U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 27, 2009 that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Somalia from its current expiration date of Sept. 17, 2009 through March 17, 2011. During the past year, DHS and the Department of State have continued to review conditions in Somalia. Based on this review, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has determined that an 18 month extension is warranted because the armed conflict is ongoing, and the extraordinary and temporary conditions that prompted the last TPS designation of Somalia on Sept. 4, 2001 persist.
Under the extension, individuals, who have already been granted TPS, are eligible to re-register and maintain their status for an additional 18 months. There are approximately 250 nationals of Somalia who are eligible to re-register. Certain Somalis may be eligible for late initial registration if they meet regulatory criteria. TPS does not apply to Somali nationals who entered the United States after Sept. 4, 2001.
Nationals of Somalia (and people having no nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia) who have been granted TPS must re-register for the 18-month extension during the 60-day re-registration period beginning July 27, 2009 and remaining in effect through September 24, 2009. Somali TPS beneficiaries are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible following the start of the 60-day re-registration period to allow sufficient time for USCIS to complete all routine security checks and further application processing.
Given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, DHS recognizes the possibility that all re-registrants may not receive new Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) until after their current EADs expire on Sept. 17, 2009. Therefore, USCIS has automatically extended the validity of EADs for eligible Somali TPS beneficiaries for six months through March 17, 2010. This extension will allow sufficient time for USCIS to process and re-issue new EADs for these beneficiaries without any lapse in their employment authorization.
USCIS has also posted on its Web site a list of questions and answers on this extension of TPS for Somalia.
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