TPS Ethiopia:
Temporary Protected Status

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You can now apply for Ethiopian TPS through June 12, 2024. That is also the last day you can have temporary protected status for Ethiopia.

What is TPS   

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a form of immigration status for people already in the United States. TPS is for people who cannot go back to their home country because of danger, such as an armed conflict or environmental disaster.

If you have TPS, you can:

  • Stay in the USA legally for a period of time
  • Apply for a work permit in the USA
  • Apply for a document to travel outside the USA
  • Be protected from detention and deportation 

You will not get any of the benefits of TPS until your application is approved. TPS is temporary. It does not give you lawful permanent status, citizenship, or any permanent immigration status. 

Public charge does not apply to TPS applicants. You can use any government programs you qualify for.

Who can apply

You must meet the following requirements to apply:

  • Be a national of Ethiopia
    • or a person without nationality who lived in Ethiopia for a long time before arriving in the USA
  • Have lived only in the USA since October 20, 2022
  • Have not left the USA since December 12, 2022

You may not be eligible if you have committed certain crimes.

How to apply

You can apply for TPS Ethiopia by filing Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. You can file your application online with USCIS.

You must send documents showing proof of your identity, nationality, and date of entry.

You must pay a fee if you are applying for TPS for the first time. You might be able to apply for a fee waiver if you can’t afford to pay the fee. Learn how to use the USCIS fee calculator.

You need to apply by June 12, 2024.

What happens after I file my application? 

USCIS will review your application and send you a receipt notice. You can check the status of your application online by typing in your receipt number. If you do not get a receipt within 3 weeks of filing, you can call the USCIS Contact Center.

You may get a letter asking for more evidence. This could be your photo, fingerprints, signature, and other documents. 

You will get a letter approving or denying your application. If you applied for a work permit, you will also get information about your application.

If you do not get TPS, you will get information on whether and how you can appeal their decision. 

Work permit

Work permits are available to people with TPS and are known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). It shows employers that you are allowed to work in the USA.

You can apply for a work permit by filing Form I-765, Request for Employment Authorization with USCIS. It is recommended you apply for a work permit at the same time you apply for TPS. Filing both forms together may help you get EAD faster. You can also apply later.

Travel permit

Travel permits are available to people with TPS. It is known as advanced parole. It shows immigration officials that you are allowed to travel abroad and back to the USA.

You can apply for a travel permit by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. Follow the instructions on the Federal Register notice when applying for a travel permit.

What happens when TPS Ethiopia expires?

When TPS Ethiopia expires, you will have the same immigration status you had before getting TPS. 

If you did not have a legal immigration status before you applied for TPS, you may become undocumented. You can apply for another form of immigration status if you are eligible. If you stay without any legal status, you will risk the chance of arrest or deportation. 

Can I change my immigration status?

You can have TPS at the same time as another immigration status. 

You can apply for asylum, lawful permanent status (green card), or other protected status if you meet the requirements for those applications.

It is important to seek legal advice from an immigration lawyer or accredited representative. They can help you apply and discuss questions or concerns. Many organizations and lawyers offer free or low-cost legal services.  

The Embassy of Ethiopia can offer more information. You can contact the Ethiopian Embassy at (202) 364-1200 or visit its consular offices in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, CA, and St. Paul, Minnesota.

USCIS offers other immigration services that may help people affected by extreme situations. Call 800-375-5283 to learn how to request help. 

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Information on this page comes from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Register, USCIS, and other trusted sources. It is intended for guidance and is updated as often as possible.

USAHello does not give legal advice, nor are any of our materials intended to be taken as legal advice.