Ongoing armed conflict, along with extraordinary and temporary conditions, supports continuing the current Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Somalia’s approximately 500 beneficiaries. The 18-month continuance of the designation gives nationals the option to maintain the status through March 17, 2020.
The extension decision by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and announced in a July 19 release comes as the result of the secretary’s study of available information as well as interagency partner consultation. With this, the secretary “determined the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that support Somalia’s current designation for TPS continue to exist.”
For those individuals wishing to continue receiving the TPS benefit as well as work authorization, requirements include continuous residence in the United States since May 1, 2012, as well as a continuous physical presence in the United States since September 18, 2012. Further details about this TPS extension and information about the re-registration process and employment authorization documents, will appear in a Federal Register notice.
“The decision to extend TPS for Somalia was made after a review of the conditions upon which the country’s designation is based,” according to the release. “Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be extended.”
Current TPS designation for eligible Somali nationals originally began in 2012. However, the country also received the status designation in 1991 and again in 2001, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services information.
According to The World Factbook, put out by the Central Intelligence Agency, humanitarian measures in Somalia score low across the board due to poor governance, ongoing internal conflict, a lack of infrastructure development, economic decline, poverty, social and gender inequality and environmental degradation. With these factors, the eastern Africa nation ranks as third in the world for refugees behind Syria and Afghanistan.