On February 6, 2014 a group of 19 Senators, including both Republicans and Democrats, urged Secretary of State John Kerry to extend Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, to nationals of the Philippines. In late November, 2013 a similar letter was sent to the Department of Homeland Security. The government of the Philippines requested that the US government designate TPS for Filipino nationals in late 2013. The request for TPS is based on Typhoon Hayana, which killed nearly 6,000 in 2013. As of February 17, 2014 Filipino nationals were not eligible for TPS benefits.
The US government designates certain countries for Temporary Protected Status or “TPS” if conditions in that country temporarily make a person’s return unsafe, or if its government is unable to sufficiently handle the return of its nationals. A country may be designated for TPS if it has a civil war or ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other similar situation. If a person properly registers for TPS, assuming certain other conditions are met, he or she: (1) will not be removed/deported; (2) will not be detained by DHS, unless there is an underlying criminal issue; (3) can obtain a work permit; and (4) can apply for a travel document, although one should consult an attorney to assure that leaving the country will not cause other immigration problems. A grant of TPS, by itself, does not allow a person to apply for permanent residency. However, TPS does allow a person to stay in the country and, if the person is eligible, he or she can get or apply for permanent residency by other means.
Read more about TPS on our website.