On March 16, 2022, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas designated Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. Temporary Protected Status is only granted to individuals already residing in the United States and is effective as of March 15, 2022.
The Secretary stated that he was designating Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status on the basis of ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary temporary conditions that prevent the country’s Afghani nationals from returning in safety. The basis of the Secretary’s contention relating to armed conflict arises from threats to the safety of returning Afghan nationals as the Taliban seeks to continue to impose control in all areas and the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) conducts attacks against civilians. The extraordinary conditions stem from the inability to prevent nationals from returning safely to Afghanistan, which is enduring a worsening economic crisis, drought, food and water insecurity, lack of access to healthcare, internal displacement, human rights abuses and repression by the Taliban, destruction of infrastructure, and increasing criminality.
The Secretary noted that while most Afghan nationals who arrived as part of the evacuation effort were paroled into the United States on a case-by-case basis for humanitarian reasons for a period of two years and shall also receive employment authorization, these individuals may also be eligible for Temporary Protected Status authorization to remain in the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will only grant TPS to Afghan nationals already residing in the United States as of March 15, 2022, and who meet other requirements, including security and background checks. Afghan nationals entering the United States after March 15, 2022, will not be considered eligible for TPS.
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