TPS Eligibility for Ukraine and Sudan
TPS for Ukraine
By Patricia Elizee, Esq.,
On the 18th of April, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued two Federal Register notices touching on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) registration for people from Sudan and Ukraine.
The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, announced the designations to these two countries lasting for 18 months.
TPS applies to individuals from a few countries affected by;
- Significant crises
- Natural disasters, or
- War, creating an unsafe environment to return to.
TPS for Sudan
It doesn't pave the way to citizenship, and the applicants should be residing in the U.S at a particular time to qualify.
In March, the DHS announced both designations. However, the original requirement was for Ukrainians to be in the U.S by the 1st of March. The new announcement extended the application deadline to Monday, the 11th of April.
The DHS' expectation is that about 60,000 Ukrainians to be eligible. This includes Ukrainians who recently managed to bypass border restrictions due to the pandemic at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services estimate that about 3,090 individuals will benefit from the Sudanese designation. The list includes approximately 2,390 new applicants and 700 existing beneficiaries. Their documents got automatically extended to the 31st of December 2022, following a court order. However, the 1st March deadline still applies to Sudan.
Understanding the Registration Process
According to the DHS, the registration process for both countries started on the 19th of April. All individuals seeking TPS under these designations should apply.
For the Ukraine TPS, you must have stayed in the U.S. continuously since the 11th of April to be eligible. The application should also include evidence of your continuous physical presence in the U.S since the date stated.
It’s essential to note that Ukrainian citizens living outside the U.S are not eligible and will not become eligible if they move to the United States now. If this applies to you, it’s best to apply for a different asylum path or a visa at a U.S. consulate near you.
For the Sudan TPS, your stay in the U.S. must be continuous from the 1st of March 2022. The Federal Register notice also requires you to show your continuous presence in the U.S since the 1st of March. All individuals who arrived after the 1st of March 2022 do not qualify for TPS. T
The Federal Register Notice on TPS for Ukraine
On the 19th of April 2022, the DHS issued a Federal Register Notice designating TPS for Ukrainian citizens. The Ukrainian applicants must prove continuous physical presence in the U.S. from the 19th of April and continued residence from the 11th of April 2022.
Individuals can get barred from TPS eligibility due to the same reasons stated above. The registration period will be open for the next 18 months until the 19th of October 2023.
The Federal Register Notice on TPS for Sudan
On the 19th of April 2022, the DHS issued a Federal Register Notice (FRN) for Sudan. It has all the details on eligibility and registration requirements for the new TPS designation.
This publication indicated the official opening of the registration period. Registration will remain open until the 19th of October 2023, marking the end of the 18 months.
If you’re eligible for TPS, you can get barred if:
· You get convicted of two or more misdemeanors or any felony committed during your stay in the U.S.
· You become inadmissible due to any grounds stated in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable security and criminal-related grounds
· You receive any mandatory bar to asylum, including participation or incitement of terrorist activities or persecution of another person
· You don’t meet the requirements for continuous residence and physical presence in the U.S.
Should existing Sudan TPS beneficiaries submit applications under the new designation?
Individuals with existing TPS under the previous Sudan designations should register as initial applicants under the current title.
The previous designation came into effect in 1997 and extended several times. That was before termination under the Trump administration on the 2nd of November 2018.
There’s a lawsuit, Ramos v. Wolf, challenging the termination. A court-ordered injunction allowed an extension of the TPS for the current Sudanese holders. The most recent extension is until the 31st of December 2022. Until the lawsuit gets settled, there'll be continuous short-term automatic extensions of work permits and TPS protections.
Those individuals still under TPS protection due to the automatic extensions should submit new applications under the new designation. It's the best way to ensure they retain TPS regardless of the outcome of the pending lawsuit.
Extension and Re-designation of TPS for South Sudan
The current designation for South Sudan was also extended for 18 months, starting from the 3rd of May 2022 to the 3rd of November 2023.
The existing beneficiaries of the TPS can retain their status as long as they fulfill the eligibility requirements. However, they should re-register within 60 days from the 3rd of March to the 2nd of May 2022.
The current Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) were set to expire on the 2nd of May but got automatically extended for 180 days until the 1st of November 2022.
Individuals re-registering for TPS should also apply for new EADs that will remain valid until the 3rd of November 2023.
How to Apply for TPS under All Designations
All individuals eligible for Sudan, South Sudan, and Ukraine designations must fill and submit Form I-821. On the form, they should indicate “initial applicants.”
There's a $50 fee required for the application. Applicants aged 14 years or more should also pay $85, a biometrics service fee. Those who can't afford these fees can apply for a fee waiver via form I-912.
Applicants who need an EAD that remains valid throughout the designation period should fill and submit form I-765, and the fee required or a waiver request.
Patricia Elizee is the managing partner of the Elizee Law Firm an immigration and family law firm. Elizee Law Firm, 1110 Brickell Avenue, Suite 315, Miami, Florida 33131. Ph: 305-371-8846.