The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced last week that it has granted Ethiopia Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a duration of 18 months. It is the country’s first TPS designation.
Ethiopia’s Tigray region has been embroiled in an ongoing civil war since 2020, triggering a major humanitarian crisis throughout the country. In addition to human rights violations and conflict-related violence, many areas in Ethiopia are currently experiencing severe food insecurity, dangerous environmental conditions, and subsequent displacement. Ethiopia’s designation therefore falls under two of the three statutory bases for TPS designation, namely “ongoing armed conflict” and “extraordinary and temporary conditions.” “Ethiopian nationals currently residing in the U.S. who cannot safely return will be able to remain and work in the United States until conditions in their home country improve,” said DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
To be eligible for the designation, Ethiopian nationals must already have been residing in the U.S. as of October 22, 2022. Eligible immigrants should refer to the Federal Register notice, once published by DHS, for detailed instructions on how to apply for TPS and work authorization (Employment Authorization Document (EAD)). All applicants must meet government eligibility requirements and undergo security and background checks before receiving TPS.
TPS recipients are able to work and reside in the U.S. for a temporary period of time, without risk of deportation. The TPS program currently does not provide a direct pathway to permanent status or citizenship.