OMAHA, NE – On Wednesday, March 16 Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas designated Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for 18 months.
The new designation will ensure Afghans in the U.S. whose temporary visas may soon expire or who were recently brought to the U.S. on parole can continue living and working in the U.S. without fear of return to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan for at least the next year and a half. Along with the ongoing armed conflict, DHS also cited the devastated economy in and other humanitarian concerns.
“Immigrant Legal Center commends the Biden administration’s designation of Afghanistan for TPS, which will provide temporary protection to qualifying Afghans in the United States,” said Anna Deal, Immigrant Legal Center Legal Director. “We now urge a comprehensive response to the crisis in Afghanistan, including passing the Afghan Adjustment Act to provide Afghans with a path to secure, permanent immigration status and the stability they need to build new lives.”
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. The forthcoming Federal Register notice will provide instructions for applying for TPS and an Employment Authorization Document.
The TPS program, a humanitarian form of lawful immigration status, has been in place since the 1990s, providing safety for disaster-displaced immigrants and enriching our communities. Secretaries of Homeland Security may extend TPS eligibility to people from designated countries in which conditions prevent citizens from returning safely. While the conditions affecting safety may be temporary, the program allows for TPS protections to be extended for as long as dangerous conditions persist.
Immigrant Legal Center encourages Afghan nationals considering applying for TPS to consult with an immigration attorney. If this news impacts you, consider calling the Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline (NILAH). NILAH offers free, confidential intakes, for consultations and referrals call 1-855-307-6730.
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