We have some breaking news for Ukrainian nationals. In a swift and unprecedented move, the Department of Homeland Security, today announced the designation of Ukraine to receive Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an 18-month period.
What is Temporary Protected Status?
Established by the U.S. Congress in 1990, temporary protected status (TPS) is a program that allows migrants whose home countries are considered unsafe, the right to live and work in the United States for a temporary, but extendable, period of time. Though they are not considered lawful permanent residents (green card holders) or U.S. citizens, they are authorized to live in the United States without fear of deportation under temporary protected status. Applicants may also apply for employment authorization by filing Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization with USCIS along with their application for TPS.
A country may be designated for TPS when conditions in the country fall into one or more of the three statutory bases for designation: ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions.
Ukraine’s designation is based on both ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Ukraine that prevent Ukrainian nationals, and those of no nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine, from returning to Ukraine safely.
Who can apply?
Individuals eligible for TPS under this designation must have continuously resided in the United States since Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Eligible applicants must be a national of Ukraine or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine.
Any Ukrainian nationals who attempt to travel to the United States after Tuesday, March 1, 2022, will not be eligible for Temporary Protected Status.
Ukraine’s 18-month designation will go into effect on the publication date of the forthcoming Federal Register notice. The Federal Register notice will provide instructions for applying for Temporary Protected Status, and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
TPS applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and undergo security and background checks to gain approval.
The general requirements are listed below:
- Be a national of Ukraine, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine;
- File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation;
- Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since March 1, 2022; and
- Have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States March 1, 2022. The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.
Who is not eligible for TPS?
You may NOT be eligible for TPS or to maintain your existing TPS if you:
- Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States;
- Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;
- Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum. These include, but are not limited to, participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity;
- Fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements;
- Fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements; or
- If granted TPS, you fail to re-register for TPS, as required, without good cause
How did the TPS designation come about?
As you know, Russia has engaged in military operations in Ukraine, threatening the stability and wellbeing of Ukrainian nationals. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made the decision to add Ukraine to the list of countries eligible for TPS, because of “Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine [that] has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries.” Mayorkas stated, “In these extraordinary times, we will continue to offer our support and protection to Ukrainian nationals in the United States.”
DHS has called the full-scale Russian military invasion into Ukraine, the largest conventional military action in Europe since World War II.
Where can I find more information?
Once DHS publishes the designation in the Federal Register, we will update our helpful links below. If you would like to apply for this designation, we invite you to contact our office for a consultation.
Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-569-1768 or call 619-819-9204.
- Secretary Mayorkas Designates Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months
- USCIS Ukraine TPS Announcement
- USCIS TPS Webpage
- Processing Posts for Visa Applicants in Ukraine
- USCIS Reaches Fiscal Year 2022 H-1B Cap
- USCIS Initial Registration Announcement
- H-1B Electronic Registration Step-by-Step Instructions
- All About the H-1B Visa
- Youtube channel
- ImmigrationU Membership
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