Temporary Protected Status & Other Authorizations

What Is TPS?

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.

Some countries received TPS designation recently (such as Burma and Venezuela that were designated in 2021) while others have had TPS designation for many years (such as Honduras, which was designated in 1999 and has been renewed repeatedly since). Currently, the following countries are designated for TPS:

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 would return to being undocumented when TPS is terminated. They may, therefore, be subject to removal, unless they are eligible for another immigration status.

Immigration advocates argue, generally, against ending TPS, saying the effects of a crisis can continue long after a natural disaster or war. 

Other Authorizations

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Deferred Enforced Departure

Individuals covered by Deferred Enforced Departure, or DED, are not subject to removal from the United States for a designated period of time.

Eligibility requirements for DED are based on the terms the president specifies in each DED directive. Each presidential directive includes the criteria for an individual to be covered by DED and certain exceptions for individuals who are not covered.

Learn more about DED on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Humanitarian Parole

You may apply for humanitarian parole if you have a compelling emergency and there is an urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit to allowing you to temporarily enter the United States. Anyone can file an application for humanitarian parole. 

If you do not have an urgent humanitarian reason for your visit, you must follow the normal visa issuing procedures set by the Department of State. You cannot use parole to avoid normal visa-issuing procedures or to bypass immigration procedures.

For more information, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Additional Programs

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides a number of humanitarian programs and protection to assist individuals in need of shelter or aid from disasters, oppression, emergency medical issues, and other urgent circumstances. Learn more on the USCIS website.