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An Introduction to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) are two different methods of protecting a non-citizen from being removed from the United States. The authorization for TPS and DED comes from different sources but they are similar in that they both provide protections and benefits to individuals from certain countries who have suffered some form of political crisis, natural disaster, or some other extraordinary circumstance. However, these programs do differ and the differences between the two are set forth below.


What is TPS?


Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security which provides protections to non-citizens from designated countries. This designation occurs when, due to conditions of the designated country, the non-citizen is unable to return to their country safely, or where the country is unable to handle the return of its citizens.


Who is eligible for TPS?


In order to be eligible for TPS, a non-citizen must:

  • Be a national of a country designated for TPS by the Secretary of Homeland Security;

  • Have been continuously physically present in the United States since the date of designation and/or have been continuously physically present in the United States since a designated date;

  • Have filed for TPS during the registration period specified by the Secretary of Homeland Security;

  • Not have any applicable grounds of inadmissibility to the United States, including certain criminal and national security grounds; and

  • Re-register for TPS during all re-registration periods in order to maintain their TPS benefits.

What are the benefits of TPS?


TPS holders are entitled to the following benefits:

  • TPS holders are not removable from the United States (even if they previously have been ordered removed);

  • TPS holders can obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as a work permit, which authorizes them to work in the United States;

  • TPS holders are eligible to receive advance parole, authorizing them to travel abroad and return to the United States without risking losing their TPS.

What does TPS NOT provide?


Generally speaking, TPS does not currently provide a pathway to lawful permanent resident status nor does it provide a means of acquiring U.S. citizenship. TPS does not authorize a holder to receive any form of public assistance.


When can a country be designated as a country for TPS purposes?


The Secretary of Homeland Security has the authority to designate a country for TPS in the following instances:

  • The country is experiencing an ongoing armed conflict such as a civil war;

  • The country has is experiencing/has experienced an environmental disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane, or an epidemic; or

  • The country is experiencing other extraordinary or temporary conditions;


Which countries are currently designated for TPS?


As of the writing of this article, the following countries have been designated for TPS by the Secretary of Homeland Security:


Burma (Valid through November 25, 2022)

El Salvador (Extended until December 31, 2022)

Haiti (Extended until December 31, 2022)

Honduras (Extended until December 31, 2022)

Nepal (Extended until December 31, 2022)

Nicaragua (Extended until December 31, 2022)

Somalia (Extended until March 17, 2023)

South Sudan (Extended until May 2, 2022)

Sudan (Extended until December 31, 2022)

Syria (Extended until September 30, 2022)

Venezuela (Valid through September 9, 2022)

Yemen (Valid through March 3, 2023)


What happens to TPS holders whose countries’ designations were terminated?


Once a TPS holder’s country of designation has been terminated, the TPS holder returns to the immigration status that they held prior to receiving TPS, unless that status has expired or unless they have changed to another lawful immigration status. This could result in a situation where a TPS holder returns to an unlawful immigration status subjecting them to removal from the United States.


What is DED?


Similar to TPS, Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) is a form of relief from removal from the United States allowing individuals from designated countries facing ongoing political conflict, natural disasters, or other extraordinary conditions. Unlike TPS, where countries are designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security, DED designations are made by the President and are derived from his constitutional power to conduct foreign relations. DED also differs from TPS in that there is no application required to obtain DED protection. However, DED beneficiaries must still apply for work permits and advance parole, should they desire those benefits.


Who is eligible for DED?


In order to be eligible for DED, a non-citizen must meet the criteria set forth in the Presidential Directive (either an executive order or presidential memorandum) for the designated country. These criteria vary country by country but typically require that the applicant establish continuous presence from a designated date.


What are the benefits of DED?


The Presidential Directive authorizing DED will indicate the benefits available under the DED designation, However, DED holders are generally entitled to the following benefits:

  • DED holders are not removable from the United States (even if they previously have been ordered removed);

  • DED holders can obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as a work permit, which authorizes them to work in the United States;

  • DED holders are eligible to receive advance parole, authorizing them to travel abroad and return to the United States without risking losing their DED.

What does DED NOT provide?


Generally speaking, DED does not currently provide a pathway to lawful permanent resident status nor does it provide a means of acquiring U.S. citizenship. However, Liberian DED beneficiaries may qualify for permanent residence under Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF).


When can a country be designated as a country for DED purposes?


Unlike TPS, in which the Secretary of Homeland Security is bound to certain enumerated factors before designating a country for TPS protection, DED designations are made solely at the discretion of the President and, as such, he is not bound by any statutory requirements.


Which countries are currently designated for DED?


Hong Kong (Valid through February 5, 2023) [federal register notice pending]

Liberia (Valid through June 30, 2022)

Venezuela (Valid through July 20, 2022)


What happens to DED holders whose countries’ designations were terminated?


Similar to TPS beneficiaries, once a DED beneficiary’s country of designation has been terminated, the DED holder returns to the immigration status that they held prior to receiving DED, unless that status has expired or unless they have changed to another lawful immigration status. This could result in a situation where a DED holder returns to an unlawful immigration status subjecting them to removal from the United States.


Let The Law Office of George K. Gomez Help Determine if You Qualify for TPS or DED


At The Law Office of George K. Gomez, our immigration attorneys can help you learn more about TPS and DED and whether you qualify for these benefits.


Call Us Today for a Free Consultation!


Call our law firm at (305) 539-0991 to find out more about how we can help you. We offer immigration attorney services for our clients all over South Florida!

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