During war USA offers safe haven: Immigration updates for Israel & Ukraine
By: Harlan York
October 31, 2023

The USA has long been considered a safe haven for those escaping war, crime, persecution, or poverty. In 2023 we have seen war ongoing in the Ukraine, and now horrible images coming out of Israel. Carrying on its tradition of opening the US to those in need, the immigration system has opened new channels for individuals in these areas to find safe haven in the US. If you are in the Ukraine, Israel or Venezuela, there are new avenues open for you to come into the US.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) expanded for Ukraine & Venezuela

DHS to allow 166,700 more Ukrainians into the US to apply for TPS: allowing 26,000 Ukrainians who already have TPS to extend their visas to April 2025. MOREOVER the NEW eligibility date is Aug 16, 2023, this means that newly arrived Ukrainians since that time can also file for TPS.

DHS will also allow nearly half a million more Venezuelans in the US to apply for TPS. NEW cutoff date for arrival in the US is July 31, 2023 – this permits newly arrived Venezuelans to file for TPS (includes work permit eligibility).

What is TPS?

TPS is a limited immigration benefit given to immigrants from nations devastated by natural disasters, war, or civil strife. While TPS is not a green card, it can give you the right to live and work in the US for an extended period of time. Once you receive a TPS designation, you then may be able to apply for other ways to stay in the US, or you can reapply for your TPS status every designation period while your country is included in the list. People with temporary protected status are able to obtain work authorization every 18 months since the designation was made, in some cases for many years. For more information on TPS and see if your country is on the list click here.

Breaking: DHS announces visa-free travel to the US for Israeli citizens

The Department of Homeland Security just announced that short term visits to the United States can be visa-free for eligible Israeli citizens and nationals following Israel’s admission into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Starting Thursday, October 19, eligible Israeli citizens and nationals can start applying for authorization to travel to the United States through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

  • This means that travellers can come into the US from Israel for up to 90 days for business or tourism.
  • Eligible Israeli citizens and nationals must have a biometrically enabled passport.
  • Application is currently only in English, but should have other languages after Nov.1

Traveling on a visa may still be the best option for some travelers such as those who would like to stay in the United States longer than 90 days or those who think they may wish to extend their stay or change their status once in the US.

 However, if you need a visa of any kind, the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv are currently not offering nonimmigrant and immigrant visa services at this time due to the emergency situation in Isreal.

If you have an emergency need to travel to the United States and do not currently have a nonimmigrant visa, you are asked to apply at the U.S. embassy or consulate other than Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide can assist with appointments for emergency travel.

We can help. Contact our office if you need help processing any visas, or immigration paperwork from any of these countries at this time.

Photo credit: Taylor Brandon – Unsplash

About Harlan York

The first-ever attorney in New Jersey to win “Immigration Lawyer of the Year” from Best Lawyers, Harlan York is former immigration chair of the NJ State Bar Association and former co-chair for the NY State Bar Association CFLS Committee on Immigration. He currently serves on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Practice Management Committee.

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Harlan York & Associates practices law in the areas of Immigration, Deportation Defense, Family Immigration, Corporate Immigration, Naturalization throughout Essex County – Hudson County – Morris County – Passaic County – Somerset County – Middlesex County – Bergen County – New Jersey -Immigration Lawyer – NJ Immigration Lawyer – Jersey City-Newark-Paterson Passaic Elizabeth Edison Woodbridge Toms River Hamilton Trenton Camden Clifton Passaic Garfield Wallington Cherry Hill East Orange Passaic Union City Bayonne Irvington Old Bridge Lakewood North Bergen Vineland Union Wayne Parsippany-Troy Hills New Brunswick Plainfield Bloomfield Perth Amboy East Brunswick West New York West Orange Hackensack Atlantic City Kearny Mount Laurel Montclair Essex Hoboken North Brunswick Belleville. In addition to serving clients in New York, Pennsylvania, the greater United States, and Internationally.

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