The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on March 3, 2022 that it had designated the country of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian crisis created, DHS has provided a means for Ukrainians already in the United States to remain here temporarily. What is important to consider?
- Proof of continuous residence and physical presence are mandatory
Included in every TPS application must be sufficient evidence that TPS Ukraine applicants have continuously resided in the United States since March 1, 2022 and have been physically present in the United States since March 1, 2022. USCIS’ announcement is clear that “Individuals who attempt to travel to the United States after March 1, 2022 will not be eligible for TPS.” Documentation can include bills, receipts, statements, rental agreements, and other evidence which indicates the date and the applicant’s name. Submission of appropriate and sufficient documentation is crucial to obtaining a TPS approval.
- The registration period for TPS will begin on a date in a forthcoming Federal Register notice
Importantly, applicants for TPS Ukraine must wait to register until the date that is published in a Federal Register notice that will provide instructions for applying.
- It is possible, but not mandatory, to obtain a work permit
Subject to the aforementioned Federal Register notice’s instructions, TPS almost always provides a very important benefit for applicants. When applying for TPS, applicants are also usually eligible for a work permit with a duration during the temporary protection. However, it is not necessary to obtain a work permit, especially if the same has already been obtained through an asylum application.
- The protection consists of an initial 18 month period
The TPS designation for Ukraine is a period of protection for 18 months. Nonetheless, depending on the circumstances in the Eastern European region at the end of the 18-month designation, TPS may be extended for Ukrainians.
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