Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to nationals of certain countries who are already in the United States. During the designated period, these individuals may obtain travel and employment authorization, are not removable from the United States and cannot be detained by the Department of Homeland Security. TPS does not lead to permanent resident status (a green card), but a TPS beneficiary may immigrate permanently under another provision of law if qualified.
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS if conditions in the country prevent the country's nationals from returning safely or where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. For example, ongoing armed conflict or an environmental disaster. Aliens from six countries currently have TPS- El Salvador, Haiti (following the January 2010 earthquake), Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia and Sudan.