I-821: Application for Temporary Protected Status

What is Form I 821?

Applicants from eligible countries may use Form I-821 to apply for temporary protected status, commonly referred as TPS. TPS is given based on the political climate of the country which can endanger the safety of the applicant if returned back to the country. Examples of unsafe conditions include an ongoing armed conflict and a natural/man-made disaster. Currently, USCIS grants the TPS for following 10 countries:

  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Yemen

Once an applicant receives the temporary protected status, the individual cannot be detained or deported by the Department of Homeland Security until the status is revoked. It is important to note the TPS does not lead to a permanent resident card. Individuals interested in obtaining a green card must pursue through a valid process (e.g., immigration through employment).

Application must be aware Form I-821 does not include I-821D: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), which is subject to termination based on the latest federal government policy changes.


What are Form I-821 Instructions?

Filing fees for TPS is $50. If applicants are re-registering, there is no fee. Additionally, applicants over the age of 13 must file a biometric fee of $85. When filing a I 821 petition, applicants must also file Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) even for those not planning to work in the United States.

Once applicants file the petition package to the USCIS along with sufficient evidence and processing fees, USCIS will receive and process the application. Upon review, applicants will receive an appointment notice to provide biometrics such as fingerprints at a local USCIS designated office, also known as a Application Support Center. Applicants must bring the following materials:

  • Evidence of nationality and identity with a photograph (e.g., passport)
  • Receipt notice
  • ASC appointment notice
  • Current EAD if applicable

If approved, applicants shall receive an approval notice and be granted a temporary protected status. Note if an approved application must travel outside the United States, he/she must file for a travel authorization, Form I-131: Application for Travel Document. Leaving the country without an approval Form I-131 may lead an individual from re-entering the country.

Applicants under certain financial circumstances can file a fee waiver form (I-912)to waive the filing and biometric fees. An example of valid circumstance is an individual living at or below 150% of federal poverty guidelines.

Who is Eligible for Form I-821?

Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, is available to individuals who meet the requirements for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) as established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. To be eligible for TPS, a person must be from a country designated for TPS, have been continuously present in the U.S. since a specific date, and have been continuously residing in the U.S. since that date.

What is the Latest Form I-821 Edition?

The most recent edition of Form I-821 is dated 11/23/2020.

What are the Required Documents for Form I-821?

The required documents for Form I-821 will vary depending on the type of application being filed. Generally, the documents that may be required include:

• A copy of your government-issued identification (such as a passport or driver’s license)
• Proof of your lawful immigration status in the US (such as an I-94 or green card)
• Evidence of a credible fear or reasonable fear of persecution (such as a police report, court documents, or a statement from an attorney)
• Documentation of any past harm or abuse suffered by you, if applicable
• Proof of any service in the US armed forces, if applicable
• Copies of any previous immigration filings, if applicable
• Evidence of your employment history, if applicable
• Documents demonstrating educational attainment, if applicable
• Evidence of family ties to the US, such as marriage and birth certificates, if applicable.

What are the Filing Tips for Form I-821?

1. Ensure that all information provided in your Form I-821 is accurate and up-to-date.

2. Include all required supporting documents, such as a copy of your birth certificate or passport, when filing your Form I-821.

3. Check all documents for typos and errors, and make any necessary corrections before submitting them.

4. Submit your application online if possible. This will ensure that it is submitted correctly and on time.

5. If you choose to submit your application by mail, make sure that you include all required information and documents and that you use a traceable method of delivery.

6. After submitting your Form I-821, keep track of your application status at all times. This will help you to know if there are any issues with your application that need to be addressed.

Are There Special Instructions for Form I-821?

Yes, there are special instructions for Form I-821. The instructions are available on the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) website. It is important to read and understand these instructions before completing the form to ensure accuracy and a successful application. Additionally, USCIS has provided an online tool to help applicants complete the form correctly.

What is the Form I-821 Fee?

The Form I-821 is an application for deferred action, which is a form of relief from deportation. It is also known as the Application for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The fee for filing Form I-821 is $50, and this fee is non refundable.

Can I Apply for Form I-821 Fee Waiver or Reduction?

No, only certain eligible individuals may apply for a fee waiver or reduction for Form I-821. Eligibility requirements can be found in the USCIS Form I-821 Instructions. Generally, to be eligible, the applicant must demonstrate that they have a financial need and meet certain eligibility criteria.

What is the Form I-821 Processing Time?

The processing time for Form I-821 can vary depending on the specific case and the workload of the USCIS center. Generally, however, it can take anywhere from three months to a year or more for Form I-821 to be processed.