Ukraine Designated for Temporary Protected Status
Ukrainian nationals (or individuals who last resided in Ukraine) who are currently inside the United States may be able to lawfully remain in the country on what is called “Temporary Protected Status” or “TPS.” On March 3, 2022, Secretary Mayorkas designated Ukraine for TPS for 18 months (until October 19, 2023) due to “ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions result[ing] from the full-scale Russian military invasion into Ukraine, which marks the largest conventional military action in Europe since World War II.” The designation by Secretary Mayorkas further describes the basis for TPS by stating that the “invasion has caused a humanitarian crisis with significant numbers of individuals fleeing and damage to civilian infrastructure that has left many without electricity or water or access to food, basic supplies, shelter, and emergency medical services.”
The Secretary of Homeland Security has the authority to designate countries eligible for TPS if the conditions of the country, like in Ukraine, are such that its nationals cannot safely return. Eligible country conditions include ongoing armed conflicts, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary temporary conditions. Individuals found to be preliminarily eligible for, or that have already been granted, TPS cannot be deported from the U.S. during the designated TPS period. They can also request an employment authorization document that would allow them to legally work in the United States. To be eligible for TPS, the national (or qualifying resident) must have been continuously present in the United States since April 19, 2022. They must apply with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before October 19, 2023.
As its name implies, TPS is only a temporary benefit, though the initial designation period can be extended. TPS does not provide a long-term path to residency in the U.S. For example, TPS beneficiaries cannot apply for green cards (lawful permanent resident status) as a result of receiving TPS. However, receiving TPS will not prohibit them from applying for any other immigration status for which they are independently eligible.
The attorneys at Tanner Law Offices can assist you or your loved ones in the process of seeking Temporary Protected Status. We are experienced in representing clients before the USCIS. Please Contact our office or contact our office at 717-731-8114 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.