TPS and Asylum may seem similar, but the two have many differences. Asylum grants permanent residency and is designed to help individuals receive protection from being targeted for who they are or how they identify. Meanwhile, temporary protected status grants short-term residency and is intended to help nationals of certain countries experiencing persecution due to war, natural disasters, or other national emergencies flee to the United States. While both programs are designed to assist immigrants in leaving their country of origin and seek safety in the United States, you may wonder which best fits your circumstances.

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

Under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), nationals of certain countries are provided temporary protection to flee from political conflict, natural disasters, or other national emergencies.

As of December 2022, there are currently 16 countries eligible to apply for temporary protected status. There is a deadline for TPS applications for each respective country, both when you initially apply and again if your temporary protection status is extended. You can apply for temporary protected status using Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status.

The applicant can also apply for a work permit using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. If granted temporary protected status and work authorization, an individual can begin earning an income while residing in the United States.

The application for temporary protected status is often processed more quickly than the asylum application. However, the status is only temporary. If you have applied for TPS and asylum, you should refrain from withdrawing your asylum application. You could still be granted temporary protected status even if you are denied asylum. 

What is Asylum?

An individual is eligible to apply for asylum if they demonstrate they have experienced persecution in their country due to their race, religion, nationality, affiliation with a particular group, or political beliefs. You can apply for asylum using Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. If you are seeking withholding of removal, you must apply within one year of arrival to the United States. 

Compared to obtaining temporary protected status, applying for asylum can be a lengthy and extensive process. After an asylum application is filed and pending for 365 days, applicants may apply for employment authorization. If granted asylum, the applicant can begin working and apply for lawful permanent residence (LPR) after residing in the United States for one year.

Should I Apply For TPS or Asylum?

Overall, asylum and temporary protected status (TPS) are both programs designed to help those looking to escape conflict in their country and flee to the United States. If eligible, you can apply for both programs. However, we recommend you contact a knowledgeable immigration lawyer to discuss your options and how to proceed. 

TPS And Asylum FAQs

Is TPS better than asylum?

There is not one application process that is better than the other. Whether you should seek asylum or temporary protected status is dependent on your case. However, the application process for obtaining temporary protected status is much quicker than obtaining asylum.

Does TPS affect asylum?

No, temporary protected status (TPS) does not affect the status of your asylum application.

Can I apply for TPS while pending asylum?

Yes, you can apply for temporary protected status (TPS) while you have a pending asylum case. Unlike the asylum application, you can apply for employment authorization while applying for temporary protected status using Form I-765, Application For Employment Authorization.

Can you apply for TPS and asylum at the same time?

Yes, you can apply for TPS and asylum at the same time. However, before doing so, we recommend you consult an immigration attorney when considering applying for asylum, temporary protected status, renewing temporary protected status, or requesting a travel permit.

Final Thoughts : TPS And Asylum

TPS and Asylum are similar programs that help individuals come to the United States. If you are not sure if you should file for TPS or Asylum, it is best to consult with a trained immigration attorney. Remember, if you already have temporary protected status, it will not affect your asylum application. You can also apply for TPS if you have a pending asylum application. The team at Shoreline Immigration is available if you have any questions.