The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukraine, effective from October 20, 2023, through April 19, 2025. This decision is a response to the ongoing armed conflict and exceptional, temporary conditions in Ukraine, which make it unsafe for individuals to return. Additionally, DHS has redesigned TPS for Ukraine for the same reasons, making Ukrainian nationals (and those with no nationality who last resided in Ukraine) residing in the United States as of August 16, 2023, eligible for TPS. This announcement is accompanied by Special Student Relief for F-1 nonimmigrant students from Ukraine, allowing them to request employment authorization, work more hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while maintaining F-1 status during the TPS designation period.
The decision was made by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas after consultation with interagency partners, considering the dire conditions resulting from the expansion of the Russian military invasion into Ukraine. This invasion, the largest conventional military action in Europe since World War II, has led to civilian casualties, reports of war crimes and crimes against humanity by Russian military forces and officials, and a humanitarian crisis. Many individuals have been forced to flee, and civilian infrastructure has been damaged, leaving people without electricity and access to medical services, making it unsafe for Ukrainian nationals and habitual residents to return.
The extension allows around 26,000 current beneficiaries to maintain TPS through April 19, 2025, provided they meet TPS eligibility criteria. An estimated 166,700 more individuals may be eligible for TPS under Ukraine's redesignation. Current beneficiaries must re-register within the 60-day re-registration period from August 21, 2023, to October 20, 2023, to maintain their TPS and employment authorization without a gap. To address potential EAD issuance delays, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is automatically extending EADs issued through October 19, 2024.
USCIS will continue processing pending applications filed under previous TPS designations for Ukraine. Individuals with pending Form I-821 or Form I-765 do not need to refile. USCIS will grant TPS through April 19, 2025, and issue EADs valid through the same date for approved pending applications.
Initial applicants for TPS under Ukraine's redesignation must submit Form I-821 during the initial registration period from August 21, 2023, through April 19, 2025, with the option to file Form I-821 online. EAD requests can be submitted by including a completed Form I-765 with the Form I-821 or at a later date. Online filing of Form I-765 is also an option.
The Federal Register notice provides comprehensive information on eligibility criteria, timelines, and procedures for current beneficiaries to re-register and renew EADs, as well as for new applicants to submit an initial application under the redesignation and apply for an EAD.