New Jersey residents are likely aware that the war in Afghanistan did not end when American troops pulled out of the country in 2021. Afghanistan’s Taliban government is embroiled in conflicts with several armed militias, which makes returning to the country very dangerous for Afghans currently residing in the United States. This is why the Secretary of Homeland Security granted Afghanistan Temporary Protected Status. On Sept. 21, that status was redesignated and extended for a further 18 months.
Temporary Protected Status
Countries are granted TPS when returning to them would be dangerous because of a war, natural disaster or some other extraordinary and temporary emergency situation. Afghanistan was granted TPS because an ongoing armed conflict is endangering and displacing civilians, destroying crucial infrastructure and health care facilities and making food and clean water difficult to obtain.
The extension of Afghanistan’s TPS will allow the approximately 3,000 Afghan TPS beneficiaries to remain in the United States until at least May 2025 as long as they continue to meet the program’s eligibility requirements. It will also give more than 14,000 Afghan nationals and stateless individuals who last lived in Afghanistan the opportunity to apply for TPS protection. To qualify for this immigration designation, Afghans or stateless individuals who last lived in Afghanistan must be physically present in the United States when the 18-month TPS extension begins on Nov. 21.
The T in TPS stands for temporary, which means the protection that it provides to Afghan nationals in the United States will end at some point. Afghan nationals who wish to remain in America permanently can seek employment or family visas, or they could submit asylum claims if they would face persecution in Afghanistan based on their race, religion, nationality or political opinions.