New TPS Designation for Syria; and Extension Into 2024 for Current Syrian TPS Holders

October 30, 2022 DHS announces redesignation and extension of Syria's TPS (Temporary Protected Status) designation for 18 months, through March 31, 2024.

By , J.D.

** LEGAL UPDATE **

Syria was originally designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in 2012, by then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, in response to internal conflicts there. A TPS designation does not offer a permanent right to remain in the U.S., but it does offers citizens and nationals of the affected country temporary rights to remain and to work in the U.S., for their own safety, up to a specified deadline.

Since Syria's original designation, TPS for this country has been extended multiple times due to an ongoing civil war and other issues. The most recent redesignation and extension was announced on July 29, 2022.

Citing the war's deliberate targeting of civilians, use of chemical weapons irregular warfare tactics, and child soldiers, as well as Syria's sustained need for humanitarian assistance, increase in refugees and displaced people, food insecurity, limited access to water and medical care, and destruction of infrastructure, DHS announced the redesignation and extension of Syria's TPS designation for 18 months, to last through March 31, 2024.

The extension permits current Syrian TPS holders, of which there are approximately 6,448, to reregister for TPS and remain in the United States with work authorization (employment authorization documents or EADs).

It also allows an estimated 960 new applicants from Syria to file first-time requests for TPS, if they have been continuously resident in the U.S. since July 28, 2022, and also been continuously physically present in the United States since October 1, 2022 (which is the official effective date of Syria's redesignation for TPS) and are otherwise eligible.

In order to register or re-register, you must submit an Application for Temporary Protected Status on USCIS Form I-821. Follow the Form instructions for what supporting documents to include. If you also want an EAD card (work permit), you must file application Form I-765, and pay the fee or else request a fee waiver. Only first-time applicants pay a filing fee, but everyone age 14 or older must pay the biometrics (fingerprinting) fee of $85.

More detailed instructions can be found in the Federal Register notice from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and on the Temporary Protected Status Designated Country: Syria page of the USCIS website.

Make sure that your application lands on USCIS's desk by the registration deadline, once it's announced; being postmarked on that date is normally not good enough. This typically means you can apply for TPS until the day the designation will run out. That seems nonsensical, until you realize that, in order to be eligible for any extensions of the TPS designation, one typically has to have applied when it first became available.

Effective Date: October 1, 2022