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US extends Temporary Protected Status for Somalia for 18 months

Wednesday March 15, 2023


Members of the Somali community near a park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2013. Photograph: Jim Mone/AP

Washington (HOL) - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Somalia for 18 months, from March 18, 2023, to September 17, 2024. The extension allows around 430 current beneficiaries to keep their TPS status, and the redesignation allows approximately 2,200 more Somali nationals or individuals who previously lived in Somalia to apply for TPS, provided they meet specific eligibility requirements.

The DHS has published a Federal Register notice to detail the TPS application process under Somalia's redesignation. The process began on March 13, and all individuals seeking TPS under Somalia's designation must apply.

Re-registration is available only to those previously granted TPS under Somalia's prior designation. Current beneficiaries under TPS for Somalia must re-register between March 13, 2023, and May 9, 2023, to maintain their TPS and work authorization.

Although not all re-registrants will receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before their current one expires, some EADs issued under Somalia's TPS designation will be automatically extended by DHS until March 17, 2024. USCIS will continue to process pending applications filed under Somalia's previous TPS designation, and individuals with a pending Form I-821 or related Form I-765 as of March 13, 2023, do not need to refile.

The Federal Register notice contains information on eligibility criteria, timelines, and procedures for re-registering and renewing EADs for current beneficiaries and an initial application and EAD processes for new applicants. Applicants can also apply for TPS-related EADs and travel authorization.

In mid-December, US lawmakers, including Ilhan Omar, sent a letter to Secretary Blinken and Secretary Mayorkas urging the administration to extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalia.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the extension and redesignation of TPS for Somalia on January 12, 2023. This decision aims to provide relief for individuals from Somalia currently residing in the United States who are facing dangerous conditions in their home country.

Congress first established Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in 1990 to allow the federal government to shield certain immigrants from deportation and permit them to work in the country legally if armed conflict, natural disasters and other humanitarian crises plague their home countries.


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