Temporary Protected Status

In the last three months, the Trump administration announced it will end Temporary Protected Status for Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. Haiti received an 18 month extension for TPS, which is set to end July 22, 2019. Nicaragua’s status will expire July 5, 2018, and Sudan’s will end on November 2, 2018.

Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, provides a mechanism for the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to authorize temporary immigration status for people already in the United States when it is determined that they cannot return safely to their country.

TPS can be designated for countries experiencing armed conflict, natural disasters or other extraordinary conditions. In those situations, it is often either unsafe for citizens to return or their governments cannot absorb their return.  TPS is authorized for a fixed period of time and subject to renewal or termination at the end of that period of time, at the discretion of the DHS secretary.

Currently, ten countries are designated for TPS, including El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.  Some countries received TPS designation recently (such as Yemen in 2015) while others have had TPS designation for many years (such as Honduras, which was designated in 1999 and has been renewed ever since).

DHS is expected to make a decision on El Salvador this month. Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans live in the United States with TPS protection, the largest group. DHS most recently extended TPS for Honduras through July 5, 2018.

When TPS is Terminated

When TPS ends, those who had TPS status face an uncertain future in terms of their immigration status. Some people may be able to return to or reacquire the same immigration status they had before receiving TPS.  Others may be eligible to acquire a new immigration status.

Individuals who entered the United States without inspection and were not eligible for other immigration benefits before becoming a TPS beneficiary will return to being undocumented when TPS is terminated and may be subject to removal, unless they are eligible for another immigration status.

Immigration advocates argue against ending TPS for Haiti and other countries, saying the effects of a crisis can continue long after a natural disaster or war. But the administration argues that the protected status should cover the the immediate aftermath of disasters and not extend for decades.

If You have TPS

UMN students, staff and faculty on any system campus whose TPS status is designated to end are encouraged to contact us at immigration@umn.edu.