DHS Announces Re-designation and 18-Month Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Syria

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WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has re-designated Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and extended the existing TPS designation for the country from Oct. 1, 2013, through March 31, 2015. This allows eligible nationals of Syria to register or re-register for TPS in accordance with a notice published today in the Federal Register. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages eligible individuals to register or re-register as soon as possible.

Who’s Eligible Current TPS StatusWhen to File
Syrian nationals (and individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in Syria)Have TPSMust re-register during a 60-day re-registration period that runs from June 17, 2013 through Aug. 16, 2013.
Have a Pending TPS Application with USCISYou do not need to file a re-registration application during this extension. USCIS will continue to process your pending application.
Do Not Have TPSMay apply for TPS during a 180-day registration period that runs from June 17, 2013 through Dec. 16, 2013.

During the past year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS) reviewed the conditions in Syria. Based upon this review, Secretary Napolitano has determined that a re-designation and 18-month extension of TPS for Syria is warranted. The extension of the current Syria TPS designation and re-designation is due to the continued disruption of living conditions in the country that are a result of the extraordinary and temporary conditions that led to the initial TPS designation of Syria in 2012. The extension is based on ongoing armed conflict in that region and the continued deterioration of country conditions.

A Syrian national, or an individual having no nationality who last habitually resided in Syria, may be eligible for TPS under the re-designation if he or she has continuously resided in the United States since June 17, 2013 and has been continuously physically present in the United States since Oct. 1, 2013. In addition to the continuous residence date requirement, applicants must meet all other TPS eligibility and filing requirements.

DHS anticipates that there are approximately 2,600 individuals who will be eligible to re-register for TPS under the existing designation of Syria and estimates that approximately 9,000 additional individuals might be eligible to apply for TPS under the re-designation.

Individuals applying for TPS for the first time 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 Employment Authorization Document (EAD);
  • The biometrics services fee if they are age 14 or older; and
  • The Form I-765 application fee, but only if they want an EAD and are 14 to 65 years old. Those under age 14 or age 66 and older do not need to pay the Form I-765 fee with their initial TPS application.

Individuals re-registering for TPS must submit:

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

Applicants may request that USCIS waive any or all 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. Failure to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver request will result in the rejection of the TPS application.

All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download TPS forms from the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/forms.

Additional information on TPS for Syria—including guidance on eligibility, the application process, and where to file—is available online at www.uscis.gov/tps. Further details on this extension and re-designation of Syria for TPS, including application requirements and procedures, are available in the Federal Register notice published today.
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).

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or follow us on Facebook (USCIS), Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

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