The Biden administration announced on September 21, 2023, that it has extended and redesignated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Afghanistan. The extension will benefit the thousands of Afghan nationals who were covered under the initial TBS decision made on May 20, 2022 – they will be able to re-register for an additional 18 months of protection and receive work authorization. The redesignation also allows for over 14,000 newly arrived Afghans to apply for TPS for the first time.
Temporary Protected Status will be offering protection to some of those Afghans who have arrived since the August 2021 Kabul airlift. Many recently arrived Afghans are not eligible for the benefits and services that were afforded to those covered under Operation Allies Welcome.
TPS for Afghanistan has been announced due to the ongoing armed conflict and dangerous environment under the Taliban regime. Many Afghans would be at-risk should they return to Afghanistan while the Taliban continue to detain, arrest, imprison, or kill former government officials, members of the Afghan armed forces, and those Afghans who assisted (interpreters and others) the United States during its 20-yearlong involvement in the Afghan conflict.
Of course, TPS is a temporary measure; a more permanent solution would be passage of the Afghan Adjustment Act. Congress can provide permanent protections and a legal path forward to long-term residency with adopting of this bi-partisan legislation.
Secretary Mayorkas Announces Extension and Redesignation of Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), September 21, 2023. https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/news-releases/secretary-mayorkas-announces-extension-and-redesignation-of-afghanistan-for-temporary-protected
Photo: Afghan individuals go through a security checkpoint at Richmond International Airport in Richmond, Virginia, Oct. 9, 2021. A group of Afghan individuals left Fort Pickett after completing the initial resettlement process and will begin travel to different parts of the U.S. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Eric Ramirez, 9 Oct 2021)