Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a designation given to a country by the Secretary of Homeland Security. It directly impacts citizens of those countries currently in the United States. This occurs when our government feels that sending a national back to their country of origin will jeopardize their safety. Under some circumstances, people who reside in a country with this designation may also be eligible to stay in the U.S.
DHS may use this designation when another country is involved in armed conflict, or there has been an environmental disaster. Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Haiti, which have TPS status, are examples of countries that have received it due to violence, the potential threat of human rights violations, and political unrest. Anyone who is granted TPS will also be allowed to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Although TPS does not mean you are a legal permanent resident, you may continue the process of becoming one while you hold TPS.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a list of countries that have been designated for TPS. If your country is on that list (and you reside there) and you live in the U.S., you can file during the registration or re-registration period. Though an immigration attorney can assist and support you, you will ultimately have to file a Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status).
Because of the reasons cited above, Afghanistan was given TPS status on March 16, 2022—and Ukraine received it on March 3rd of the same year. Anyone who comes to the U.S. from Afghanistan after March 15, 2022, and people from the Ukraine who entered the U.S. after March 1 will not be eligible. It is essential to note the temporary nature of these designations because the U.S. is only allowing the designation to stand for 18 months.
These dates are significant because they will also be ineligible if someone from either country left the U.S. after those dates—but came back. Those who continuously resided here prior to their countries of origin were given a TPS designation can expect the processing time for a TPS application to take 180 days. There are approximately 75,000 Ukrainians expected to apply.
People from war-torn countries are justifiably concerned about their futures. ZafiroLaw can be your advocate when you need it the most. To meet with a lawyer regarding Temporary Protected Status or becoming a legal permanent resident, contact us today to schedule a consultation.