Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has designated Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from April 19, 2022 through October 19, 2023. The registration period for eligible individuals to submit TPS applications will run from April 19, 2022 through October 19, 2023. Eligible individuals will also be able to apply for TPS-related employment authorization documents (EADs) and travel permission during this time. DHS has also announced that it will suspend certain employment authorization rules for Ukrainian students in F-1 status who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has designated Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from April 19, 2022 through October 19, 2023. According to a Federal Register notice that will be published tomorrow, the designation will permit eligible Ukrainian nationals and those with no nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine to file for TPS status and for related employment authorization documents (EADs) and travel permission. DHS and the Department of State have deemed the designation warranted due to the ongoing armed conflict and human rights abuses stemming from Russia’s expanded military invasion of Ukraine.
Relatedly, Secretary Mayorkas also announced today that DHS is suspending certain employment authorization rules for Ukrainian citizens in F-1 status who are experiencing severe economic hardship due to the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine.
Ukrainian nationals who can demonstrate continuous residence in the United States since April 11, 2022, and who have been continuously physically present in the United States since April 19, 2022, may be eligible for TPS under Ukraine’s new designation. Applicants must file a Form I-821 application with appropriate fee(s) (or request for fee waiver) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) between April 19, 2022 and October 19, 2023. Applicants may also apply for EADs and for travel authorization during this time, by submitting the corresponding forms and fee(s) or fee waiver request.
All individuals applying for TPS undergo security and background checks as part of determining eligibility. Biometrics collection (fingerprints) is generally required for applicants ages 14 and older.
Relaxed employment authorization rules for certain Ukrainian students in F-1 status
Separately, Ukrainian citizens in lawful F-1 student status may benefit from relaxed employment authorization rules if they are experiencing severe economic hardship due to the ongoing armed conflict. Eligible students can request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain a “full course of study” designation. To qualify, F-1 students must establish that they:
- Are Ukrainian citizens (or have no nationality, but last habitually resided in Ukraine);
- Are lawfully present in the United States in F-1 status on April 19, 2022
- Are enrolled in an academic institution that is Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified;
- Are currently maintaining F-1 status; and
- Are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine.
F-1 students who receive authorization from their Designated School Officer (DSO) to work off-campus must apply for an EAD by submitting the required application form and corresponding fee. F-1 students who will be working on-campus do not need to file for an EAD, but do require DSO authorization.
Ukrainian citizens who believe they qualify for TPS should file their applications quickly to take advantage of this benefit and obtain employment authorization as quickly as possible. Ukrainian citizens in F-1 status should contact their school’s Designated School Official (DSO) to determine whether they can avail themselves of the relaxed employment authorization standards.