On Aug. 18, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukraine. This newly granted extension will run from Oct. 20, 2023, through April 19, 2025, due to the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine preventing a safe return for its citizens.
The TPS extension will allow 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.
Among the highlights of the DHS announcement:
- Redesignation of TPS for Ukraine: Allowing TPS eligibility for Ukrainian nationals – and individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine – residing in the United States as of Aug. 16, 2023, instead of the initial designation date of April 19, 2022.
- Special Student Relief for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students: Students whose country of citizenship is Ukraine 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.
- Re-registration Date for TPS: Current beneficiaries who wish to extend their temporary protected status must re-register during a set 60-day period, between Aug. 21, 2023, and Oct. 20, 2023, to ensure TPS and employment authorization retention without any gaps.
- Automatic EAD Extensions: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will automatically extend Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) previously issued through Oct. 19, 2024, recognizing not all re-registrants may receive a new EAD before their current documents expire.
- Continued Processing of Pending TPS Applications: 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 with USCIS. 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.
First-time applicants under this TPS redesignation must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, during the initial registration period that runs from Aug. 21, 2023, through April 19, 2025.
Those with additional questions about this process should consult with experienced immigration counsel.