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Temporary Protected Status
protects families while also boosting the U.S. economy

New analysis finds that TPS helps protect families, including 800,000 U.S. citizens living with TPS recipients. TPS also strengthens the U.S. workforce, with the majority of TPS recipients working in industries facing labor shortages.

Zeinabou's Story

Meet Zeinabou, a human rights advocate who works for the Mauritanian Network for Human Rights in the US. Zeinabou has dedicated her life to protecting Black Mauritanians in the United States and beyond and is advocating for a TPS designation for Mauritania.

“TPS-eligible individuals contribute some $22 billion in wages to the U.S. economy each year and work in more than 600,000 jobs.”

New FWD.us analysis of government data shows that more than half a million individuals have Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a form of immigration relief that provides work authorization and deportation protections for those whose home countries are very unsafe.1 With recent TPS designations and redesignations, however, the number of individuals eligible for TPS, because they have not formally applied or been approved, is significantly higher. In fact, FWD.us estimates that about 350,000 additional individuals are currently eligible for TPS; in all, nearly 900,000 individuals were TPS holders or were eligible for TPS protections at the end of 2022.

TPS holders and TPS-eligible individuals have lived an average of 14 years in the U.S., contributing enormously to local communities across the country by providing businesses with employees with critical skills and expertise. FWD.us estimates that TPS-eligible individuals, including current TPS holders, contribute some $22 billion in wages to the U.S. economy each year and work in more than 600,000 jobs, filling important gaps in an economy plagued by persistent labor shortages.

Terminology for TPS Population Groups

TPS holders: the population currently holding TPS.
TPS-eligible individuals:TPS holders plus those eligible for TPS but may have not yet applied or have an application being processed.
TPS potential individuals: Current TPS holders and those eligible for TPS plus those who could be eligible with the designation of new countries or redesignation of current countries with new arrival dates as outlined in this report.

Many more individuals in the U.S. need protections from deportation to countries where their lives would be at risk. For instance, members of Congress and human rights advocates have proposed the addition of new TPS countries where conditions remain unsafe for people to return, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, and Pakistan. Each of these countries faces extraordinary human rights challenges, widespread violence, or recent climate-related events that warrant immediate TPS designations.

Additionally, conditions remain unsafe in current TPS countries such as El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua, but the U.S. has not allowed new TPS registrations for these countries since 2018. These countries continue to experience civil unrest, violence, political repression, or climate-related events that make it impossible for individuals from these countries to return home safely. Finally, individuals from countries that already have TPS designations but will need consideration for redesignation in 2023, like Afghanistan, Cameroon, South Sudan, Sudan, Ukraine and Venezuela, continue to have country conditions that remain perilous for nationals to return.

TPS provides lifesaving relief for those whose home countries are very unsafe

Congress established the Temporary Protected Status program as part of the Immigration Act of 1990. That Act also established the first TPS designation, describing specific TPS conditions for Salvadorans. TPS is currently administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). TPS designations can be passed by Congress or issued by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Since TPS was established, new TPS designations for countries were issued six times during the George H.W. Bush Administration, 10 times during the Clinton Administration, twice during the George W. Bush Administration, eight times during the Obama Administration, and eight times so far during the Biden Administration.

Presidential Administration Date of Initial Designation Country Status Count of Redesignations
& Extensions
Date of Termination
George H.W. Bush November 29, 1990 El Salvador Terminated 0 January 1, 1999
March 27, 1991 Kuwait Terminated 0 March 27, 1992
March 27, 1991 Lebanon Terminated 1 April 9, 1993
March 27, 1991 Liberia Terminated 6 September 28, 1999
September 16, 1991 Somalia Active 24 September 17, 20243
August 10, 1992 Bosnia-Herzegovina Terminated 7 February 10, 2001
Bill Clinton August 27, 1997 Montserrat Terminated 5 August 27, 2004
November 4, 1997 Burundi Terminated 9 May 2, 2009
November 4, 1997 Sudan Terminated1 15 November 2, 2018
June 9, 1998 Kosovo Terminated 2 December 8, 2000
January 5, 1999 Honduras Terminated1 14 January 5, 2020
January 5, 1999 Nicaragua Terminated1 14 January 5, 2019
March 11, 1999 Guniea-Bissau Terminated 1 September 10, 2000
March 29, 2000 Angola Terminated 2 March 29, 2003
George W. Bush March 9, 2001 El Salvador Terminated1 12 September 9, 2019
October 1, 2002 Liberia Terminated 5 October 1, 2007
June 7, 2004 Rwanda Terminated 4 December 6, 1997
November 21, 2004 Sierra Leone Terminated 2 May 21, 2017
Barack Obama January 21, 2010 Haiti Terminated1 5 July 22, 2019
October 13, 2011 South Sudan Active 7 November 3, 20233
March 29, 2012 Syria Active 7 March 31, 20243
November 21, 2014 Guinea Terminated 1 May 21, 2017
November 21, 2014 Liberia Terminated 2 May 21, 2017
June 24, 2015 Nepal Terminated1 1 June 24, 2019
September 3, 2015 Yemen Active 5 September 3, 20243
Joe Biden March 9, 2021 Venezuela Active 1 March 10, 20243
May 25, 2021 Burma (Myanmar) Active 1 May 25, 20243
August 3, 2021 Haiti Active 1 August 3, 20243
April 19, 2022 Sudan Active 0 October 19, 20233
April 19, 2022 Ukraine Active 0 October 19, 20233
May 20, 2022 Afghanistan Active 0 November 20, 2023
June 7, 2022 Cameroon Active 0 December 7, 20233
December 12, 2022 Ethiopia Active 0 June 12, 20243

Source: Department of Justice, “Temporary Protected Status,” https://www.justice.gov/eoir/temporary-protected-status.
1. The terminations of TPS designations for these six countries (El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan) are currently being challenged in court. Federal courts have ordered that TPS recipients from these countries will have their protections and benefits automatically extended until further notice. Our table reflects when the TPS designations were formally terminated, however please note that recipients from these countries continue to receive benefits under these court orders.
2. Counts of redesignations and extensions include only formal redesignations and extensions of the TPS designation, but do not include automatic extensions of documentation or benefits
3. For countries with active designations, we have listed the date of termination as the date on which the most recent designation, redesignation, or extension is scheduled to expire. Please note that these dates could change if the designation is terminated, extended, or redesignated.

The program offers work authorization and deportation protections for individuals in the U.S. for whom their home countries are very unsafe. Foreign-born individuals can apply for TPS if Congress or the Secretary of Homeland Security issues a designation that “conditions in the country temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely,” often because of violent conflict or natural disaster. Many TPS recipients originally entered the U.S. as temporary immigrants or visitors, individuals seeking humanitarian relief, or without immigration status.

For more information on Temporary Protected Status, see our TPS blog: 5 Things to Know.

More than 800,000 U.S. citizens, including some 400,000 U.S. citizen children, live in households with at least one current TPS holder or TPS-eligible person.

Upon registration with and approval by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), TPS holders are protected from deportation and can receive work authorization. Only individuals already in the U.S. when a designation is announced are eligible to receive TPS. The program is not a substitute for refugee or asylum protections that provide relief to individuals actively fleeing dangerous conditions.

Many TPS holders have lived in the United States for years, setting down roots in the U.S. and building families here. As a result, many TPS recipients are deeply ingrained into American families and communities. For instance, FWD.us estimates that more than 800,000 U.S. citizens live in households with at least one current TPS holder or TPS-eligible person, including some 400,000 U.S. citizen children. Whether these families will be able to remain safe and together is inextricably bound to their loved ones’ TPS protections.


Evelyn's Story

Meet Evelyn, a TPS holder from El Salvador who has lived in California for three decades. She works as an organizer for Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles, where she advocates for a pathway to citizenship for immigrants like herself.

The majority of current, eligible, or potential TPS holders work in industries currently experiencing 5% or higher job opening rates.

TPS holders contribute significantly to the U.S. economy

Since Congress established TPS more than three decades ago, TPS recipients have used the program’s work authorization to support themselves and to contribute enormously to the U.S. workforce and economy. For example, some 82% of TPS holders from El Salvador and 85% from Honduras—all of whom have lived in the U.S. for 20 years or longer—participate in the labor force. Similarly, a high share (83%) of Haitian TPS holders who have been in the country before 2011 are also in the labor force. These labor force participation rates of long-term TPS holders are considerably higher than the U.S. labor force overall (about 62%).

Work authorization also allows holders to contribute significantly to the U.S. economy by filling labor gaps that are hindering economic growth. TPS holders’ significant economic contributions have helped tamp down inflation related to severe labor shortages that the U.S. has experienced in recent months. That’s largely because TPS holders work in many industries that have experienced extreme labor shortages during the past few years. In fact, FWD.us estimates that the majority (59%) of current, eligible, or potential TPS holders, or roughly 1.2 million workers, work in industries experiencing 5% or higher job opening rates2, including 280,000 working in professional and business services, 250,000 in accommodations and food services, 200,000 in manufacturing, 190,000 in retail trade, 150,000 in transportation, warehousing and utilities, and 110,000 in healthcare and social assistance.

Wilna's Story

Meet Wilna, a mother, Haitian TPS holder and a community leader working every day to secure immigration relief for her family and for her community in Florida.

TPS program status varies across a host of countries with unsafe conditions

Sixteen countries are currently designated with Temporary Protected Status, with the program status varying by country. The Trump Administration attempted to terminate TPS designations for El Salvador (TPS-holder population of 191,000), Honduras (58,000), Nepal (9,000), and Nicaragua (3,000), but federal courts blocked these attempts, stalling their terminations and allowing current TPS holders from those countries to retain their TPS protections for the time being. Currently, TPS holders from these countries will have their protections auto-extended through mid-2024. The Trump Administration also moved to terminate designations for Haiti and Sudan, but they have since been issued new designations by the Biden Administration.

Since these country designations were first issued, situations in these countries have remained precarious—including continuing violence in El Salvador, human rights abuses in Nicaragua and Nepal, and devastating hurricanes in Honduras. These country conditions prevent people from returning safely. If El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua were redesignated for TPS in 2023 with updated arrival dates, nearly 1.5 million total individuals from these countries would be eligible to apply.

A map of the world, color-coded to indicate which countries have been designated, or could be designated, for Temporary Protected Status A map of the world, color-coded to indicate which countries have been designated, or could be designated, for Temporary Protected Status
Country Most Recent Decision Required Arrival Datea Expiration Dateb Individuals with TPSc
Afghanistan New designation March 15, 2022 November 20, 2023 1,585
Burma Extension and redesignation September 25, 2022 May 25, 2024 1,760
Cameroon New designation April 14, 2022 December 7, 2023 1,300
El Salvador Extensiond February 13, 2001 March 9, 2025 188,725
Ethiopia New designation October 20, 2022 June 12, 2024 910
Haiti Extension and redesignation November 6, 2022 Aug. 3, 2024 116,505
Honduras Extensiond December 30, 1998 July 5, 2025 56,840
Nepal Extensiond June 24, 2015 June 24, 2025 8,525
Nicaragaua Extensiond December 30, 1998 July 5, 2025 3,020
Somalia Extension and redesignation January 11, 2023 September 17, 2024 390
South Sudan Extension and redesignation September 4, 2023 May 3, 2025 100
Sudan (2022) New designation March 1, 2022 October 19, 2023 970
Syria Extension and redesignation July 28, 2022 March 31, 2024 3,955
Ukraine New designation April 11, 2022 October 19, 2023 22,480
Venezuela Extension March 8, 2021 March 10, 2024 201,895
Yemen Extension and redesignation December 29, 2022 September 3, 2024 1,530
Total 610,630

Source: Congressional Research Service, "Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure"
a. The arrival date represents the date from which individuals are required to have continuously resided in the United States in order to qualify for TPS. Unless a country is re-designated for TPS, the required arrival date does not change.
b. The expiration date represents the end of the most recent designation period and is subject to change based on future decisions of the Secretary of DHS. Expiration dates for recent designations may not yet be announced.
c. Counts of individuals with TPS are the most recent estimates provided by USCIS or DHS. Most counts were provided to the Congressional Research Service. Countries with a pending termination and a new designation may have individuals registered under both designations; the Total count does not count these individuals twice. Data for countries with relatively newer designations may not yet be available and are marked "N/A."
d. These designations were previously terminated, yet court injunctions the prevented terminations from taking effect, and DHS extended the validity of all TPS-related documents for beneficiaries of TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan through June 30, 2024. DHS subsequently issued new designations for Haiti and Sudan; DHS has also rescinded the terminations for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal and Nicaragua, and announced extensions for those countries. In announcing the extensions, DHS published estimates of the number of individuals from these countries who currently hold TPS (El Salvador-239,000; Honduras-76,000; Nepal-14,500; Nicaragua-4,000). These estimates are much larger than the estimates provided to CRS, and reflect more closely the estimates published by USCIS in 2022. For consistency, we have chosen to use only the CRS estimates in our table.

TPS has shown that protection from deportation and access to work authorization provides significant benefits for families, allowing them to improve their economic condition, keep their families together, and more fully participate in their local communities.

Meanwhile, the Biden Administration has designated or redesignated several countries since 2021. These countries include Venezuela (TPS-holder population of 172,000), Haiti (87,000), Afghanistan (<1,000), Ukraine (10,000), Burma (Myanmar) (1,000), Cameroon (<1,000), Yemen (1,500), Somalia (<1,000), Sudan (<1,000), South Sudan (<1,000), and Syria (4,000). Some of these countries still maintain open periods for application, including Afghanistan (including current TPS holders, 90,000 eligible, according to FWD.us estimates); Ethiopia (53,000 currently eligible); Haiti (182,000 eligible); Ukraine (93,000 eligible). Burma (Myanmar), Cameroon, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen represent a combined group of 42,000 eligible. However, intense backlogs remain at USCIS, leading to lengthy processing times. These backlogs could be reduced significantly if Congress provided additional funding.

Additionally, safe return is not possible for a number of other countries, and those necessitate a TPS designation. For example, certain African countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, and Mauritania have all experienced recent, and in some cases prolonged, periods of civil unrest with conditions including armed conflicts, extreme violence, and statelessness and enslavement, making it unsafe for citizens to return. Also, recent flooding in Pakistan, hurricanes in Guatemala, and the 2020 explosion and resulting social and economic unrest in Lebanon validate granting TPS for people from these countries. Finally, the Biden Administration during 2023 will determine whether several countries will be redesignated with a more recent arrival date, including Afghanistan, Cameroon, South Sudan, Sudan, Ukraine, and Venezuela. With new country designations listed above and current TPS countries with redesignations, an additional million people would be eligible to apply for TPS protections.

Temporary Protected Status has shown that protection from deportation and access to work authorization provides significant benefits for families, allowing them to improve their economic condition, keep their families together, and more fully participate in their local communities. Work authorizations also let them contribute more robustly to the U.S. economy, providing workers that U.S. industries desperately need at this time. TPS has the capacity to provide immediate humanitarian relief to hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the U.S. while simultaneously strengthening the U.S. labor force.


  1. Estimates reflect population sizes and economic contributions as of the end of 2022. Data sources for this report include: (1) November 2022 Congressional Research Service report on TPS; (2) 2021 American Community Survey data obtained from IPUMS: Steven Ruggles, Sarah Flood, Ronald Goeken, Megan Schouweiler,and Matthew Sobek. IPUMS USA: Version 12.0 [data set]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2022. https://doi.org/10.18128/D010.V12.0; (3) U.S. Customs and Border Protection data; and (4) DHS reporting for Operation Allies Welcome and Uniting for Ukraine. Population estimates are based on augmented 2021 American Community Survey (ACS) data for the potentially eligible TPS population that include undocumented immigrants and nonimmigrant visa holders (such as H-1B, H-2B, and international students), with upward adjustments for new arrivals who entered the U.S. as unaccompanied minors or part of a family unit under Title 8 in fiscal years 2021, 2022, and through the end of December during fiscal year 2023. Analysis of 2021 Title 8 apprehension statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol indicate most individuals paroled or permitted to enter the U.S. under Title 8 belonged to these demographic groups. Most of these individuals are assumed to have applied for asylum after entering the U.S. This report assumes no emigration of TPS holders, TPS-eligible, or TPS-potential individuals since 2021. Potential TPS holder characteristics, including state of residence, are the same as undocumented peers from the same country who entered the U.S. between 2016 and 2021. Immigrant status in the ACS was classified by FWD.us researchers based on social, demographic, and economic characteristics. See immigration status methodology for more details. Economic estimates are combined wages after the payment of federal, state, and local taxes, differentiated by state of residence, income, and household size. Economic figures were upwardly adjusted to account for the average rise in wages between 2021 and 2022.
  2. Job opening rates provided by Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of November 2022.

Phillip Connor

Senior Demographer

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