U.S. Law Center

Who should apply for temporary protected status?

If you are an immigrant residing in Riverside or Orange County, California, and your country of nationality is designated for temporary protected status, you may be eligible to apply. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are typically several countries given TPS designation by the Secretary of Homeland Security at any particular time, and your country may be included if an armed conflict or natural disaster prevents you from returning. The designation initially lasts six, 12 or 18 months, and may be extended after that period if conditions are still unsafe.

For each country on the list, there is a Federal Register notice of designation. To qualify, your presence in the United States must have been continuous since that date, or the date of the re-designation. There will also be a specific registration period during which you can apply. You may request authorization to work in the United States by filing an application for employment authorization with your TPS application, even if you are not eligible for U.S. employment under your current immigrant status. Under temporary protected status, every time your country is re-designated, you must re-register.

You must be able to prove your residence in the United States and that you are a national from the country in question. Grounds for inadmissibility include criminal offenses and drug convictions. If you have been convicted of a felony or more than one misdemeanor committed in the United States, you are ineligible for TPS. This information about temporary protected status for immigrants is intended for educational purposes only. It should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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