BREAKING: DHS releases instructions on how to apply for or extend #TPS for #Syria

From the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has redesignated Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and extended the existing TPS designation for the country from April 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016. This allows eligible nationals of Syria (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) to register or re-register for TPS in accordance with the notice published today in the Federal Register.

Who is Eligible Current TPS Status When to File
Current TPS beneficiaries from Syria Have TPS To extend your TPS, you must re-register during a 60-day re-registration period that runs from Jan. 5, 2015, through March 6, 2015.
Syrian nationals and persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Syria, who have:

  • Continuously resided in the United States since Jan. 5, 2015, and
  • Been continuously physically present in the United States since April 1, 2015.
Do not have TPS To obtain TPS, you may apply for TPS during a 180-day initial registration period that runs from Jan. 5, 2015, through July 6, 2015.

During the past year, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State reviewed the conditions in Syria. Based upon this review, Secretary Johnson determined that a redesignation and 18-month extension of TPS for Syria is warranted due to an ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Syria that prevent its nationals from returning in safety.

Individuals re-registering for TPS:

Current Syrian TPS beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during a 60-day period that runs from Jan. 5, 2015, through March 6, 2015. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day period begins. USCIS will not accept applications before Jan. 5, 2015.

The 18-month extension allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible Syria TPS beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of Sept. 30, 2016. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current EADs expire. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS Syria EADs with a March 31, 2015, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs are now valid through Sept. 30, 2015.

To re-register, individuals must submit:

·         Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status (Re-registering individuals do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee);

·         Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether they want an EAD;

·         The Form I-765 application fee, but only if they want an EAD (All individuals re-registering for TPS who want an EAD must pay the Form I-765 fee, regardless of their age); and

·        The biometric services fee if they are age 14 or older.

Individuals applying for TPS for the first time:

For Syrian nationals (and persons having no nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) who do not currently have TPS, the TPS redesignation may allow them to apply for TPS if they have continuously resided in the United States since Jan. 5, 2015, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since April 1, 2015. In addition, applicants must meet all other TPS eligibility and filing requirements.

To apply for the first time, individuals must submit:

·         Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status;

·         The Form I-821 application fee;

·         Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether they want an EAD;

·         The Form I-765 application fee, but only if they want an EAD and are 14 to 65 years old (Those who are under age 14 or are age 66 and older do not need to pay the Form I-765 fee with their initial TPS application); and

·         The biometrics services fee if they are age 14 or older.

Individuals who still have a pending initial TPS application under Syria do not need to submit a new Form I-821. However, if such individuals currently have a TPS-related EAD and want a new EAD, they must submit:

·         Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization;

·         The Form I-765 application fee, regardless of their age; and

·         A copy of the receipt notice for the initial Form I-821 that is still pending.

DHS anticipates that approximately 5,000 individuals will be eligible to re-register for TPS under the existing designation of Syria and estimates that approximately 5,000 additional individuals may be eligible for TPS under the redesignation.

Applicants may request that USCIS waive any fees based on inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject the TPS application of any applicant who fails to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver request.

Additional information about TPS for Syria—including guidance on eligibility, the application process and where to file—is available online at www.uscis.gov/tps. The Federal Register notice published today contains further details about this extension and redesignation of Syria for TPS, including application requirements and procedures, and the automatic six-month extension of current TPS Syria EADs.

All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/forms or request forms by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.

Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check My Case Status Online or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).

 

 

About David Leopold
Past President American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), In-the-Trenches practicing immigration Attorney, Blogger, Activist, Photographer, Educator, World Traveler. All opinions are my own.

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