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Biden administration will extend immigration relief to Ukrainians in the US

The Department of Homeland Security will allow Ukrainian nationals  who are in the United States as of March 1, 2022 to remain in the country under a form of humanitarian relief.

The relief — known as Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) — applies to people who would face extreme hardship if forced to return to homelands devastated by armed conflict or natural disasters, therefore the protections are limited to people already in the United States. The DHS secretary has discretion to designate a country for TPS.

“Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement announcing the move. “In these extraordinary times, we will continue to offer our support and protection to Ukrainian nationals in the United States.”

CNN previously reported on the expected announcement.

About 75,100 people are estimated to be eligible to file applications for TPS under the designation of Ukraine, according to a DHS spokesperson, which is more than double previous estimates. Individuals must have continuously resided in the US since March 1 to be eligible, and the TPS designation will be in place for 18 months.

The Biden administration has been under pressure from Democratic and Republican lawmakers, along with immigrant advocates, to provide protections to Ukrainians in the US who can’t return to war-torn Ukraine. The lawmakers wrote a letter to President Biden asking him to pass TPS for Ukrainian nationals and accept refugees.

Ukraine joins a list of 12 countries, like South Sudan, Haiti and Venezuela, that have also been designated for TPS.

Earlier Thursday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced it paused deportation flights to Ukraine, citing the “ongoing humanitarian crisis.”

“Amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis occurring in Ukraine, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has paused repatriation flights to Ukraine. ICE will continue to monitor the ongoing situation and make operational changes as necessary,” said an agency spokesperson.

ICE often pauses enforcement activity in the event of a conflict or natural disaster.

What to File to file for TPS:

Forms, Fees and necessary evidence to prove TPS eligibility.  Below is information about what you must include in your TPS package.  


–          I-821

–          I-765

–          I601 if you have violations and inadmissibility under 212(a)

To register or re-register for TPS you must file Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status.  All applicants eligible to file for TPS under one of the current designations may file Form I-821 online.

When filing an initial TPS application you should request an employment authorization document (EAD) by submitting a completed Form I-765, Request for Employment Authorization, at the time of filing Form I-821. You may also file your Form I-765 request separately at a later date. Filing Form I-821 with Form I-765 may help you receive your EAD more promptly if you are eligible. You may also file Form I-765 online if filing concurrently with Form I-821 online.

I-601 Waiver:  When you apply, if you are aware that a relevant ground of inadmissibility applies to you and you need a waiver to obtain TPS, please include a Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, with your TPS application package. However, you do not need to file a new Form I-601 for an incident that USCIS has already waived with a prior TPS application. USCIS may grant a waiver of certain inadmissibility grounds for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is in the public interest.

Evidence for TPS

When filing an initial TPS application, you must submit:

·         Identity and Nationality Evidence: to demonstrate your identity and that you are a national of a country designated for TPS (or that you have no nationality and you last habitually resided in a country designated for TPS).

·         Date of Entry Evidence: to demonstrate when you entered the United States.

·         Continuous Residence (CR) Evidence: to demonstrate that you have been in the United States since the CR date specified for your country (see your country’s TPS web page to the left).

Any document that is not in English must be accompanied by a complete English translation. The translator must certify that:

·         He or she is competent both in English and the foreign language used in the original document; and

·         The translation is true and correct to the best of his or her ability, knowledge, and belief.

 Date of Entry Evidence

·         A copy of your passport;

·         I-94 Arrival/Departure Record; or

·         Copies of documents specified in the “Continuous Residence (CR) Evidence” section below.

Continuous Residence (CR) Evidence

·         Employment records;

·         Rent receipts, utility bills, receipts or letters from companies;

·         School records from the schools that you or your children have attended in the U.S.;

·         Hospital or medical records concerning treatment or hospitalization of you or your children; or

·         Attestations by church, union or other organization officials who know you and where you have been residing.

For more information please view the following videos: