recognized in City buildings, public schools and by the NYPD. Call 311 and say "IDNYC" or visit nyc.gov/idnyc to make an appointment.

How can I get involved?

  • Volunteer with the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. Visit nyc.gov/MOIAVolunteer or call 212-788-7654 during business hours, Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm.
  • Inform & Engage: Invite the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs to your community for a "Know Your Rights Forum." Visit nyc.gov/InviteMOIA or call 212-788-7654 during business hours, Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm.