DHS Opens Registration for TPS for Ukraine and Sudan27 Apr 2022
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now accepting applications for temporary protected status (TPS) from nationals of Ukraine and Sudan. In March 2022, the DHS designated Ukraine for temporary protected status (TPS), due to the Russian invasion, which has resulted in a humanitarian crisis. In addition, the DHS designated Sudan for TPS due to the political instability and unrest in that country.
Background on Temporary Protected Status
TPS allows nationals of designated countries to remain in the United States for a specified period, due to conditions that would prevent a safe return to those countries. 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 any permanent immigration status.
Eligibility Requirements for Ukrainians and Sudanese
To qualify for TPS under this designation for Ukraine, an individual must be a national of Ukraine, or, if the person has no nationality, s/he must have last habitually resided in Ukraine. The applicant must also have resided continuously in the United States since April 11, 2022. Initially, when DHS announced TPS designation for Ukraine in March 2022, the agency indicated that an individual would need to have resided in the U.S. since March 1, 2022. Fortunately, however, the DHS amended this date to April 11, 2022.
Likewise, to qualify for TPS under this designation for Sudan, an individual must be a national of Sudan, or, if the person has no nationality, s/he must have last habitually resided in Sudan. One also must have resided continuously in the United States since March 1, 2022.
Initial TPS Granted for 18 Months
The TPS designation for Ukraine and Sudan 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.
Process to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization
Individuals eligible to apply for TPS must submit form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status with USCIS during the initial 18-month period (by October 19, 2023). An I-765 form can also be submitted at the same time if a TPS applicant wishes to apply for work authorization.
The United States has a proud tradition of offering humanitarian relief to foreign nationals during emergency situations. This move by the DHS should offer at least a modicum of relief and protection to those who are dealing with catastrophe or stress and unable to safely return home.
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