TPS-Status Extension and Redesignation for Syria

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has redesignated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and extended existing TPS for eligible nationals of Syria from Oct. 1, 2016 through March 31, 2018. Syrian nationals– and those without nationality who last habitually resided in Syria– can register or re-register in accordance with the Federal Register notice published August 1.

The extension, announced earlier this month in an August 1 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) release, also allows current TPS Syrian beneficiaries who want to extend their TPS status to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD.) TPS recipients who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of March 31, 2018. Because some re-registrants might not receive their new EADs until after current work permits expire, however, USCIS has also automatically extended current TPS Syrian EADs with a Sept. 30, 2016 expiration date for six months. These existing EADs are now valid through March 31, 2017.

Current Syrian TPS beneficiaries must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period, which runs from August 1 through September 30. Syrian nationals and those who last habitually resided in Syria who do not currently have TPS status can apply for the benefit during the initial six-month registration period from Aug. 1, 2016, through Jan. 30, 2017.

In order for Syrian nationals and prior habitual Syrian residents to be eligible for the program, USCIS requires these individuals to meet both these requirements:

  • Continuously resided in the United States since Aug. 1, 2016, and
  • Been continuously physically present in the United States since Oct. 1, 2016.

USCIS encourages re-registration as soon as possible. In order to re-register, current beneficiaries need to:

Submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status (no application is required).

Submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization– even if no EAD is wanted. The Form I-765 application– or fee waiver request– is only required for those who want an EAD.

Submit the biometric services fee (or a fee waiver request) for those who are 14 years old or older.

Those with an initial Syrian-designated TPS application that’s still pending don’t need to submit a new Form I-821. However, those who have a TPS-related EAD and who want a new EAD, should submit the Form I-765 application and application fee, regardless of age as well as a copy of the receipt notice for the initial Form I-821 still pending.

Beneficiaries who submit applications without the required filing fees or properly documented fee-waiver request will be rejected. Beneficiaries who are unable to pay application fees must file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver or submit a written request. Fee-waiver requests of either variety must be accompanied by supporting documentation.

TPS, a designation bestowed on immigrants coming from countries where conditions make it unsafe to return to the native country, is granted by the Secretary of Homeland Security.