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 (civil war) or a natural disaster (earthquake). TPS grants recipients the ability to work in the United States lawfully, and protects them from deportation.

Countries come up for TPS re-designation at 6-18-month intervals, at which point the federal government again makes a determination about whether a given country can absorb its returning nationals safely. If a TPS designation is extended, recipients must re-apply for TPS.


Which countries are currently designated for TPS?

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

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. They must undergo a criminal and security background check. TPS holders must reapply and undergo background checks every 6 to 18 months if the designation is renewed, paying substantial fees each time.

 

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 become at risk of being deported. The federal government is expected to make announcements about the future of TPS for individual countries in the coming days and weeks. The determinations are likely to be made on a country-by-country basis.

There are an estimated 300,000-400,000 TPS recipients in the United States, with the majority from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. TPS recipients work here, pay taxes, and contribute to our communities every day. Many TPS recipients’ families have lived in the United States for over 20 years, have U.S. citizen children, and own homes and businesses that provide jobs for U.S. citizens. Ending TPS would damage our economy, tear our communities and families apart, and return people to dangerous, life-threatening conditions.

 

What recent decisions has the federal government announced about TPS?

Each individual 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. Of the current TPS beneficiary countries, Nicaragua, Honduras, Sudan, and South Sudan were most recently up for re-designation. The federal government’s decisions as to those countries were as follows:

Nicaragua

  • On November 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that TPS for Nicaragua would be terminated, with a delay of 12 months.
  • TPS for Nicaraguans will now end on January 5, 2019.
  • In order to retain TPS and be eligible to work until January 5, 2019, current TPS recipients from Nicaragua will need to re-apply for a work permit.   
  • Further information about how and when to re-apply will be forthcoming.
  • Continue to visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website on TPS for Nicaragua for additional information.
  • To speak with a free, safe legal services provider, call 311 and say “ActionNYC.”

Honduras

  • On November 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that TPS for Honduras would be extended for six months through July 5, 2018.
  • A decision about whether to further extend or terminate TPS for Honduras will be made by May 5, 2018.
  • To retain TPS and be eligible to work until July 5, 2018, current TPS recipients from Honduras must re-apply for TPS.
  • Further information about how and when to reapply will be forthcoming.
  • Continue to visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website on TPS for Honduras for additional information.
  • To speak with a free, safe legal services provider, call 311 and say “ActionNYC.”

South Sudan

  • DHS recently announced a determination to re-designate TPS for South Sudan for 18 months (extended through May 2, 2019).
  • Current beneficiaries of South Sudan’s TPS designation must re-register for TPS before November 20, 2017.
  • Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website on TPS for South Sudan for additional information.

Sudan

  • DHS recently decided to terminate TPS for Sudan, giving Sudanese TPS recipients a 12-month extension to allow for transition before termination on November 2, 2018.
  • Current beneficiaries of Sudan’s TPS designation seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register between October 11, 2017 and December 11, 2017.
  • Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website on TPS for Sudan for additional information.

When will federal government announce the next changes to TPS?

Each individual country has a different date by which their TPS status will expire and a different date by which the federal government is expected to make an announcement regarding whether or not it will renew the TPS designation.
For a full list of the countries currently designated for TPS, and their respective deadlines, please visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration TPS website.

Here are the upcoming deadlines impacting the majority of TPS recipients:

Haiti

  • TPS status expires on January 22, 2018.
  • The federal government is expected to announce decision on whether to renew TPS status by November 22, 2017. However, a decision may be announced before then. Pay attention to ongoing developments.

El Salvador

  • TPS status expires on March 9, 2018.
  • The federal government is expected to announce decision on whether to renew TPS status by January 9, 2018. However, a decision may be announced before then. Pay attention to ongoing developments.

Honduras

  • The federal government’s recent decision to extend TPS for Honduras for six months until July 5, 2018 means that it will again make a decision on whether to renew TPS status by May 5, 2018. However, a decision may be announced before then. Pay attention to ongoing developments.

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.

  • ActionNYC can provide free, safe legal help in your community, and in your language. You can also call 311 and say "ActionNYC" to get help. 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 that your TPS expires.
  • Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website for the most specific information about when your TPS is currently set to expire.

How can I avoid fraud?

Beware of unlicensed immigration service providers who take advantage of their customers. Get help only from a trusted, licensed attorney or an accredited representative. For questions about this, call the New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 between 9am-8pm, on Monday through Friday.

Additional tips for immigrants seeking help from an attorney or other immigration services provider:

  • Do not sign any blank forms or contracts.
  • If you don’t understand what it is, don’t sign it.
  • Do not leave original documents with your provider.
  • Only go to a provider that has a physical location, not one that is only available by phone or email.
  • Always get copies of anything that a provider prepares for you.
  • Only licensed attorneys and representatives accredited by the Department of Justice are authorized to provide immigration legal advice.

Immigrants who think they may have been the victims of immigration services fraud should call 311 or the New York State New Americans hotline at (800) 566-7636.


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:


What are my rights and protections against discrimination?

As a New Yorker you have the right to be free from unlawful discrimination, retaliation, and harassment in the workplace, housing, and public places. If you face any such treatment, call 311 or call the NYC Commission on Human Rights at (718) 722-3131.

 

How can I get involved?

  • Take Action: Make your voice heard on TPS. Decisions about TPS for several countries are still pending. Call DHS at (202) 282-8495, call the White House at (202) 456-1111, and call your member of Congress at (202) 224-3121 (Press "2" then enter your zip code at the prompt).
  • 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, 9 am-5 pm.

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.