The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an 18-month extension of Syria’s designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This allows approximately 6,700 beneficiaries to retain TPS for 18 months, through September 30, 2022, if they re-register and remain otherwise eligible. The Secretary of Homeland Security also re-designated Syria for TPS, which permits an estimated 1,800 Syrian nationals (and stateless individuals last residing in Syria) to apply for the program, provided they reside continuously in the U.S. from March 19, 2021. TPS applicants—both initial applications and those seeking to renew TPS—must demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria of 8 USC §1254a(c)(1)-(2).
The TPS program provides temporary protections in the U.S. to eligible nationals of countries whose conditions prevent a safe return. Syria has experienced an ongoing civil war since 2012. The Syrian military has used chemical weapons, irregular warfare tactics, forced conscription, child soldiers, and air and ground attacks on civilian infrastructure. The armed conflict has created a widespread humanitarian crisis in the country.
During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are eligible to remain in the U.S., may not be removed, and are authorized to obtain work and travel authorization so long as they continue to meet the requirements of TPS. To apply for TPS, individuals submit a Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, to USCIS and pay the associated filing fees. Employment and travel authorization require separate applications—Forms I-765 and I-131—along with respective filing fees.
USCIS is automatically extending the validity of employment authorization documents (EADs) previously issued under the TPS designation of Syria for 180 days, through September 27, 2021. USCIS will issue new EADs with a Sept. 30, 2022, expiration date to eligible Syrian TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs during the 60-day re-registration period, which runs from March 19, 2021 through May 18, 2021.
Individuals who believe they qualify for TPS are encouraged to consult with a T&S legal professional to evaluate their eligibility.