On March 3, 2022, the United States, Canada and European Union announced special protective measures for Ukrainian nationals fleeing the Russian-Ukrainian strife that began approximately a week ago.

The United States declared that Ukraine will be designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months due to the ongoing armed conflict and the extraordinary conditions that prevent Ukrainians from returning to their country safely. Ukrainian nationals eligible for TPS must have continuously resided in the United States since March 1, 2022. Qualified applicants are eligible for work authorization, and they are not required to depart the United States or obtain a new visa should their immigration status expire. Individuals traveling to the United States after March 1, 2022 are not eligible. The U.S. government will issue instructions for requesting protection in the Federal Register and on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Canada announced new nonimmigrant and immigration streams for Ukrainians nationals. These provisions include authorization for emergency travel, which eliminates many of the normal visa requirements. Qualified applicants may stay in Canada for up to two years. Canada also announced that it will be offering an expedited path to permanent residency for Ukrainians seeking to reunite with family members who are already in Canada. Additionally, Ukrainians currently in Canada who cannot return to their homeland are eligible for work permits. According to the announcement, further details about these new programs will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

The European Union proclaimed similar relief through a Temporary Protection Directive that provides individuals with a safe haven in the 27 EU member states for an initial period of one year that may be extended. Recipients will be issued a residence permit and be authorized to work and access housing, social welfare assistance and medical care.

Mayer Brown is closely following the Russia-Ukraine crisis for clients, their employees, and their families. We will continue to monitor and advise on these and other issues related to the conflict. Please follow updates on our dedicated Ukraine Crisis Spotlight page and blog The Mobile Workforce.