This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending and redesignating Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The extension allows approximately 26,000 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through April 19, 2025, if they continue to meet TPS eligibility requirements. An estimated 166,700 additional individuals may be eligible for TPS under the redesignation of Ukraine. This population includes nationals of Ukraine (and individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine) in the United States in nonimmigrant status or without lawful immigration status. DHS also announced special student relief for Ukraine.
The extension is for 18 months, beginning on October 20, 2023, and ending on April 19, 2025. Existing TPS beneficiaries who wish to extend their status through April 19, 2025, must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period (August 21, 2023, through October 20, 2023). Recognizing that not all re-registrants may receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before their current EAD expires, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is automatically extending previously issued Ukraine TPS-related EADs through October 19, 2024.
The redesignation of Ukraine allows additional Ukraine nationals (and individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine) who have been continuously residing in the United States since August 16, 2023, to apply for TPS for the first time during the initial registration period (August 21, 2023, through April 19, 2025).
The Federal Register notice explains the eligibility criteria, timelines and procedures necessary for current beneficiaries to re-register and renew their employment authorization documents (EADs), and for new applicants to submit an initial application under the redesignation and apply for an EAD.
Also, effective October 20, 2023, through April 19, 2025, DHS is suspending certain regulatory requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Ukraine, regardless of country of birth (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine), and who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a result of the current war in Ukraine. Such students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session and reduce their course loads while continuing to maintain their F–1 nonimmigrant student status. DHS said it will deem an F-1 nonimmigrant student granted such employment authorization to be engaged in a "full course of study" for the duration of the employment authorization, if the nonimmigrant student satisfies the minimum course load requirement described in the notice.