Burma Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Extended Into 2024

November 26, 2022 Biden Administration announces it is re-designating Burma for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), allowing some people from Burma to put off departure and register to stay temporarily, and receive work permits, with both renewals and new applications allowed.

By , J.D.

** LEGAL UPDATE **

The Biden Administration has announced a continuation of its designation of the country of Burma (also known as Myanmar) for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). It will help both Burmese people who obtained TPS under the original designation and some who arrived in the U.S. later to remain in the country, protected from deportation. This covers Burmese nationals as well as people without nationality who last habitually resided in Burma.

The reason given by the U.S. government for the re-designation was that, ever since the Burmese military coup of February 1, 2021, its regime has continued to commit human rights violations and abuses, including arbitrary detentions and use of brutal violence and deadly force. The results include massive internal displacement and flight. Vulnerable populations within the country have trouble accessing shelter, food, water, sanitation, health care, and education.

Eligibility for TPS Based on Being From Burma

It's important to emphasize that neither the extension nor the re-designation will cover anyone arriving from Burma after September 25, 2022. It applies only to Burmese people who are already in the U.S., including:

  • those who were earlier awarded TPS on the basis of having demonstrated continuous residence in the U.S. as of March 11, 2021 and continuous physical presence since May 25, 2021 and met other eligibility requirements, who additionally continue to meet the eligibility requirements and apply for renewal, and
  • new applicants, who have been continuously residing in the United States since September 25, 2022 and can demonstrate continuous residence in the United States since September 25, 2022 as well as continuous physical presence in the United States since November 26, 2022, and who meet the other TPS eligibility criteria.

If approved, both new and renewal applicants will be allowed to stay in the U.S. until May 25, 2024.

You might also want to check out these Frequently Asked Questions About Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Initial Application Process for TPS Based on Being From Burma

For new TPS applicants from Burma, the application process involves submitting forms, a fee (including for biometrics), and supporting documents proving eligibility to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by mail. Details are available on USCIS's TPS page for Burma.

The Burma-TPS registration period begins begins on September 27, 2022 and will remain in effect through May 25, 2024.

You'll notice that this means one can literally apply for TPS until the day the designation for Burma will run out. That seems nonsensical, until you realize that, in order to be eligible for any extensions of this TPS designation, one typically has to have applied when it first became available.

The main form is the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821). Applicants will also be able to request a work permit (Employment Authorization Document or EAD) using Form I-765. There's a separate fee for the work permit.

Reregistration Process for TPS Based on Being From Burma

In order to re-register under the extension of TPS for Burma, you will need to submit an application during the 60-day re-registration period that begins on September 27, 2022 and ends November 26, 2022. It's the same application as before, the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821), plus Form I-765 if you want a work permit (with an additional fee).

But there is no fee to file Form I-821 when re-registering for TPS.

In light of the concern that the U.S. government is quite backed up with applications and might not send out new Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) before Burmese TPS holders existing work permits expire on November 25, 2022, it is automatically extending the EADs' validity through November 25, 2023. But you'll still want to renew your actual TPS, to gain the maximum length of protection and preserve your right to renew if Burma is re-designated in the future.

Whether to Also Apply for Asylum

You might also want to look into applying for asylum in the U.S., if you have a particular reason to fear that you would be targeted upon returning to Burma. You would need to show that you have been persecuted or have a credible fear of persecution based on your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

If so, applying for asylum might ultimately be the better option, though you can also apply for TPS. See What's Better: TPS or Asylum for more information.

For more information, see the Temporary Protected Status Designated Country: Burma (Myanmar) page of the USCIS website.

Effective Date: November 26, 2022