On March 3, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an initial period of 18 months.

A country may be designated for TPS when conditions in that country reduce into one or more of the three statutory requirements for designation. Those requirements include:

  • Ongoing armed conflict within the state posing a serious threat to the personal safety of nationals if returned there;
  • Earthquake, flood, drought, epidemic, or other environmental disaster resulting in a substantial but temporary disruption of living conditions in the area affected; or
  • Extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state preventing its nationals from returning safely.

DHS has confirmed that the designation of Ukraine for TPS is based on both ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Ukraine that prevent its nationals from returning safely.

Individuals are eligible for TPS under this recent designation if they have continuously resided in the United States since March 1, 2022. Ukrainian nationals who attempt to travel to the United States after March 1, 2022, will not be eligible for TPS. Ukraine’s 18-month designation will go into effect on the publication date of the forthcoming Federal Register notice.

During a TPS designation period, beneficiaries or those who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases are not removable from the United States; can obtain employment authorization; and may be granted travel authorization. Once an individual is granted TPS, they cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of their immigration status in the United States.

In addition to the TPS designation, USCIS published a reminder of measures that may be available – on a case-by-case basis and upon request – to those affected by extreme events:

  • Changing a nonimmigrant status or extending a nonimmigrant stay for an individual currently in the United States. If you fail to apply for the extension or change before expiration of your authorized period of admission, we may excuse that if the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control;
  • Reparole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;
  • Expedited processing of advance parole requests;
  • Expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
  • Expedited adjudication of petitions or applications, including employment authorization applications, when appropriate;
  • Consideration of fee waiver requests due to an inability to pay;
  • Flexibility for those who received a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny but were unable to submit evidence or otherwise respond in a timely manner;
  • Flexibility if you were unable to appear for a scheduled interview with USCIS;
  • Expedited replacement of lost or damaged immigration or travel documents issued by USCIS, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), Employment Authorization Document, or Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record; and
  • Rescheduling a biometric services appointment.

Click here to view all GT insights related to the Ukraine conflict.