(FILE) Protesters campaigning for an extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for migrants gather in Washington, DC, USA, 16 March 2021. (Protestas, Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/WILL OLIVER

US extends Temporary Protected Status for Afghans

Washington, Sept 21 (EFE).- The United States announced Thursday that it is extending the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Afghans already in the country for 18 months, from November 21 to May 20, 2025.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement that the decision to extend this immigration protection was made because the ongoing armed conflict in Afghanistan and the situation in the country prevent its citizens from returning safely.

TPS provides temporary protection from deportation and access to work permit to undocumented migrants who cannot return to their home countries due to natural disasters, armed conflict, or other extraordinary conditions.

The extension, Mayorkas said, allows the United States to continue to offer protection to those Afghans who cannot return to their country.

The extension makes it easier for the nearly 3,100 Afghans who currently benefit from the parole to keep it until May 2025 if they continue to meet the criteria.

Thursday’s decision covers Afghans, or people without citizenship whose last habitual residence was Afghanistan, who arrived between March 15, 2022, and September 20, 2023, about 14,600 people.

One of the requirements for receiving this protection is being able to prove continuous residence in the United States.

The US finally withdrew from Afghanistan on August 31, 2021, after twenty years of occupation and a chaotic exit that saw some 76,000 Afghan allies evacuated to US soil.

Upon arrival, most of these evacuees were granted permission to enter the US on humanitarian grounds for a period of two years and were also granted permission to work. EFE