Ethiopia has been designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months beginning on December 12, 2022 and extending until June 12, 2024. Only Ethiopians already residing in the United States as of October 20, 2022, who can also demonstrate continuous physical presence since December 12, 2022, will be eligible to register. Eligible applicants will also be subject to security and background checks.
USCIS has estimated that approximately 26,700 individuals may be eligible. When explaining the designation of Ethiopia for TPS, Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas stated that “[t]he United States recognizes the ongoing armed conflict and the extraordinary and temporary conditions engulfing Ethiopia, and DHS is committed to providing temporary protection to those in need.” He further explained that civilians in Ethiopia are currently dealing with armed conflict, conflict-related violence, ethnicity-based detentions, rape, and human rights abuses as well as food insecurity, flooding, drought, displacement and disease.
Individuals applying for Ethiopian TPS must submit a Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status during the 18-month registration period that runs from December 12, 2022 through June 12, 2024. They may also apply for employment authorization and obtain an employment authorization document (EAD) by submitting a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Both forms may be filed online. For complete instructions on eligibility and the application process, please see the announcement in the Federal Register. Those who seek to work based upon Ethiopian TPS will need to present a valid EAD during the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification process. Travel authorization may also be available but only at the discretion of USCIS.
DHS is also suspending certain regulatory requirements for Ethiopian students in F-1 status who are experiencing severe economic hardship.