The Department Of Homeland Security Extends the Designation Of And Re-Designates Syria for Temporary Protected Status

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The Secretary of Homeland Security is extending the existing designation of Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015, and re-designating Syria for TPS for 18 months, effective October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015.

  • The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 31, 2015 so long as they otherwise continue to meet the terms and conditions of TPS status; and
  • The re-designation of Syria allows additional individuals who have been continuously residing in the United States since June 17, 2013 to obtain TPS, if otherwise eligible.

The Secretary has determined that an extension and re-designation are warranted because the extraordinary and temporary conditions in Syria that prompted the 2012 TPS designation have not only persisted, but have deteriorated, and because there is now an on- going armed conflict in Syria that would pose a serious threat to the personal safety of Syrian nationals if they were required to return to their country.

DHS also sets forth procedures necessary for nationals of Syria (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) either to:

  1. Re-register under the extension if they already have TPS and to apply for renewal of their Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); or
  2. Submit an initial registration application under the re-designation and apply for an EAD.

For individuals who have already been granted TPS under the original Syria designation, the 60-day re-registration period runs from June 17, 2013 through August 16, 2013.  USCIS will issue new EADs with a March 31, 2015 expiration date to eligible Syrian TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs under this extension.

Under the re-designation, individuals who currently do not have TPS (or an initial TPS application pending) may submit an initial application during the 180-day initial registration period that runs from June 17, 2013 through December 16, 2013.

In addition to demonstrating continuous residence in the United States since June 17, 2013 and meeting other eligibility criteria, initial applicants for TPS under this re-designation must demonstrate that they have been continuously physically present in the United States since October 1, 2013, the effective date of the re-designation of Syria, before USCIS can finally grant them TPS.  TPS applications that were filed during the original Syria designation that opened on March 29, 2012, and remain pending on June 17, 2013 will be treated as initial applications under the re-designation.

Therefore, individuals who have a pending TPS application will not need to file a new Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821).