Somalia Designated for Temporary Protected Status
Nationals of Somalia (or individuals who last resided in Somalia) who are currently inside the United States may be able to lawfully remain in the country on what is called “Temporary Protected Status” or “TPS.” On September 18, 2021, Secretary Mayorkas redesignated Somalia for TPS for 18 months (until March 17, 2023) due to an ongoing armed conflict as well as extraordinary and temporary conditions, including, but not limited to, natural disasters, outbreaks of cholera and COVID-19, and a “dramatic upsurge in violence,” that have created a severe humanitarian crisis in Somalia.
The Secretary of Homeland Security has the authority to designate countries eligible for TPS if the conditions of the country, like in Somalia, are such that its nationals cannot safely return. Eligible country conditions include ongoing armed conflicts, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary temporary conditions. Individuals found to be preliminarily eligible for, or that have already been granted, TPS cannot be deported from the U.S. during the designated TPS period. They can also request an employment authorization document that would allow them to legally work in the United States. If applying for TPS for the first time, the national (or qualifying resident) must have had continuous residence in the U.S. since July 19, 2021 and have been continuously present in the United States since September 18, 2021. They must apply with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before March 17, 2023.
The re-registration period for individuals who have already been previously granted TPS ended on September 20, 2021. Previously issued employment authorization documents were also automatically extended through March 16, 2022.
As its name implies, TPS is only a temporary benefit, though the initial designation period can be extended. TPS does not provide a long-term path to residency in the U.S. For example, TPS beneficiaries cannot apply for green cards (lawful permanent resident status) as a result of receiving TPS. However, receiving TPS will not prohibit them from applying for any other immigration status for which they are independently eligible.
The attorneys at Tanner Law Offices can assist you or your loved ones in the process of seeking Temporary Protected Status. We are experienced in representing clients before the USCIS. Please Contact our office or contact our office at 717-731-8114 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.