Should I Apply for Temporary Protected Status?

Bashir is an Afghan in the United States who feels unsafe returning to his home country. A friend told Bashir that he can apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

TPS is for people who are in the United States and cannot return to their home country for safety reasons. Afghan nationals can apply for TPS to legally stay in the United States for a set period of time. The current validity period ends on May 20, 2025.

What are the benefits of TPS?

You can stay in the United States legally while your TPS is valid. TPS lets you apply for a permit to work in the United States. For questions about travel outside the United States with TPS, you should speak with a legal service provider.

Who is eligible for TPS?

You are eligible if you were born in Afghanistan. You are also eligible if you don’t have a nationality and last resided in Afghanistan before coming to the United States. You must also meet three more requirements:
  • You have lived in the United States since September 20, 2023
  • You have not left the United States since November 21, 2023
  • You have not committed serious or multiple crimes

Does TPS help me gain residency? Does it cover my family members too?

These are important questions. TPS by itself is not a path to permanent residency or citizenship in the United States. Each family member, including children, must have a separate TPS application.

If I get TPS, can I still receive Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) benefits, if I’m eligible?

Yes. TPS does not affect ORR eligibility. You can apply for or continue to receive ORR benefits.

Can I apply for other immigration relief while pursuing TPS?

Yes.

I want to apply for Temporary Protected Status. How do I apply?

You can apply by mail or online with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by completing I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status.

If you want to apply for a permit to work in the United States, include I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. If you are an Afghan national recently paroled into the United States due to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, you do not need to pay the fee for this form.

When should I apply?

You can apply until May 20, 2025, which is the end of the validity period. If you're eligible, you can apply for TPS now. The sooner you apply, the sooner you will receive a decision about your status.

What do I need to include in my application?

Here is what you’ll be asked to provide:
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of nationality
  • The date you entered the United States
  • Proof of your current U.S. address prior to September 20, 2023
Helpful documents may include your passport, Tazkira, birth certificate, Form I-94, and rent or utility bills. Please check with your lawyer for more about what you need.

How much does it cost?

There is a $50 fee to apply for TPS for the first time. For people older than 14, there is an additional $85 fingerprinting fee. There is financial assistance called a fee waiver if you can’t afford the fee. If you need help determining the fees, use the USCIS Fee Calculator for help.

My sister had TPS, but it expired while she was sick. Can she apply again?

The deadline for re-registration was November 24, 2023. To apply for late re-registration, your sister needs to get help from her legal service provider.

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