March 16, 2022 – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today the designation of Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. TPS will apply only to those Afghan nationals residing in the United States as of March 15, 2022 and who otherwise qualify for TPS.
In its release, DHS outlined:
“Secretary Mayorkas is designating Afghanistan for TPS on the statutory bases of ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent the country’s nationals from returning in safety. Armed conflict that poses a serious threat to the safety of returning nationals is ongoing in Afghanistan as the Taliban seeks to impose control in all areas of the country and Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) conducts attacks against civilians. Extraordinary and temporary conditions that further prevent nationals from returning in safety include a collapsing public sector, a worsening economic crisis, drought, food and water insecurity, lack of access to healthcare, internal displacement, human rights abuses and repression by the Taliban, destruction of infrastructure, and increasing criminality.
Through Operation Allies Welcome, most Afghan nationals who arrived as part of the evacuation effort were paroled into the United States on a case-by-case basis, for humanitarian reasons, for a period of two years and received work authorization. These individuals may also be eligible for TPS. Additional information about registering for TPS can be found at Temporary Protected Status | USCIS.
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.”
Afghanistan’s 18-month designation will go into effect on the publication date of the forthcoming Federal Register notice. The Federal Register notice will provide instructions for applying for TPS and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). TPS applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and undergo security and background checks.
Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in the statement, “This TPS designation will help protect Afghan nationals who have already been living in the United States from returning to unsafe conditions. 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.”
Ulmer’s Immigration Law Group is closely monitoring these developments and is prepared to support you and your organization with your business needs. Please reach out to our immigration attorneys if you have any questions.
The information provided in this client alert speaks only to the information and guidance we have available as of the date of publication and is subject to change. We will continue to follow further issued guidance and regulations and endeavor to post those updates via our website. Please continue to follow these updates at ulmer.com. This legal update was created by Ulmer & Berne LLP, and is not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice. Receipt of this client alert, by itself, does not create an attorney client relationship. For any questions, or for further information, please contact David W. Leopold at email@example.com.