On May 20, 2022, the United States government considered the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) plan for those Afghans who immigrated to this country using Humanitarian Parole, temporary permission, or other legal methods.
As the Temporary Protected Status or TPS for Afghans in the US is about to expire, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced a new plan for Temporary Protected Status for Afghans, which is discussed in this article.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Temporary Protected Status or TPS will expire on November 21, 2023, for Afghans in the United States. On September 20, 2023, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an 18-month extension and rescheduling of Temporary Protected Status for Afghans, which is effective from November 21, 2023, to May 20, 2025.
Those Afghan nationals who have entered the United States with parole or temporary permission are eligible to apply for Temporary Protected Residence or TPS, just as they can apply for any other immigration opportunity according to the relevant conditions. For your temporary reserved residence request to be accepted, you must meet all the relevant conditions. Having temporary protected residence does not result in receiving other immigration opportunities, including permanent residence or a green card.
Do you currently have TPS status?
If you currently have TPS and wish to extend your status until May 20, 2025, you must reapply within 60 days. This opportunity starts on September 25, 2023, and ends on November 21, 2023.
Do not have TPS?
If you previously entered the US illegally and were not eligible for TPS, you are now eligible. Nationals and citizens of Afghanistan (and stateless persons who last ordinarily resided in Afghanistan) who have permanently resided in the United States since September 20, 2023, and have had a permanent physical presence in the United States since November 21, 2023. and can apply for TPS. New applicants can submit their applications from September 25, 2023, until the end of this TPS period, which is May 20, 2025.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about TPS
What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
Answer: It is an immigration status or temporary accommodation that is intended for nationals of certain countries experiencing war, natural disasters, or other bad situations. In this situation, it is difficult or unsafe to return to those countries where the US provides protected status services to its citizens. TPS allows you to live and work in the United States temporarily. TPS does not lead to permanent immigration or "green card" status. Afghan conditional humanitarian visa or parole holders and TPS holders who wish to obtain permanent residence in the United States must qualify through other means, such as applying for asylum.
Who is eligible to apply for TPS?
Answer: If you are an Afghan national (or a stateless person who resides in Afghanistan) and you are in the United States without permanent immigration status, you may be able to apply for TPS. This allows you to live and work legally in the United States until Afghanistan is removed from TPS status. People with permanent status, such as permanent residents (green cards), asylum seekers, and refugees, are not eligible to apply for TPS.
What are the eligibility criteria for TPS?
Answer: To be eligible for TPS, Afghan nationals must be residing in the United States on or before September 20, 2023. It means that the United States was the main country where you lived and worked on September 20, 2023. In addition, applicants must be physically present in the United States continuously beginning on November 21, 2023. Continuous physical presence means that you have been inside the United States and have not left it, except for very short legal trips outside the United States.
Applicants for TPS must not have a serious criminal record. If you have been convicted of one or more crimes in the United States, you may not be eligible to receive or extend TPS benefits. Individuals are not eligible for TPS if they have participated in the persecution of another person or participated in or supported terrorist activities. If you have concerns about your eligibility, talk to a legal services provider.
I came to the United States through the Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) process and am currently on parole. TPS is very similar to the parole we have now. Why should I apply for TPS, and what will happen to my prole case if I am accepted for TPS?
Answer: Afghans on humanitarian parole under the OAW program will retain their parole status even if they are granted TPS, so there should be no concern about losing parole benefits. If TPS is extended for another 18 months in the future, only those who already have TPS will be eligible for the extension. Temporary prole status for those who entered through OAW is only for 2 years, which means that for some, it may expire before TPS can be renewed or reassigned. It is currently unclear whether USCIS will re-parole those whose parole period ends. So, applying for TPS is one way to ensure that you can stay in the United States legally and that your work authorization is not revoked.
When is the right time to apply for TPS?
Answer: If you currently have TPS and want to renew it, you must submit a renewal request within 60 days from September 25, 2023, to November 21, 2023, to ensure that your TPS and work permit card are valid. Keep it without expiration.
If you are applying for TPS for the first time. The registration period is from September 25, 2023, to May 20, 2025. Individuals on parole who wish to apply for TPS must do so 6 months before their parole expires to avoid the expiration of their work authorization and lawful stay in the United States.
What is the TPS application process?
Answer: People who want to apply for TPS are strongly encouraged to speak with a registered legal services provider to make sure they meet the requirements and to address their legal concerns before applying. It is important to know that each person must have a separate TPS application form, including spouse and children. The application for TPS is made on Form I-821, which must be filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with the required documents to prove your eligibility, the form fee, or a fee waiver, Form I-912. If the person applying for a TPS card wants work authorization or wants documentation for identification purposes (for example, children), they must also submit Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. For more information, applicants should visit the USCIS website.
What documents are required to complete the TPS application form?
Answer: To apply for TPS for the first time, you must prove three things:
First: you are a citizen of Afghanistan, and to prove the nationality of Afghanistan, the applicant can provide a passport, birth certificate, or national identity document from Afghanistan with a photo or fingerprint.
Second: That you have continuously resided in the United States since September 20, 2023, and to prove the date of entry, the applicant can use the passport entry stamp, Form I-94, or other documents to prove that on September 20, 2023, or before you have entered the United States.
Third: You have been physically present in the United States continuously since November 20, 2023; You can use a variety of documents to prove your residency in the United States on or before September 20, 2023, and your physical presence as of November 21, 2023. These documents can include employment documents such as paychecks or W-2 forms, bank statements, rent or utility bills, school records, hospital records, or certificates from resettlement authorities about your place of residence.
When submitting the required documents for your application, you only need to send copies of the original documents. Do not send original documents. For more information about what documents to include, talk to a legal services provider or visit the USCIS website.
If you already have TPS and are applying for a TPS extension, you do not need to provide any documents that have already been submitted.
I have TPS, and it expires on November 20, 2023. Do I need to re-register?
Answer: Yes! Current TPS beneficiaries and holders who wish to renew must re-register during the 60-day period from September 25, 2023, to November 20, 2023, to ensure that they maintain their TPS and work authorization without interruption. It is very important to re-register in a timely manner during the registration period and not wait for your employment authorization documents (EAD) to expire, as a delay in re-registration can result in a gap in your work authorization documents.
I have already applied for TPS, and my application is pending. what should I do?
Answer: USCIS will process previous pending TPS applications for Afghanistan. Individuals who have Form I-821 for TPS or Form I-765 for pending work authorization do not need to resubmit. If USCIS approves the pending Form I-821 or Form I-765 filed under the former TPS title for Afghanistan, USCIS will grant TPS to the individual by May 20, 2025, and issue an EAD valid until that date.
Immigration information is very complex and detailed; where can I get legal advice?
Answer: Some resettlement offices may have legal services, or some may have connections with resources and legal service providers that they can share with you. Those who are in contact with resettlement offices can talk to their resettlement office in the first step. Otherwise, there is another online option to find legal services through this online directory. You will need to enter your zip code to display a list of providers in your area.
It is important to understand that with the arrival of large numbers of people with conditional residency, there is a high demand for legal services. Many legal service providers, especially those that charge little or no fees for their services, have long waiting times for appointments or are temporarily not accepting new clients. It is important to be patient and check with service providers every few weeks for their availability.
You can get information about TPS from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
Ask for help from "Beporsed"
For those Afghans seeking specific information, "Beporsed" is here to help. You can reach our information center through WhatsApp (+93729807235), Facebook Messenger, or our website's Messenger to ask our online information desk officer for assistance.
For more information
For more information on immigration, resettlement, education and scholarship programs, and other opportunities available to Afghans worldwide, as well as details on the humanitarian services provided by international organizations in Afghanistan and procedures for obtaining civil documents from governmental institutions, please visit Beporsed's website and social media pages.