Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country that the Secretary of Homeland Security designates as experiencing an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. While the country is designated for TPS, beneficiaries are eligible to remain in the United States and to obtain work authorization. When a country's TPS designation is terminated, a beneficiary returns to the same immigration status that he or she held before the TPS designation (unless that status has since expired or been terminated) or to any other status that he or she obtained while registered for TPS. Aliens who wish to apply for TPS must file an Application for Temporary Protected Status, Form I- 821, together with an Application for Employment Authorization, Form I-765. Filing fees are required in some cases, but applicants may apply for fee waivers if they are unable to pay.

On January 21, 2010, USCIS announced that eligible Haitian nationals in the United States may begin the application process for TPS. USCIS provided TPS to eligible Haitian nationals because of the catastrophic earthquake that struck the country on January 12, 2010. Haiti will remain designated for TPS through July 22, 2011.

Beneficiaries must apply during the 180-day registration period that will remain in effect until July 20, 2010. To meet the basic eligibility requirements for TPS, an alien must: (1) be a national of Haiti or an alien of no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti (as evidenced by a copy of a passport or a birth certificate with an English translation); (2) have continually resided in the U.S. since January 12, 2010; (3) have been continually physically present in the U.S. since January 21, 2010; (4) submit two color passport-style photographs; and (5) meet other admissibility and eligibility requirements.

On December 30, 2009, USCIS extended TPS for Sudan for 18 months (from May 3, 2010 through November 2, 2011) due to the ongoing armed conflict there. This extension does not apply to aliens who entered the U.S. after October 7, 2004. Individuals who were in the U.S. as of October 7, 2004, but did not apply for TPS during the most recent re-designation period, may nonetheless apply for TPS under certain circumstances.

Any TPS beneficiary from Sudan who has already received benefits must re-register during a 60- day re-registration period that will continue until March 1, 2010. To re-register for TPS, an individual must: (1) be a national of Sudan, or an individual without nationality who last habitually resided there; (2) have continuously resided in the U.S. since October 7, 2004; (3) have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since October 7, 2004; (4) satisfactorily complete a routine security check; and (5) meet certain other admissibility and eligibility requirements. Beneficiaries should note that if an applicant's current employment authorization document (EAD) expires on May 2, 2010, it will not be extended automatically and an EAD extension request also must be submitted during the 60-day re-registration period.