Asylum & TPS
Temporary Protected Status
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to nationals of specific countries (see list below). When violence, natural disasters or civil unrest occur in areas of the world, the United States labels the countries TPS countries and allows the country's nationals to temporarily stay in the United States due to concerns for the alien's safety.
As a signatory to the United Nations Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, the United States has agreed to abide by the concept of nonrefoulement, which states that a signatory country shall not return an alien to his/her home country if the alien's life or freedom would be threatened or endangered. TPS, along with asylum and withholding of removal, were born out of the concept of nonrefoulement. A country's TPS status can be terminated if the conditions for that country improve. Burundi and Sierra Leone are examples of former TPS countries which were removed from the list in previous years.
During a country's TPS designation, nationals of the TPS country may remain in the United States and may obtain work authorization. After the TPS designation is removed, the alien returns to the immigration status s/he maintained before the TPS approval. If an alien was not in a valid immigration status, s/he will return to that status.
The current list of Temporary Immigration Status (TPS) countries includes:
- El Salvador
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
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