Monday, September 14, 2015
I did not know until relatively recently, when the Syrian refugee crisis hit the news, that Syrians who make it to the United States are eligible for temporary relief from removal.
On January 5, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the redesignation of Syria for Temporary Protected Status and that eligible Syrian nationals in the United States may apply for TPS. If you do not currently have TPS for Syria, you may file an initial application to register for TPS for Syria under the recent re-designation. Go to the TPS Web Page for information about what you need to file to register.
On March 29, 2012, the Secretary had designated Syria for TPS based on extraordinary and temporary conditions within that country that prevented Syrian nationals and those with no nationality who last resided in Syria from returning to Syria in safety. In 2013, the Secretary extended Syria's designation and redesignated Syria for TPS for 18 months through March 31, 2015. The 2013 redesignation of Syria for TPS added the ongoing armed conflict in Syria as an additional basis for TPS. This announcement is the third designation of TPS for Syria and the first extension since the 2013 redesignation.
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.