DHS Announces Extension and Redesignation of Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status
Redesignation Allows Additional Eligible Afghan Nationals to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization Documents
AMTV/Washington D.C., Sept 21 – WASHINGTON – Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today announced the extension and redesignation of Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from November 21, 2023, to May 20, 2025, due to ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Afghanistan that prevent individuals from safely returning. The corresponding Federal Register notice provides information about how to register for TPS as a new or current beneficiary under Afghanistan’s extension and redesignation.
After reviewing the country conditions in Afghanistan and consulting with interagency partners, Secretary Mayorkas determined that an 18-month TPS extension and redesignation is warranted because conditions, including armed conflict, that support Afghanistan’s TPS designation are ongoing.
“Today’s announcement to extend and redesignate TPS for Afghanistan allows us to continue to offer safety and protection to Afghan nationals who are unable to return to their country,” said Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “DHS will continue to support Afghan nationals through this temporary form of humanitarian relief.”
A country may be designated for TPS when conditions in the country fall into one or more of the three statutory bases for designation: ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. Afghanistan’s designation is based on the serious threat posed by ongoing armed conflict; lack of access to food, clean water and healthcare; and destroyed infrastructure, internal displacement and economic instability.
The extension of TPS for Afghanistan allows approximately 3,100 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through May 20, 2025, if they continue to meet TPS eligibility requirements. The redesignation of Afghanistan for TPS allows an estimated 14,600 additional Afghan nationals (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Afghanistan) who entered the United States since the last continuous residence date of March 15, 2022, and who have been continuously residing in the United States since September 20, 2023, and continuously physically present in the United States since November 21, 2023, to file initial applications to obtain TPS, if they are otherwise eligible. Certain OAW parolees may also be eligible to file late initial applications for TPS.
Re-registration is limited to individuals who previously registered for and were granted TPS under Afghanistan’s prior designation. Current beneficiaries under TPS for Afghanistan must re-register in a timely manner during the 60-day re-registration period from September 25, 2023 through November 24, 2023, to ensure they keep their TPS and employment authorization.
DHS recognizes that not all re-registrants may receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before their current EAD expires and is automatically extending through November 20, 2024 the validity of EADs previously issued under Afghanistan’s TPS designation.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to process pending applications filed under the previous TPS designation for Afghanistan. Individuals with a pending Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, or a related Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as of September 25, 2023 do not need to file either application again. If USCIS approves a pending Form I-821 or Form I-765 filed under the previous designation of TPS for Afghanistan, USCIS will grant the individual TPS through May 20, 2025, and issue an EAD valid through the same date.
Under the redesignation of Afghanistan, eligible individuals who do not have TPS may submit an initial Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, during the initial registration period that runs from September 25, 2023, through May 20, 2025. Applicants also may apply for TPS-related EADs and for travel authorization. Applicants can request an EAD by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with their Form I-821, or separately later.
Afghan nationals who were granted parole under Operation Allies Welcome, or re-parole, may apply for and receive TPS, if eligible. Applying for re-parole does not affect a TPS application, and being a TPS beneficiary does not affect an application for re-parole. Eligibility for ORR-funded services that extend to qualifying Afghan parolees, including those granted re-parole under the new re-parole process, require Afghans to maintain parole. TPS beneficiaries are not eligible for certain Afghan parolee benefits if their parole lapses. DHS cannot provide legal advice but encourages Afghan parolees to seek any more durable immigration pathways, like asylum and adjustment of status, for which they may be eligible.
The Federal Register notice explains eligibility criteria, timelines, and procedures necessary for current beneficiaries to re-register and renew EADs, and for new applicants to submit an initial application under the redesignation and apply for an EAD.