TPS Afghanistan:
Temporary Protected Status

You can now apply for TPS Afghanistan through November 20, 2023. That is also the last day you can have temporary protected status for Afghanistan.

There are an estimated 72,500 Afghan nationals currently in the United States who may be eligible. If you were paroled in the United States through Operation Allies Welcome, you may also be eligible for TPS. Learn about other immigration status options for Afghans in the USA.

What is TPS

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a form of immigration status for people already in the United States. TPS is for people who cannot go back to their home country because of danger, such as an armed conflict or environmental disaster.

If you have TPS, you can:

  • Stay in the USA legally for a set period of time
  • Apply for a work permit in the USA
  • Apply for a document to travel outside the USA
  • Be protected from detention and deportation 

You will not get any of the benefits of TPS until your application is approved. TPS is temporary. It does not give you lawful permanent status, citizenship, or any permanent immigration status. 

Public charge does not apply to TPS applicants. You can use any government programs you qualify for.

Who can apply

You must meet the following requirements to apply:

  • Be a national of Afghanistan
    • or a person without nationality who lived in Afghanistan for a long time before arriving in the USA
  • Have lived only in the USA since March 15, 2022
  • Have not left the USA since May 20, 2022

You may not be eligible if you have committed certain crimes.

How to apply

You can apply for TPS Afghanistan by filing Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. You can file your application online with USCIS.

You must send documents showing proof of your identity, nationality, and date of entry. These are listed in the What to File section.

You must pay a fee if you are applying for TPS for the first time. You might be able to apply for a fee waiver if you can’t afford to pay the fee. Learn how to use the USCIS fee calculator.

You need to apply by November 20, 2023. 

What happens after I file my application? 

USCIS will review your application and send you a receipt notice. You can check the status of your application online by typing in your receipt number. If you do not get a receipt within 3 weeks of filing, you can call the USCIS Contact Center

You may get a letter asking for more evidence. This could be your photo, fingerprints, signature, and other documents. 

You will get a letter approving or denying your application. If you applied for a work permit, you will also get information about your application.

If you do not get TPS, you will get information on whether and how you can appeal their decision. 

Work permit

Work permits are available to people with TPS and are known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). It shows employers that you are allowed to work in the USA.

You can apply for a work permit by filing Form I-765, Request for Employment Authorization with USCIS. It is recommended you apply for a work permit at the same time you apply for TPS. Filing both forms together may help you get EAD faster. You can also apply later.

Travel permit

Travel permits are available to people with TPS and DED. It is known as advanced parole. It shows immigration officials that you are allowed to travel abroad and back to the USA.

You can apply for a travel permit by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. Follow the instructions on Federal Register notice when applying for a travel permit.

What happens when TPS Afghanistan expires?

When TPS Afghanistan expires, you will have the same immigration status you had before getting TPS. 

If you did not have a legal immigration status before you applied for TPS, you may become undocumented. You can apply for another form of immigration status if you are eligible. If you stay without any legal status, you will risk the chance of arrest or deportation. 

Can I change my immigration status?

You can have TPS at the same time as another immigration status. Learn more about status options for people from Afghanistan

You can apply for asylum, lawful permanent status (green card), or other protected status if you meet the requirements for those applications.

It is important to seek legal advice from an immigration lawyer or accredited representative. They can help you apply and discuss questions or concerns. Many organizations and lawyers offer free or low-cost legal services.  

The Embassy of Afghanistan can offer more information. You can contact the Embassy of Afghanistan at (202) 483-6410 or visit its consular offices in Washington D.C., New York, NY, and Los Angeles, CA.

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Information on this page comes from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Register, USCIS, and other trusted sources. It is intended for guidance and is updated as often as possible.

USAHello does not give legal advice, nor are any of our materials intended to be taken as legal advice.