Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas is designating Burma for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. This new designation of Burma for TPS enables Burmese nationals (and individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in Burma) currently residing in the United States to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements.
“Due to the military coup and security forces’ brutal violence against civilians, the people of Burma are suffering a complex and deteriorating humanitarian crisis in many parts of the country,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “After a thorough review of this dire situation, I have designated Burma for Temporary Protected Status so that Burmese nationals and habitual residents may remain temporarily in the United States.”
Secretary Mayorkas decided to designate Burma for TPS after consultation with interagency partners and careful consideration of the extraordinary and temporary conditions in Burma caused by the coup, which has led to continuing violence, pervasive arbitrary detentions, the use of lethal violence against peaceful protesters, and intimidation of the people of Burma. The coup has worsened humanitarian conditions in several areas by limiting access to life-saving assistance, disrupting flights carrying humanitarian and medical aid, and spurring an economic crisis. Such conditions prevent Burmese nationals and habitual residents from returning safely. A country may be designated for TPS if the Secretary determines that current country conditions fall into one or more of the three statutory bases for designation: ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions.
Only individuals who are already residing in the United States are eligible for TPS. Individuals who can demonstrate continuous residence in the United States as of March 11, 2021, are eligible for TPS under Burma’s designation. For their own health and safety, individuals should not believe smugglers or others claiming the border is now open. Due to the pandemic, travel and admission restrictions at the border remain in place.
In addition to demonstrating continuous residence in the United States since March 11, 2021, initial applicants for TPS under this designation must meet other eligibility criteria, which will be detailed in a forthcoming Federal Register notice. All individuals applying for TPS undergo security and background checks as part of determining eligibility. The Federal Register notice will explain the eligibility criteria applicants must meet and describe procedures necessary to submit an initial TPS application and apply for work authorization documentation.