US flag   Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Study in the States

View Disclaimer



Use the Study in the States glossary to define key terms throughout the F and M student process in the United States. If you are a current or prospective student, select “students” to see terms that specifically relate to you—from visas, to forms, benefits, and more. School officials should select “schools” to find more information on certification, responsibilities, and how to help their F and M students. You can also sort terms by selecting the letter of the alphabet a term begins with.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

A designation the Secretary of Homeland Security may make about a foreign country "due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent safe return of the country's citizens; or where, in certain circumstances, the country is unable to handle the return of its citizens adequately." Benefits of TPS are temporary and vary, based on the designation. USCIS administers TPS.


When an F or M student has failed to maintain their nonimmigrant status, the designated school official updates their Student and Exchange Visitor Information System record to Terminated status and they must depart the country. 


The release of a student’s record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System from one SEVP-certified school to another.