DHS Accepting Registrations for TPS for Afghanistan20 Jun 2022
In March 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated Afghanistan for temporary protected status (TPS) due to the ongoing armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in the region. The DHS is now accepting applications for TPS from nationals of Afghanistan.
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.
To qualify for TPS under this designation for Afghanistan, the individual must be a national of Afghanistan, or, if the person has no nationality, must have last habitually resided in Afghanistan. The applicant also must have resided continuously in the United States since March 15, 2022, and been continuously physically present in the United States since May 20, 2022. Afghan nationals who were paroled into the United States through Operation Allies Welcome also may be eligible for TPS.
Initial TPS Granted for 18 Months
The TPS designation for Afghanistan has been granted for an initial period of 18 months, effective 20.May.2022 through 20.Nov.2023. 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 20.Nov.2023). Form I-765 may be submitted at the same time if a TPS applicant wishes to request employment authorization.
The grant of TPS to Afghanistan is a welcomed development following years of pressure placed on the U.S. government to offer TPS to individuals unable to return to Afghanistan.
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