Temporary Protected Status Designated Country: Sierra Leone

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REMINDER: The designations of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone terminate effective May 21, 2017. Read more here: USCIS Reminds Beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone of May 21 Termination.

TPS Extended Through: May 20, 2017
TPS Termination Effecitve: May 21, 2017
Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Auto-Extended Through: May 20, 2017
Link to Federal Register: 81 FR 66054

On September 22, 2016, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the decision to extend TPS benefits for Sierra Leone under the current designation for 6 months for the purpose of orderly transition before the TPS designation of Sierra Leone terminates. The termination will become effective May 21, 2017.

After reviewing country conditions and consulting with the appropriate U.S. government agencies, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has determined that conditions in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone no longer support their designations for TPS. The widespread transmission of Ebola virus in the three countries that led to the designations has ended, no longer preventing nationals from returning in safety.

To provide for an orderly transition, nationals of Sierra Leone (and individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone) who have been granted TPS under the Sierra Leone designation will automatically retain their TPS and have their current Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) extended through May 20, 2017. Beneficiaries do not need to pay a fee or file any application, including for work authorization, in order to retain their TPS benefits through May 20, 2017.

Although TPS benefits will no longer be in effect starting May 21, 2017, TPS beneficiaries will continue to hold any other immigration status that they have maintained or acquired while registered for TPS. DHS urges individuals who do not have another immigration status to use the time before the termination becomes effective in May to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States or to apply for other immigration benefits for which they may be eligible.

Automatic Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Extension

USCIS has automatically extended the validity of employment authorization documents (EADs) issued under the designation of TPS Sierra Leone for an additional 6 months, through May 20, 2017. If you are a TPS beneficiary under Sierra Leone’s designation and your EAD is based on your TPS status with an original expiration date of November 21, 2016, your EAD is covered by this automatic extension and you may continue to work.

To continue working legally, you may show the following documentation to your employer and government agencies:

Your employer may rely on the Federal Register notice as evidence of the continuing validity of your EAD. Go to the Documentation Employers May Accept and Temporary Protected Status Beneficiaries May Present as Evidence of Employment Eligibility page for more information.

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