Biden Administration Offers Temporary Legal Status to Ukrainians in U.S.


On March 3, 2022, the Biden administration offered tens of thousands of Ukrainians living in the United States a temporary humanitarian protection from deportation because of the current Russian military invasion in Ukraine. 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. Ukrainians who have continuously lived in the U.S. since March 1, 2022, are eligible for the TPS designation. Therefore, Ukrainians who attempt to travel to the U.S. after March 1 will not qualify for TPS.  

Ukraine’s 18-month designation will become effective once the Federal Register notice is published. The Federal Register notice provides instructions for applying for TPS and obtaining work authorization. TPS applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and be subject to background and security checks. 

For a country to be designated for TPS, the conditions in the country must fall into one or more of the three categories:  

  • Environmental disasters 

  • Extraordinary and temporary conditions 

  • Ongoing armed conflict 

Ukraine qualifies for TPS due to ongoing armed conflict, as well as extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent Ukrainians and individuals without a nationality who last lived in Ukraine from returning to their home country safely. A full-scale Russian military invasion into Ukraine is the cause for these conditions, which has led to a humanitarian crisis with a substantial amount of people fleeing the country and significant destruction to civilian infrastructure, leaving many without access to food, water, electricity, shelter, basic supplies, and emergency medical services. 

Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in the TPS announcement for Ukraine: 

“Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries. In these extraordinary times, we will continue to offer our support and protection to Ukrainian nationals in the United States.” 

According to immigration court data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), approximately 4,000 Ukrainians are facing removal proceedings (deportation) in the United States. Nearly 3,000 of those individuals are seeking asylum. 

The DHS expects the TPS designation to benefit 75,100 Ukrainians in the U.S., which includes individuals on business, tourist, and temporary student visas that are set to expire while the Russian invasion continues. In addition, Ukrainian nationals who are in the U.S. without any legal status could also qualify for TPS. 

President Joe Biden has broadly utilized the TPS program, allowing 400,000 more foreign nationals to apply for the program. In contrast, the Trump administration moved to end several country designations but was unsuccessful due to court rulings. 

If you are a Ukraine national who is interested in applying for the TPS program in Phoenix, AZ, call Kanu & Associates, P.C. at (602) 353-7795 or fill out our online contact form to request a case review. Our knowledgeable and skilled immigration attorney has more than two decades of legal experience! 

Related Posts
  • Federal Judge Orders Biden to Resume Trump's Policy of Expelling Unaccompanied Immigrant Children at the Border Read More
  • Answers to Green Card FAQs Read More
  • Biden Lifts Most Visa Sanctions on Laos Read More