Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Secretary Mayorkas Extends and Redesignates Temporary Protected Status for Ukraine

Redesignation Enables Additional Eligible Ukrainian Nationals to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization Documents

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced an extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukraine for 18 months, from October 20, 2023, through April 19, 2025, due to ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Ukraine that prevent individuals from safely returning. In addition, DHS announced a redesignation of TPS for Ukraine for the same reason, allowing Ukrainian nationals (and individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine) residing in the United States as of August 16, 2023, to be eligible for TPS. Accompanying this announcement is a Special Student Relief notice for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Ukraine so the students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain F-1 status through the TPS designation period. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas made the decision to extend and redesignate TPS for this population in consultation with interagency partners and with careful consideration of conditions.

These conditions result from the expansion of the Russian military invasion into Ukraine, the largest conventional military action in Europe since World War II. Russia's expanded military invasion has led to high numbers of civilian casualties and reports of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russian military forces and officials. This invasion has caused a humanitarian crisis, with significant numbers of individuals fleeing and damage to civilian infrastructure that has left many without electricity or access to medical services. These conditions prevent Ukrainian nationals and habitual residents from safely returning.

"Russia's ongoing military invasion of Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian crisis requires that the United States continue to offer safety and protection to Ukrainians who may not be able to return to their country," said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. "We will continue to offer our support to Ukrainian nationals through this temporary form of humanitarian relief."

The extension allows approximately 26,000 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through April 19, 2025, if they continue to meet TPS eligibility requirements. An estimated 166,700 additional individuals may be eligible for TPS under the redesignation of Ukraine. This population includes nationals of Ukraine (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Ukraine) in the United States in nonimmigrant status or without lawful immigration status.

Current beneficiaries who wish to extend their temporary protected status must re-register in a timely manner during the 60-day re-registration period from August 21, 2023 through October 20, 2023 to ensure they keep their TPS and employment authorization without a gap. Recognizing that not all re-registrants may receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before their current EAD expires, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is automatically extending EADs previously issued through October 19, 2024.

USCIS will continue to process pending applications filed under previous TPS designations for Ukraine. Individuals with a pending Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, or a related Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, do not need to file either application again. If USCIS approves a pending Form I-821 or Form I-765 filed under the previous designation of TPS for Ukraine, USCIS will grant the individual TPS through April 19, 2025, and issue an EAD valid through the same date.

Initial, first-time applicants for TPS under the redesignation of Ukraine must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, during the initial registration period that runs from August 21, 2023 through April 19, 2025. Applicants may file Form I-821 online. When filing a TPS application, applicants can also request an EAD by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with their Form I-821, or separately at a later date. Applicants may also submit Form I-765 online.

The Federal Register notice explains the eligibility criteria, timelines, and procedures necessary for current beneficiaries to re-register and renew EADs, and for new applicants to submit an initial application under the redesignation and apply for an EAD.

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