The Department of Homeland Security announced that it has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 7,000 Syrian refugees for another 18 months. According to DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen, the extension was given due to the violence and “extraordinary conditions” that are ongoing in their native country.
Under the extension, these refugees would be eligible to re-register for TPS and stay in this country with work authorization until September 30, 2019. In order to receive TPS under Syria’s current designation, they must have continuously resided in the U.S. since August 1, 2016, and been physically present in the U.S. at all times since October 1, 2016, in addition to meeting other eligibility requirements. Those who were here under Syria’s previous designation may be eligible for immigration relief.
“After carefully considering conditions on the ground, I have determined that it is necessary to extend the Temporary Protected Status designation for Syria,” Secretary Nielsen said. “It is clear that the conditions upon which Syria’s designation was based continue to exist, therefore an extension is warranted under the statute. We will continue to determine each country’s TPS status on a country-by-country basis.”
Secretary Nielsen noted that, just before the extension expires, she will review the conditions in Syria. If she believes that the conditions in the Middle Eastern country have improved, the TPS designation will be terminated and the refugees would have to return home by September 30, 2019.
It was not the first time that the secretary has had to determine TPS for a country’s refugees or immigrants. She recently decided to end TPS for 200,000 non-citizens from El Salvador, citing the fact the country has recovered from two earthquakes that occurred in 2001. These Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries will now have until September 9, 2019, to leave the country.
If you are a TPS beneficiary and are concerned about the possibility of removal and are seeking advice, it is important to consult an experienced New York immigration lawyer. The New York City immigration attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP can assist you in obtaining green cards, waivers or other immigration-related issues. For more information or to schedule a consultation with our New York City immigration attorneys, call (212) 267-2555.