Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf has extended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Somalia for 18 months through Sept. 17, 2021.
Congress created the status in 1990 to offer foreign nationals temporary permission to live and work in the U.S., instead of being returned to countries that are deemed unsafe after natural disasters, armed conflict or other emergency situations. Salvadorans, for example—the largest group of TPS holders at approximately 200,000—were provided the provisional status and protected from deportation after earthquakes hit the country in 2001, and their protected status has been routinely renewed ever since. Similarly, 50,000 Haitians, the second largest group holding TPS, were granted protection after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. About 2,500 Nicaraguans have lived and worked in the U.S. with TPS since 1998.
The protection is granted for six to 18 months at a time, if conditions in a given country have been determined not to have improved enough. The Trump administration has taken a harder line on TPS than previous administrations, which tended to keep renewing it; the program is supposed to be temporary and was never intended to bestow long-term residency. Critics of the program argue that it has been incorrectly extended for years, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has determined that conditions in the four countries named in the lawsuit have improved to the point that TPS for those countries’ nationals is no longer necessary.
|TPS Extended Through:||March 17, 2020|
|Re-registration Period for People Who Already Have TPS:||Aug. 27, 2018 – Oct. 26, 2018|
|Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Auto-Extended Through:||March 16, 2019|
|Continuous Residence Date in U.S. Since:||May 1, 2012|
|Continuous Physical Presence in U.S. Since:||Sept. 18, 2012|
|TPS Designation Date:||Sept. 16, 1991|
|Current TPS Designation Dates:||Sept. 4, 2001 and Sept. 18, 2012|
|Federal Register Notice Citation:||83 FR 43695|
When to File for TPS
To maintain TPS, you must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from Aug. 27, 2018 through Oct 26, 2018. We encourage you to register as soon as possible within the 60-day re-registration period.
Send your TPS package to the appropriate address in the table below:
|If you:||Then, mail your application to:|
|Are filing for a replacement EAD for already granted TPS or for re-registration of TPS||U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services|
Attn: TPS Somalia
P.O. Box 6943
Chicago, IL 60680-6943
|Would like to send your application by courier for a replacement EAD for already granted TPS or for re-registration of TPS||U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services|
Attn: TPS Somalia
131 S. Dearborn St., 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517
Automatic Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
USCIS has automatically extended the validity of employment authorization documents (EADs) issued under the TPS designation of Somalia with an original expiration date of Sept. 17, 2018, for 180 days, through March 16, 2019. Additionally, individuals who have EADs with an expiration date of March 17, 2017, and who applied for a new EAD during the last re-registration period but have not yet received their new EAD are also covered by this automatic extension. If your EAD is covered by this automatic extension, you may continue to use your existing EAD through March 16, 2019, as evidence that you are authorized to work.
To prove that you are authorized to continue working legally, you may show the following documentation to your employer. Government agencies may also accept these documents if they need to determine your immigration status:
- Your TPS-related EAD with a Sept. 17, 2018 expiration date; or
- Your TPS-related EAD with a March 17, 2017 expiration date and your EAD application receipt (Form I-797C, Notice of Action) that notes your application was received on or after January 17, 2017; and
- A copy of the Federal Register notice announcing the automatic extension.
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.
If USCIS approves your TPS re-registration application and you paid the fee for a new EAD (or if we approved your fee waiver request), they will issue you a new EAD with the expiration date of March 17, 2020.
For more information on TPS eligibility requirements, what to file, and step-by-step instructions on submitting a re-registration or initial TPS application package, go to the TPS webpage.