Temporary Protected Status Extended for Somalis

Categories: Immigration Lawyer Blog San Diego

On November 6, 2013, Ronald Beers, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, announced that Somalis would be able to re-register for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States between November 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013.  This TPS extension will be valid from March 18, 2014 through September 17, 2015.  Somalis who re-register during this period are eligible to receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card which would expire on September 17, 2015.  There is no registration fee for re-registrants, however a biometric fee of $85 is owed for applicants over the age of 14 if no fee waiver request is submitted.  For re-registrants seeking an EAD using Form I-765 there is a $380 fee.

Temporary Protected Status allows nationals of select countries to remain in the United States because of ongoing armed conflict (such as a civil war), an environmental disaster (such as earthquake hurricane), or an epidemic or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.  To be eligible for TPS a foreign national must:

  • Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;
  • File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation;
  • Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country; and
  • Have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country.  The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When you apply or re-register for TPS, you must inform USCIS of all absences from the United States since the CPP and CR dates. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.

If a national is eligible for TPS he or she can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD), is not removable from the United States, and may be granted travel authorization.

Countries eligible as of this writing are: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria.