The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it is offering Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Afghanistan citizens currently living in the United States, as of May 20, 2022. This will allow Afghanis currently residing in the U.S. without other legal status to apply for special protection. This will allow them to legally remain in the United States, and also apply for work authorization.
What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
Temporary Protected Status is a classification that DHS sometimes grants to certain countries that are experiencing extraordinary difficulties, such as famine, civil war, natural disasters, or political persecution. This allows citizens of those countries to apply for legal status while TPS is in place, which is generally for a period of 18 months. However, DHS may continually renew Temporary Protected Status for a country if the problems that sparked the initial declaration remain a problem.
What Are the Benefits of TPS?
By applying for TPS protections, someone can obtain legal status and remain in the United States without fear of deportation, even if they do not have legal status through other means. While it is in place, they can also apply for work authorization, allowing them to legally obtain employment while they reside in the U.S. This means that people who otherwise might face hardship due to living in the United States without legal status do not need to fear being deported.
Why Has Afghanistan Been Granted TPS?
Citizens of Afghanistan have been granted TPS protections due to ongoing political and economic problems that continue to plague the country. When the last American troops left Afghanistan in August 2021, it left the country in political disarray, and the Taliban quickly moved in to fill the power vacuum. As a result, there has been significant political turmoil, with many Afghani citizens fleeing the country to avoid persecution by the new government.
What Should I Do if I Want TPS?
If you are eligible for TPS and want to apply for its protections, you should fill out Form I-821, the application for Temporary Protected Status. You should also speak to an immigration law attorney, who can assist you with the application process. They can also argue on your behalf if you need to go in front of an immigration court, and help you to enforce your legal rights. The sooner you call them, the sooner they can get to work on your case.
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