Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Temporary Protected Status for Ukrainian Nationals on March 3, 2022, calling the current Russian invasion in Ukraine "extraordinary times." This will grant an estimated 34,000 Ukrainians get temporary protected status and work eligibility for the next 18 months in the United States.
If you are a Ukrainian living in New York or the North Eastern United States and believe you may be eligible for TPS, contact The Law Office of Jason A. Dennis today!
What is Temporary Protected Status?
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary legal status provided to individuals who are currently residing in the U.S. but are from a country that is experiencing unsafe conditions, such as environmental disaster, ongoing armed conflict, or extraordinary times. Basically, TPS allows people to legally stay and work in the U.S. when it is unsafe to return to their home country.
There are currently 13 countries designated TPS under the Biden administration.
What Protections Does TPS Provide?
If you are granted TPS, you benefit from the following government protections:
- You cannot be deported from the U.S.
- You may receive an employment authorization document (EAD)
- You may be given travel authorization
- You cannot be detained by DHS
Can You Apply for Other Immigration Benefits if You are Granted TPS?
The short answer is, yes. TPS itself is only temporary protection, it does not prevent you from applying for other immigration benefits or from applying to adjust your immigration status. However, it does not lead to permanent resident status nor is it a pathway to citizenship.
How Long Does TPS Last?
The TPS for Ukrainians granted by the Biden administration expires on September 1, 2023. TPS can only be designated for a maximum of 18 months, but it can be renewed by the DHS if the conditions of the country have not improved by the expiration date.
Can Ukrainians be Granted Temporary Protected Status?
Even if you meet all of the qualifications for TPS, you are NOT automatically granted status. You must apply. If you are from Ukraine you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- National of Ukraine OR last habitually resided in Ukraine
- Continuously physically present in the U.S. since March 1, 2022
- Continuously residing in the U.S. since March 1, 2022
Who is NOT eligible for TPS?
- Any Ukrainian nationals or residents arriving in the U.S. after March 1, 2022
- Anyone convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors in the U.S.
- Individuals subject to any bars from asylum
- Individuals subject to any non-waivable criminal-related or terrorist-related grounds
- Anyone who fails to apply within the application time period
How to Apply for Temporary Protected Status
Applications for TPS must be submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services by August 28, 2022. To apply you must submit an Application for Temporary Protected Status, proof of your identity and nationality, proof of the date you entered the United States, and proof of residence.
After filing, the USCIS will review your application and contact you with a date to meet with an Application Support Center (ASC). When you meet with the ASC, they will review all necessary documents. After this meeting, the USCIS will send a written notice of whether your application was approved or denied.
If you and your family are Ukrainian and living in New York or the North Eastern U.S., consider hiring an immigration lawyer to support you through this process.
What Are The Benefits Of Hiring An Immigration Lawyer?
Understanding each step of this process, when you are already dealing with the uncertainty of when and if you will be able to return home can be extremely stressful. An immigration attorney can help you navigate the application process with ease. They will also be able to discover any other immigration benefits that you may be eligible for, help you apply for adjusted immigration status, and save you time, money, and the headache of going it alone.
Please reach out to New York's Finest Immigration Lawyer to start the process of protecting your residence here in the United States. We are here to help protect and support you.