Published:  December 16, 2013

Temporary Protected Status or “TPS” is a special, temporary immigration classification issued by the President of the U.S., by way of the Secretary of Homeland Security, to certain undocumented individuals living in the U.S. who are citizens of countries facing extraordinary humanitarian challenges.  Crises such as civil war, hurricanes, earthquakes and epidemics are examples of the type of situations that prompt the issuance of a TPS decree for a certain country.  Individuals granted TPS status are protected from removal from the U.S. and granted a period of employment authorization.

In recent days, it has been reported that as a result of the extraordinary humanitarian challenges being presented by Typhoon Haiyan, the Philippine government has requested that the U.S. grant TPS to undocumented Filipinos residing in the U.S.  A decision by the U.S. government has not yet been made, and thus applications by undocumented Filipinos are not being accepted.   In this regard, undocumented/overstays from the Philippines should make a point of staying far away from any organization or professional now offering services to prepare and file a TPS application.

Undocumented citizens of countries such as El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Syria are already covered by a TPS designation, with applicants having being required to meet certain physical presence and documentary requirements, depending on the country’s TPS program.  Furthermore, individuals with more than a single misdemeanor conviction have historically not qualified.

Importantly, TPS is only a temporary status, and does not necessarily lead toward a grant of permanent resident status.  Developments on this issue will continue to be covered here.


PUBLISHED December 16, 2013 – “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM” Copyright © 2013, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois