Afghan nationals already living in the U.S. without a permanent legal status can be protected from deportation for 18 months.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that Afghanistan has been given temporary protected status (TPS). Afghans living in this country as of March 15, 2022, can apply. To receive TPS, they must pay and fee and pass a security and background check.
“This TPS designation will help to protect Afghan nationals who have already been living in the United States from returning to unsafe conditions,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Under this designation, TPS will also provide additional protections and assurances to trusted partners and vulnerable Afghans who supported the U.S. military, diplomatic, and humanitarian missions in Afghanistan over the last 20 years.”
The Law Office of Rosina C. Stambaugh in York, PA, can help you establish eligibility for TPS. If you are an Afghan national or from another TPS-designated country, we can guide you through the process of applying for TPS as well as employment authorization.
Countries Currently Designated for TPS
The Secretary of Homeland Security has the authority to designate TPS for countries where conditions temporarily prevent nationals from safely returning home.
TPS can be granted due to the following reasons:
- Ongoing Armed Conflict
- Environmental Disaster or Epidemic
- Other Extraordinary and Temporary Conditions
In the case of Afghanistan, Secretary Mayorkas designated the country for TPS based on the ongoing armed conflict and other extraordinary and temporary conditions. The Taliban seeks to impose control in all areas of the country and Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) conducts attacks against civilians. The country is also experiencing food and water insecurity and a worsening economic crisis. Human rights abuses by the Taliban have also been documented.
Other countries currently designated for TPS include the following:
- Burma (Myanmar)
- El Salvador
- South Sudan
TPS is initially granted for 18 months, but the Secretary may extend the TPS period depending on the circumstances in the country. Extensions usually are made in increments of 6, 12, or 18 months. TPS benefits end when a country is no longer designated for temporary protected status. The Secretary is required to give at least a 60-day notice if TPS status will not be extended.
Protections Provided by TPS
Anyone who successfully applies for TPS is protected against deportation. TPS beneficiaries can also obtain an employment authorization document (EAD) and may be granted authorization to travel outside the U.S.
TPS is not a pathway to permanent resident status, but beneficiaries can apply for an adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition or other eligible immigration benefits. They can also apply for non-immigrant visas such as a student visa.
TPS and Operation Allies Welcome
Operation Allies Welcome was created in August 2021 to resettle Afghans in the U.S., including those who worked alongside the U.S. in Afghanistan for the last 20 years. Those who were evacuated and paroled into this country were screened and vetted before allowed entry. These individuals may also be eligible for TPS.
TPS will apply only to those individuals who are already residing in the United States as of March 15, 2022, and meet all other requirements, including undergoing security and background checks. Those who attempt to travel to the United States after March 15, 2022, will not be eligible for TPS.
Attorney for TPS and Other Complex Immigration Matters
At The Law Office of Rosina C. Stambaugh, our passion is to help immigrants realize their dreams of living in the United States. The freedom and economic opportunities in this country attract people from around the globe. Others come here to escape danger or religious persecution. We can help individuals and families become legal and productive residents in American communities.
We also help those who are facing deportation understand their rights. We will use all legal avenues available to fight for your ability to stay in the U.S.