The Biden administration has taken steps to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukrainians residing temporarily in the United States. This extension grants an additional 18 months of protection, safeguarding eligible individuals from deportation and enabling them to pursue work opportunities through work permits.
This decision, announced by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), stems from the initial issuance of TPS for Ukrainians in March 2022, a response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Under the newly extended TPS, those qualifying for protection are shielded from deportation, and the avenue is opened for Ukrainians to seek work permits within the US.
In an effort to address the ongoing crisis triggered by Russia’s military intervention, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas conveyed, “Russia’s ongoing military invasion of Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian crisis requires that the United States continue to offer safety and protection to Ukrainians who may not be able to return to their country.” This compassionate stance aligns with the principles of temporary humanitarian relief extended to nationals of affected countries.
Moreover, the latest directive extends its support to Ukrainians on student visas in the US. The modifications permit these individuals to engage in more work-related activities while reducing their course load. For those seeking to prolong their protected status, the DHS mandates re-registration between August 21 and October 20.
The ramifications of this extension are significant, impacting approximately 26,000 individuals. Additionally, the redesignation of TPS for Ukraine renders an estimated 166,700 more people eligible for this form of temporary protection. Since the conflict displaced millions and left parts of the country in turmoil, numerous Ukrainians found refuge in neighboring European nations and around the globe.
The gravity of the situation is underscored by DHS, describing the conflict as “the largest conventional military action in Europe since World War II.” The department highlights the widespread suffering, civilian casualties, and alarming reports of war crimes and human rights violations committed during the conflict.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) serves as a mechanism for the US to offer refuge to individuals unable to return to their home countries due to armed conflict, natural disasters, or exceptional circumstances. It’s important to note that TPS does not lead to permanent residency or citizenship within the US. Currently, the United States has extended TPS to 16 countries, including Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, Sudan, Venezuela, and Syria.
Through this extension of TPS, the Biden administration reaffirms its commitment to providing a safe haven for those affected by geopolitical crises, underscoring the nation’s dedication to humanitarian values and global solidarity.