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Ukrainian citizens can now apply for a TPS

On March 3, 2022 Ukraine was designed for a TPS status as a result of Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian nationals who continuously resided in the US since April 11, 2021 can apply for a TPS and can also apply for work authorization that will allow them to work in the U.S.

What is a TPS?

Temporary protected status (“TPS”) is a temporary immigration status that is granted for eligible nationals of certain foreign countries. In the past, nationals of countries such as Sudan, Somalia, Honduras or Nepal could have applied for the TPS. Ukraine was most recently added to the list on March 3, 2022.

Can I apply for a TPS?

If you are a Ukrainian national (or you have no nationality but you last resided in Ukraine), you could apply for a TPS. To qualify for a TPS, you:

  • must have continuously resided in the US since April 11, 2022, and
  • you must have been continuously present in the U.S. since April 19, 2022.

Do I get the status automatically or how can I apply for a TPS?

You do not get the TPS status automatically – you will have to file Form -821 with USCIS. Additionally, if you would like to work in the U.S. while in a TPS, you will need to apply for a work authorization on top of filing the 821 Form.

What does being in TPS mean?

During the TPS registration period (See below) you can stay in the U.S. and cannot be removed from the U.S. If you would like to work in the U.S., you can also apply for a work authorization (and start working once it’s approved).

What is the TPS registration period?

The initial TPS registration period is April 19, 2022 -October 19, 2023. The period may be possibly extended in the future.

Is there a filing fee?

Yes. There is a filing fee for Form -821 and the exact fee will depend on your age and whether or not you are also applying for a work authorization. For example, the fee for an applicant 14-65 years old who is not applying for a work authorization, the fee is $545.

How long does it take to get the TPS petition approved?

USCIS adjudication timelines often change based on its current caseload but it will most likely take several months for your TPS and work authorization petition to be approved.

I am in a TPS status, can I apply for a green card?

Yes. If you are in the U.S. on TPS status and you later want to apply for a green card (e.g. employment based green card sponsored by your employer or family based green card  sponsored by an eligible family member, it is possible to file an Adjustment of Status petition (green card petition).  You should discuss the timeline of filing this with an experienced immigration attorney.

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