TPS Designations for Ukraine04 Mar 2022
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated Ukraine for temporary protected status (TPS), due to the Russian invasion, which has resulted in a humanitarian crisis.
Effective November 21, 2014, nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone living in the United States are eligible to apply for permission to remain in the U.S. under the TPS program. Per DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, “Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries. In these extraordinary times, we will continue to offer our support and protection to Ukrainian nationals in the United States.”
Temporary Protected Status
TPS allows nationals of designated countries to remain in the United States for a specified period of time, due to conditions in their respective home countries that would prevent a safe return. The types of conditions that can give rise to a TPS designation include: armed conflicts, environmental disasters, epidemics, earthquakes, and other extraordinary, temporary conditions. Individuals who are granted TPS are protected against removal (deportation) from the U.S. and are eligible to apply for work and travel authorization. The TPS period is temporary and does not lead to a permanent immigration status.
General Eligibility Requirements
In order to qualify for TPS under this designation, an individual must be a national of Ukraine, or, if the person has no nationality, s/he must have last habitually resided in Ukraine. One also must have resided continuously in the United States since March 1, 2022. Details of this TPS designation will be posted in the Federal Register.
Initial TPS Granted for 18 Months
The TPS designation for Ukraine has been granted for an initial period of 18 months. If the country conditions do not sufficiently improve during this period, the DHS will have the discretion to extend the duration of the TPS designation. If this occurs, stakeholders must be mindful of the need to reregister and, in most cases, apply to renew work authorization.
The United States has a proud tradition of offering humanitarian relief to foreign nationals during emergency situations. The recent crisis in Ukraine has been both frightening and tragic, and this move by the DHS should offer at least a modicum of relief and protection to those who are unable to safely return home.
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