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Ukrainians Already in the U.S. May Be Able to Stay for 2 Years with Temporary Protected Status

Ukrainian nationals who entered the United States on or before April 11, 2022, and who have maintained continuous presence in the US since April 19, 2022, may be eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The Secretary of Homeland Security from time-to-time designates a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.


Ukrainian nationals who are still residing abroad may use the "Uniting for Ukraine" program, whereby a financial sponsor will first pledge to support the national, and once the sponsor is vetted and approved, the applicant can apply for TPS. For more information on this program, please see our blog on "Uniting for Ukraine."

The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country:

  • Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)

  • An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic

  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions

During a designated period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases (prima facie eligible):

  • Are not removable from the United States

  • Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)

  • May be granted travel authorization

Once granted TPS, an individual also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States.


TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status. However, registration for TPS does not prevent you from:

  • Applying for nonimmigrant status

  • Filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition

  • Applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible

PLEASE NOTE: To be granted any other immigration benefit, you must still meet all the eligibility requirements for that particular benefit. An application for TPS does not affect an application for asylum or any other immigration benefit and vice versa. Denial of an application for asylum or any other immigration benefit does not affect your ability to register for TPS, although the grounds of denial of that application may also lead to denial of TPS.


If you are applying for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Ukraine’s designation, effective April 19, 2022, you must register during the 18-month registration period that runs from April 19, 2022, through Oct. 19, 2023. We encourage you to register as soon as possible within the 18-month registration period.


Note on Seeking Asylum: Being granted and maintaining TPS until a reasonable period before the filing of the asylum application is considered an extraordinary circumstance for the purposes of the one-year filing deadline. In other words, having TPS status “stops the clock” on the requirement to file for asylum within one year of arriving in the United States, if the one-year clock has not already expired. See 8 CFR 208.4(a)(5)(iv).


Eligibility Requirements


To be eligible for TPS, you must:

  • Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;

  • File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation (Late initial filers see ‘Filing Late’ section below);

  • Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country; and

  • Have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country (April 19, 2022). The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When you apply or re-register for TPS, you must inform USCIS of all absences from the United States since the CPP and CR dates. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.

You may NOT be eligible for TPS or to maintain your existing TPS if you:

  • Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States;

  • Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;

  • Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum. These include, but are not limited to, participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity;

  • Fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements;

  • Fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements; or

  • If granted TPS, you fail to re-register for TPS, as required, without good cause.

Fees


There is a fee for Form I-821 if you are registering for TPS for the first time (up to $50 per person). There is no fee for Form I-821 if you are re-registering for TPS.

Other related fees, such as the biometrics services fee (up to $85), vary for initial registrations and re-registrations depending on:

  • Your age;

  • If you want an EAD (up to $410); and

  • If you need to request a waiver of grounds of inadmissibility.

In addition, if you work with The Grady Firm to prepare your application, we will require attorney's fees for legal advice, preparing your application, and acting as attorney of record.


Please be aware that some unauthorized practitioners may try to take advantage of you by claiming they can file TPS forms. Only an attorney or an accredited representative working for a Department of Justice (DOJ) recognized organization can give you legal advice.


WHAT NEXT?


If you are a Ukrainian national in the United States who is interested in applying for TPS, schedule a call with us to determine whether you are eligible. Please contact our office at info@gradyfirm.com, or call us at (949) 798-6298. You can also schedule a call directly on our website.

The Grady Firm works with dynamic employers and employees across the country to prepare successful employment-based visa and Green Card applications. In addition, we help individuals, families, employees, business owners, and investors obtain non-immigrant and immigrant visas (B-1/B2, H-1B, H-2B, L-1A, L-1B, O-1, TN, E-2, E-3), as well and Green Cards and citizenship based on family relationships, investment, or employment.


Click here to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with The Grady Firm’s attorneys; call +1 (949) 798-6298; or fill out a Contact Request Form.


This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular matter, as each matter has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by a licensed attorney.