Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, has today, May 1, 2012, both extended the designation of Somalia for temporary protected status (TPS) for 18 months from its current expiration date of September 18, 2012 to March 17, 2014, and re-designated Somalia for TPS for 18 months, effective September 18, 2012, through March 17, 2014. Notice of this action is published in 77 Fed. Reg.25723 (May 1, 2012). Secretary Napolitano determined that an extension is warranted because there continues to be a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions in Somalia based upon ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in that country that prevent Somalis who now have TPS from safely returning.
The extension of TPS allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain their TPS through March 17, 2014. The re-designation of Somalia allows additional individuals who have been continuously residing in the U.S. since May 1, 2012, to obtain TPS, if eligible.
The Federal Register notice sets forth procedures for nationals of Somalia (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia) to reregister under the extension if they already have TPS or to submit an initial registration application under the re-designation and to file Applications for Employment Authorization (Forms I-765) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Under the re-designation, individuals who currently do not have TPS, or a TPS application pending, may apply for TPS from May 1, 2012, through October 29, 2012. In addition to demonstrating continuous residence in the U.S. since May 1, 2012, USCIS will determine whether initial applicants for TPS under this re-designation have demonstrated that they have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since September 18, 2012, the effective date of the re-designation of Somalia, before USCIS grants them TPS.
For individuals who have already been granted TPS under the Somalia designation, the 60-day reregistration period will run from May 1, 2012, through July 2, 2012. USCIS will issue new employment authorization documents (EADs) with a March 17, 2014, expiration date to eligible Somali TPS beneficiaries who timely reregister and apply for EADs under this extension.