If you are a national of a foreign country, conditions there may prevent you from returning safely. The United States Department of Homeland Security monitors such conditions and may designate the areas where they occur for temporary protected status.
If the designation affects your country or a specific region within it, you may be able to receive temporary protected status. This would afford you certain immigration rights for a short time.
What are the eligibility requirements?
It is important to pay attention to the designation date for your country or region. You have to have been continuously residing and physically present in the United States since that date. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, you must be a national of a country or region with a current TPS designation. If you are a person without a nationality, you must have resided there most recently before coming to the United States.
What does TPS do for you?
TPS is not a step toward becoming a lawful permanent resident. Its effects are temporary, and it does not affect your application or eligibility for any other immigration benefits. However, while you have TPS, the Department of Homeland Security cannot detain you on the basis of your immigration status. You can obtain an employment authorization document, and you are not removable from the United States.
What conditions can lead to TPS designation?
The Secretary of Homeland Security can designate your country for TPS for extraordinary conditions, such as an epidemic or an environmental disaster. Another possible reason for the designation is ongoing armed conflict.
If the condition persists, the Homeland Security secretary may extend TPS designation. If so, you may be able to maintain your existing status until the designation is no longer in effect.