U.S. immigrants who were born in Syria were recently granted temporary protected status, as conditions in their native land remain turbulent. According to a recent article in The New York Times, United States immigration services has granted temporary protected status to citizens of six other countries, in addition to Syria, which have citizens living in the U.S.
However, this waiver for a U.S. visa is not a blanket waiver, according to a recent statement from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. All individuals who apply for this protected status must pass both criminal background and national security background checks.
Being in a new country, many Syrian nationals looking for protection may have trouble understanding what resources they may need to apply for to obtain the temporary protected status. The United for a Free Syria’s “A Guide to Temporary Protected Status for Syrian Nationals,” hopes to provide newly emigrated residents with a better idea of the process. The guide assists individuals with information on what immigration forms need to be filled out, as well as limitations on the status. For example, Syrian nationals currently residing in the United States must be able to prove that they have been continuously living in the United States, and must have arrived in the U.S. by March 29, 2012. Any absences, however, can be examined and explained if they are for legitimate reasons, such as the care of a family member who is still overseas.
According to The New York Times, approximately 2,500 to 3,000 Syrians are expected to receive the temporary protected status. Other nations whose individuals have received temporary protected status in the United States include Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, as well as Somalia and Sudan.