What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

Real talk, I didn't know what TPS was until two weeks ago, because it's handled within the US (and I'm abroad). Here's the rundown:
  1. WHICH countries are currently designated?
    El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen
  2. WHY does a country get designated for TPS?
    Armed conflict, environmental disaster, epidemic, anything substantial in which a person residing in the US would be in significant danger upon returning to their home country
  3. What does "temporary" mean?
    TPS does not lead to a green card or any sort of long-term immigration status (though you can start the immigration application process while being under TPS). Designated countries have "expiration dates" - after which point you revert to the immigration status before you had TPS.
  4. WHO is eligible for TPS?
    A national of a designated country who is already living in the US (on a tourist or student visa, for example)
  5. WHO is not eligible?
    Persons with a felony of 2+ misdemeanors, don't meet security clearance, or have participated in persecution of others
  6. So you registered for TPS, now what?
    TPS beneficiaries cannot be deported and can obtain legal work authorization in the US
  7. WHAT are the eligibility requirements?
    An applicant must file within a strict time period, be "continuously physically present" in the US since their country was designated for TPS, and "continuously residing" in the US. Must provide proof of identity, nationality, date of entry into the US, and proof of continually residing in the US.
  8. Who decides who gets TPS?
    The secretary of Homeland Security decides which countries (or parts thereof) should be designated for TPS
  9. What's the difference between this and asylum?
    Not the official definition, but my understanding: While both involve people already within the US, TPS is much faster, but short-term. Asylum leads to permanent residence status. You can be working on an asylum case while holding TPS.