Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP

DHS Extends, Redesignates TPS for Syrians


Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, has redesignated Syria for temporary protected status (TPS) and extended the existing TPS designation for that country from April 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016.

Current TPS beneficiaries from Syria must re-register during a 60-day re-registration period that began on January 5, 2015, and runs through March 6, 2015. Syrian nationals and person without nationality who last habitually resided in Syria, who don’t have TPS and who have continuously resided in the United States since January 5, 2015, and who have been continuously physically present in the United States since April 1, 2015, may apply for TPS during a 180-day initial registration period that began on January 5, 2015, and runs through July 6, 2015.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible. 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 September 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 September 30, 2015.

To re-register, individuals must submit:

  • Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status (re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee).
  • The biometric services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if they are 14 years old or older.
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether they want a new EAD.
  • The Form I-765 application fee or a fee waiver request, but only if they want an EAD. If the re-registrant does not want an EAD, no application fee is required.

Eligible Syrian nationals (and persons having no nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) who do not currently have TPS may apply for TPS if they meet the continuous physical presence requirements noted above. 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 a new 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 or older do not need to pay the I-765 fee with their initial TPS applications).
  • The biometric services fee if they are age 14 or older.

Those who still have a pending initial Syria TPS application do not need to submit a new I-821. However, if such individuals currently have a TPS-related EAD and want a new EAD, they must submit the I-765 with application fee, regardless of their age, and a copy of the receipt notice for the initial 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 that approximately 5,000 additional individuals may be eligible for TPS under the redesignation.

Applicants may ask USCIS to 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.

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