On June 25, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the initial registration deadline for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from May 20, 2015, to August 18, 2015, for eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries).
DHS strongly encourages eligible TPS applicants from these three countries to apply as soon as possible because applications will only be accepted through August 18, 2015.
DHS began accepting TPS applications on November 21, 2014, from applicants of these three countries when DHS announced the 18-month TPS designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, from November 21, 2014, through May 21, 2016. If you submitted an application for one of these three countries and the DHS previously returned the application based on the May 20, 2015 deadline, you may now resubmit your complete application by August 18, 2015.
According to DHS, to be eligible for TPS, you must demonstrate that you meet all eligibility criteria, including that you have been “continuously residing” in the United States since November 201, 2014, and “continuously physically present” in the United States since November 21, 2014. You must also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS.
Additionally, you may apply for TPS even if you are a Liberian national currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s September 26, 2014 memorandum. If you are a DED-covered Liberian national and you have an EAD or have applied for an EAD, you do not need to apply for another EAD related to this TPS designation. However, if you are granted TPS, you may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.
DHS states that, to register, you must submit the following:
- Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status;
- Form I-821 application fee (or a fee-waiver request);
- The biometrics services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if you are 14 years old or older;
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether you want an EAD; and
- Form I-765 application fee (or a fee-waiver request), but only if you want an EAD. If you do not want an EAD, no application fee is required. There is no Form I-765 fee for initial applicants under the age of 14, or 66 and over; these applicants may receive their initial EAD cards for free.
DHS notes that if you cannot pay the fee, you may request that DHS waives the Form I-821 application fee, Form I-765 application fee and biometrics services fee. However, you must file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or submit a written request. You must also send in supporting documentation with your fee-waiver request. The DHS will reject your TPS application if you do not submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver request.
Additional information about TPS for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone—including guidance on eligibility, the application process and where to file—is available at www.uscis.gov/tps and in the Federal Register notice.
Attorneys at I.S. Law Firm have helped many foreign nationals apply for Temporary Protected Status and obtain employment authorization based on their TPS applications. To learn more about our services and for consultation, please contact us at +1-703-527-1779 or via e-mail: [email protected].