After the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, announced the designation of Afghanistan under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) two months ago in March 2022, the Federal Register posted a notice on May 20, 2022 detailing the TPS registration process for Afghanistan’s designation.
According to the public Federal Register notice, the designation is in effect for 18 months starting on May 20, 2022 and ending on November 20, 2023. The designation comes after an assessment by the Department of Homeland Security and its consultation with the Department of State to determine the conditions of the state of Afghanistan.
Why was Afghanistan Designated Under TPS?
After its review, the DHS concluded that a TPS designation for Afghanistan is necessary due to ongoing armed conflict in the region and extraordinary and temporary conditions that make it unsafe for Afghan nationals to return. This includes but isn’t limited to:
- The Taliban
- The Islamic State – Khorasan
- Destruction of Infrastructure
- Danger from Explosive War Remnants (landmines)
- Increased Internal Displacement
- Economic Collapse due to Taliban Takeover
- Limited Access to Food, Potable Water and Healthcare
- Human Rights Abuse
Who is Eligible to Apply?
Mayorkas approximated that roughly 72,500 individuals could be eligible to apply for TPS under Afghanistan’s recent designation. In order to be eligible, these individuals must prove their continuous residence in the U. S. since March 15, 2022, the day USCIS announced the designation of Afghanistan for TPS.
Furthermore, these individuals will also have to demonstrate continuous physical presence in the U.S. since May 20, 2022. If an Afghan national came to the U.S. after March 15, 2022 or cannot demonstrate current U. S. residency, the person will not be eligible for this TPS designation.
On another note, Afghan nationals who were paroled into the U.S. for humanitarian reasons through Operation Allies Welcome in July 2021 may also be eligible for TPS under the Afghanistan designation. Of the estimated 84,600 evacuees that came to the U.S. through this mission, 76,000 Afghan nationals have been screened, vetted, vaccinated and resettled into communities throughout the country.
How to Apply
Individuals who are eligible and wish to apply for TPS under the Afghanistan designation must fill out an application for temporary protected status during this initial 18-month registration period. Applicants may also submit an application for employment authorization with their TPS application to request an Employment Authorization Document. Both applications can be found and submitted online.
Applicants 14-years-old and above must undergo a biometrics screening such as fingerprinting. The applicant may request a fee waiver for the biometrics services fee if they can demonstrate an inability to pay. Applicants may request a fee waiver for the filing fee of the TPS application as well.