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Update to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukrainians Allows Those Residing in the U.S. Since April 11, 2022 to Apply for Work Permit & Protection

April 19, 2022
Aaron Lawee

On April 19, 2022, the Biden administration finally began accepting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applications for Ukrainians and also implemented several welcome changes that will allow many more Ukrainians to apply for this temporary benefit. On March 3, 2022, the Biden administration designated Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) on account of the Russian invasion into Ukraine. Importantly, at the time of the initial announcement, the administration indicated that Ukrainian citizens would be eligible for TPS if they had been in the United States since March 1, 2022. Today, the administration announced the following notable changes:

  • 1) Ukrainians Must Have Had Continuous Residence in the U.S. Since April 11, 2022

The first positive change made by the Biden administration is moving the date of continuous residence for Ukrainians from March 1, 2022 to April 11, 2022. Continuous residence means residing in the United States for the entire period since at least April 11, 2022. A person shall not be considered to have failed to maintain continuous residence in the United States by reason of a brief, casual and innocent absence due merely to a brief temporary trip abroad required by emergency or extenuating circumstances outside the control of the alien.

  • 2) Ukrainians Must Have Had Continuous Physical Presence in the U.S. Since April 19, 2022

The second positive change made by the Biden administration is moving the date of physical presence for Ukrainians from March 1, 2022 to April 19, 2022. Physical presence means actual physical presence in the United States since April 19, 2022, but an person shall not be considered to have failed to maintain continuous physical presence in the United States by virtue of brief, casual, and innocent absences as defined within this section.

Please note that the other requirements and benefits of TPS described in our previous post have not changed: https://www.mmhpc.com/biden-grants-temporary-protected-status-tps-to-ukrainians-in-the-u-s/

In general, applying for TPS will be significantly advantageous for most Ukrainians in the U.S. who are not already a U.S. citizen or U.S. lawful permanent resident (“green card” holder). TPS comes with a temporary protection from deportation, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) work permit, and eligibility for a Social Security number. In some cases, however, using the EAD work permit may impact an individual’s nonimmigrant status if that separate status does not permit working in the U.S. (e.g., some F-1 students, some H-4 spouses, etc.) If you have questions about your eligibility to apply for TPS, or of the consequences of applying for TPS, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 427-6163 or schedule a consultation online.

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