Extension and Re-Designation Allows Additional Eligible Somalis to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization Documents
WASHINGTON—Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced an 18-month extension and re-designation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This extension and re-designation will be in effect from September 18, 2021, through March 17, 2023.
“Through the extension and re-designation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status, the United States will be able to offer safety and protection to Somalis who may not be able to return to their country, due to ongoing conflict and a worsening humanitarian crisis,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “We will continue to offer our support to Somali nationals through this temporary form of humanitarian relief.”
Secretary Mayorkas made this decision to extend and re-designate Somalia for TPS after consultation with interagency partners and careful consideration of the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Somalia. Three decades of conflict in Somalia, along with natural disasters and disease outbreaks, have worsened an already severe humanitarian crisis. Somalia has recently experienced a dramatic upsurge in violence, severe drought, and flooding, which have contributed to worsening food insecurity and internal displacement. The COVID-19 pandemic, in conjunction with an outbreak of cholera, also presents major challenges for a health care system that has already been severely weakened by the ongoing conflict. These conditions prevent Somali nationals and habitual residents from returning to Somalia safely.
The extension of TPS for Somalia allows approximately 447 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 17, 2023, so long as they meet TPS eligibility requirements. The re-designation of Somalia for TPS also allows an estimated 100 additional Somali nationals (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia) who have been continuously residing in the United States since July 19, 2021, to file initial applications to obtain TPS, if they are otherwise eligible.
Current beneficiaries re-registering under the extension of TPS for Somalia must do so in a timely manner during the 60-day registration period that will be announced in the Federal Register notice, to ensure they keep their TPS and work authorization without a gap.
Under the re-designation of Somalia, eligible individuals who do not have TPS may submit an initial Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, during the initial registration period that will run from the publication date of the Federal Register notice, through the full length of the re-designation period ending March 17, 2023. Applicants are also eligible to apply for TPS-related Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and for travel authorization.
A Federal Register notice explaining the procedures necessary to re-register or submit an initial registration application and apply for an EAD will be published soon.