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  • News: DHS Publishes Notice on the Extension and Redesignation of Syria for Temporary Protected Status

    Federal Register, Volume 78 Issue 116 (Monday, June 17, 2013)
    [Federal Register Volume 78, Number 116 (Monday, June 17, 2013)]
    [Notices]
    [Pages 36223-36229]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
    [FR Doc No: 2013-14101]
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
    
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
    
    [CIS No. 2535-13; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2013-0001]
    RIN 1615-ZB22
    
    
    Extension and Redesignation of Syria for Temporary Protected 
    Status
    
    AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of 
    Homeland Security.
    
    ACTION: Notice.
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    SUMMARY: Through this Notice, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
    announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) is 
    extending the existing designation of Syria for Temporary Protected 
    Status (TPS) for 18 months, from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 
    2015, and redesignating Syria for TPS for 18 months, effective October 
    1, 2013 through March 31, 2015.
        The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain 
    TPS through March 31, 2015 so long as they otherwise continue to meet 
    the terms and conditions of TPS status. The redesignation of Syria 
    allows additional individuals who have been continuously residing in 
    the United States since June 17, 2013 to obtain TPS, if otherwise 
    eligible. The Secretary has determined that an extension and 
    redesignation are warranted because the extraordinary and temporary 
    conditions in Syria that prompted the 2012 TPS designation have not 
    only persisted, but have deteriorated, and because there is now an on-
    going armed conflict in Syria that would pose a serious threat to the 
    personal safety of Syrian nationals if they were required to return to 
    their country.
        Through this Notice, DHS also sets forth procedures necessary for 
    nationals of Syria (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually 
    resided in Syria) either to: (1) Re-register under the extension if 
    they already have TPS and to apply for renewal of their Employment 
    Authorization Documents (EADs) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration 
    Services (USCIS); or (2) submit an initial registration application 
    under the redesignation and apply for an EAD.
        For individuals who have already been granted TPS under the 
    original Syria designation, the 60-day re-registration period runs from 
    June 17, 2013 through August 16, 2013. USCIS will issue new EADs with a 
    March 31, 2015 expiration date to eligible Syrian TPS beneficiaries who 
    timely re-register
    
    [[Page 36224]]
    
    and apply for EADs under this extension.
        Under the redesignation, individuals who currently do not have TPS 
    (or an initial TPS application pending) may submit an initial 
    application during the 180-day initial registration period that runs 
    from June 17, 2013 through December 16, 2013. In addition to 
    demonstrating continuous residence in the United States since June 17, 
    2013 and meeting other eligibility criteria, initial applicants for TPS 
    under this redesignation must demonstrate that they have been 
    continuously physically present in the United States since October 1, 
    2013, the effective date of the redesignation of Syria, before USCIS 
    can finally grant them TPS.
        TPS applications that were filed during the original Syria 
    designation that opened on March 29, 2012, and remain pending on June 
    17, 2013 will be treated as initial applications under the 
    redesignation. Therefore, individuals who have a pending TPS 
    application will not need to file a new Application for Temporary 
    Protected Status (Form I-821). DHS provides additional instructions in 
    this Notice for individuals whose TPS applications remain pending and 
    who would like to obtain an EAD valid through March 31, 2015.
    
    DATES: Extension of Designation of Syria for TPS: The 18-month 
    extension of the TPS designation of Syria is effective October 1, 2013, 
    and will remain in effect through March 31, 2015. The 60-day re-
    registration period runs from June 17, 2013 through August 16, 2013.
        Redesignation of Syria for TPS: The redesignation of Syria for TPS 
    is effective October 1, 2013, and will remain in effect through March 
    31, 2015, a period of 18 months. The 180-day initial registration 
    period for new applicants under the Syria TPS redesignation runs from 
    June 17, 2013 through December 16, 2013.
    
    Further Information
    
         For further information on TPS, including guidance on the 
    application process and additional information on eligibility, please 
    visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. You can find 
    specific information about this extension and redesignation of Syria 
    for TPS by selecting ``TPS Designated Country: Syria'' from the menu on 
    the left of the TPS Web page.
         You can also contact the TPS Operations Program Manager at 
    the Family and Status Branch, Service Center Operations Directorate, 
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland 
    Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2060; or by 
    phone at (202) 272-1533 (this is not a toll-free number). Note: The 
    phone number provided here is solely for questions regarding this TPS 
    Notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries.
         Applicants seeking information about the status of their 
    individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS 
    Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer 
    Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833). Service is available 
    in English and Spanish.
         Further information will also be available at local USCIS 
    offices upon publication of this Notice.
    
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    
    Table of Abbreviations
    
    BIA--Board of Immigration Appeals
    DHS--Department of Homeland Security
    DOS--Department of State
    EAD--Employment Authorization Document
    FSA--Free Syrian Army
    Government--U.S. Government
    IDP--Internally Displaced Persons
    IJ--Immigration Judge
    INA--Immigration and Nationality Act
    OSC--U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for 
    Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices
    SARG--Syrian Arab Republic Government
    SAVE--USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program
    Secretary--Secretary of Homeland Security
    Syria--Syrian Arab Republic
    TPS--Temporary Protected Status
    UN--United Nations
    UNHCR--Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    USCIS--U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
    
    What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
    
         TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible 
    nationals of a country designated for TPS under the Immigration and 
    Nationality Act (INA), or to eligible persons without nationality who 
    last habitually resided in the designated country.
         During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are 
    eligible to remain in the United States and may obtain work 
    authorization, so long as they continue to meet the requirements of TPS 
    status.
         TPS beneficiaries may also be granted travel authorization 
    as a matter of discretion.
         The granting of TPS does not lead to permanent resident 
    status.
         When the Secretary terminates a country's TPS designation, 
    beneficiaries return to the same immigration status they maintained 
    before TPS, if any (unless that status has since expired or been 
    terminated), or to any other lawfully obtained immigration status they 
    received while registered for TPS.
    
    When was Syria designated for TPS?
    
        On March 29, 2012, the Secretary designated Syria for TPS based on 
    extraordinary and temporary conditions within that country that prevent 
    Syrian nationals from returning to Syria in safety. See Designation of 
    Syrian Arab Republic for Temporary Protected Status, 77 FR 19026 (Mar. 
    29, 2012), and correction at 77 FR 20046 (Apr. 3, 2012); see also 
    section 244(b)(1)(C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C). This 
    announcement is the first extension and the first redesignation of TPS 
    for Syria.
    
    What authority does the Secretary have to extend the designation of 
    Syria for TPS?
    
        Section 244(b)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1), authorizes the 
    Secretary, after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, to 
    designate a foreign state (or part thereof) for TPS.\1\ The Secretary 
    may then grant TPS to eligible nationals of that foreign state (or 
    aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in that 
    state). See section 244(a)(1)(A) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A).
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        \1\ As of March 1, 2003, in accordance with section 1517 of 
    title XV of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA), Public Law 107-
    296, 116 Stat. 2135, any reference to the Attorney General in a 
    provision of the INA describing functions transferred from the 
    Department of Justice to the Department of Homeland Security ``shall 
    be deemed to refer to the Secretary'' of Homeland Security. See 6 
    U.S.C. 557 (codifying HSA, tit. XV, sec. 1517).
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        At least 60 days before the expiration of a country's TPS 
    designation or extension, the Secretary, after consultation with 
    appropriate Government agencies, must review the conditions in a 
    foreign state designated for TPS to determine whether the conditions 
    for the TPS designation continue to be met. See section 244(b)(3)(A) of 
    the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). If the Secretary determines that a 
    foreign state continues to meet the conditions for TPS designation, the 
    designation is extended for an additional 6 months (or, in the 
    Secretary's discretion, for 12 or 18 months). See section 244(b)(3)(C) 
    of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C). If the Secretary determines that 
    the foreign state no longer meets the conditions for TPS designation, 
    the Secretary must terminate the designation. See section 244(b)(3)(B) 
    of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(B).
    
    [[Page 36225]]
    
    What is the Secretary's authority to redesignate Syria for TPS?
    
        In addition to extending an existing TPS designation, the 
    Secretary, after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, may 
    redesignate a country (or part thereof) for TPS. See section 244(b)(1) 
    of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1); see also section 244(c)(1)(A)(i) of 
    the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(i) (requiring that ``the alien has 
    been continuously physically present since the effective date of the 
    most recent designation of the state'') (emphasis added). This is one 
    of several instances in which the Secretary, and, prior to the 
    establishment of DHS, the Attorney General, have simultaneously 
    extended a country's TPS designation and redesignated the country for 
    TPS. See, e.g., Extension and Redesignation of South Sudan for 
    Temporary Protected Status, 78 FR 1866 (Jan. 9, 2013); Extension and 
    Redesignation of Sudan for Temporary Protected Status, 78 FR 1872 (Jan. 
    9, 2013); Extension and Redesignation of Haiti for Temporary Protected 
    Status, 76 FR 29000 (May 19, 2011); Extension of Designation and 
    Redesignation of Liberia Under Temporary Protected Status, 62 FR 16608 
    (Apr. 7, 1997) (discussing legal authority for redesignation of a 
    country for TPS).
        When the Secretary designates or redesignates a country for TPS, 
    she also has the discretion to establish the date from which TPS 
    applicants must demonstrate that they have been ``continuously 
    resid[ing]'' in the United States. See section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii) of the 
    INA, 8 U.S.C.S 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii). This discretion permits the 
    Secretary to tailor the ``continuous residence'' date to offer TPS to 
    the group of eligible individuals that the Secretary deems appropriate.
        The Secretary has determined that the ``continuous residence'' date 
    for applicants for TPS under the redesignation of Syria shall be June 
    17, 2013. Initial applicants for TPS under this redesignation must also 
    show they have been ``continuously physically present'' in the United 
    States since October 1, 2013, which is the effective date of the 
    Secretary's redesignation of Syria. See section 244(c)(1)(A)(i) of the 
    INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(i). For each initial TPS application filed 
    under the redesignation, the final determination whether the applicant 
    has met the ``continuous physical presence'' requirement cannot be made 
    until October 1, 2013. USCIS, however, will issue EADs, as appropriate, 
    during the registration period in accordance with 8 CFR 244.5(b).
    
    Why is the Secretary extending the TPS designation for Syria and 
    simultaneously redesignating Syria for TPS through March 31, 2015?
    
        Over the past year, DHS and the Department of State (DOS) have 
    continued to review conditions in Syria. Based on this review and after 
    consulting with DOS, the Secretary has determined that an 18-month 
    extension is warranted because the extraordinary and temporary 
    conditions preventing the safe return of Syrian nationals that prompted 
    the March 29, 2012 designation continue to be met. In fact, those 
    conditions have worsened significantly. The Secretary has also decided 
    to redesignate Syria for TPS based not only on the continuing 
    extraordinary and temporary conditions, but also on the ongoing armed 
    conflict in Syria. Furthermore, the Secretary has decided the 
    conditions warrant changing the ``continuous residence'' date so as to 
    provide TPS protection to eligible Syrian nationals who arrived between 
    March 29, 2012 and June 17, 2013. The ``continuous physical presence'' 
    date must be the effective date of the redesignation, which the 
    Secretary has established as October 1, 2013 so that individuals 
    granted TPS under the redesignation will have TPS for the same 18-month 
    period through March 31, 2015 as TPS beneficiaries re-registering under 
    the extension. See section 244(c)(1)(A)(i) of the INA; 8 U.S.C. 
    1254a(c)(1)(A)(i).
        Conditions in Syria are unstable, volatile and dangerous, and have 
    worsened significantly since the prior designation took effect on March 
    29, 2012. Acts of violence and human rights abuses have been reported 
    in most major urban centers and have significantly increased over the 
    last year, and access to humanitarian assistance for victims of the 
    ongoing strife continues to be a serious challenge. By mid-July 2012, 
    the International Committee of the Red Cross labeled the Syrian 
    conflict a civil war. Economic sanctions continued to cripple the 
    country, making basic goods like medicine difficult to obtain for 
    civilians.
        President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Arab Republic Government 
    (SARG) have continued to use indiscriminate and deadly force, including 
    military assaults on cities and residential areas throughout the 
    country. The military continues to fight the opposition, responding 
    with air strikes and heavy artillery to kill and capture combatants, 
    and harming tens of thousands of civilians in the process. With an 
    unrelenting armed opposition, including jihadist elements, and a 
    military-backed government fighting to remain in power, the number of 
    people displaced by violence has continued to rise.
        Government-rebel clashes are ongoing throughout the country and, in 
    addition to the ongoing attacks perpetrated by the Syrian government, 
    rebel faction extremists, foreign fighters, and unidentified assailants 
    have killed and abducted civilians, humanitarian workers, and United 
    Nations (UN) personnel. International funding and support for the armed 
    opposition continues to build, enhancing their communications, 
    weaponry, and paramilitary capabilities.
        Indigenous and international jihadist groups have emerged among the 
    armed opposition in the fight against the SARG, increasingly employing 
    tactics, including suicide bombings, which have often resulted in 
    civilian casualties. In addition to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and 
    Syrian National Army, reports published in 2012 indicate that ``a 
    radical Islamist dynamic has emerged within the opposition.'' The armed 
    opposition has reportedly also been reinforced by foreign fighters.
        As of November 2012, the rebels reportedly controlled large areas 
    around Aleppo, Idlib, Haffeh, Muhradeh, Rastan, al Qusayr, Tal Abyad, 
    and Deir ez-Zor. The rebels also carried out sophisticated attacks and 
    takeovers. Clashes between rebels and government forces frequently 
    resulted in civilian deaths.
        As of April 2013, based on reports cited by U.N. officials, the 
    estimated Syrian death toll for the duration of the conflict is 70,000, 
    with approximately 15,000 of those deaths occurring in the early months 
    of 2013. Civilians accounted for the majority of those killed. The 
    provinces of Homs, Damascus, Idlib, Hama, Deraa, and Aleppo were 
    reported to have suffered the most casualties. According to Amnesty 
    International, the main cause of civilian deaths has been the armed 
    forces' indiscriminate aerial bombardment and artillery shelling in 
    heavily populated areas. The U.N. Human Rights Council, through the 
    Independent International Commission of Inquiry, stated that scores of 
    civilians have also been killed in explosions caused by suicide bombers 
    and improvised explosive devices.
        Among the civilian casualties, 108 people, mostly women and 
    children, died in the Houla massacre in May 2012. The Independent 
    International Commission of Inquiry blamed the SARG for the killings; 
    other sources reported that most were killed by
    
    [[Page 36226]]
    
    regime-affiliated death squads. Other notable massacres occurred, 
    including an incident in Daraya where more than 500 people were killed 
    in late August 2012. There were also reports that women have been 
    subject to sexual and gender-based violence by SARG forces or pro-
    government militias at road checkpoints and during house searches.
        Observers note that children have been placed at risk as well. In 
    August 2012, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry 
    reported that 125 children died in military offensives, sniper fire, 
    attacks on protests, and massacres. Children have reportedly been used 
    as human shields and placed at risk when combatants take posts at 
    schools.
        The UN reports there are approximately 4.25 million internally 
    displaced persons (IDPs) in Syria. As the SARG military is expected to 
    continue to fight the armed opposition as well as the jihadist groups 
    to retain power of the country, the number of people displaced by 
    violence is only expected to rise. According to an Office of the UN 
    High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) report from December 2012, at 
    least 900,000 persons were displaced in 2012 due to fighting throughout 
    the country.
        According to UNHCR estimates, the flow of refugees into Syria's 
    four neighboring states has increased dramatically since May 2012, with 
    approximately 576,000 Syrian refugees registered in neighboring states 
    by the end of 2012 and 1.1 million by early March 2013. In April 2013, 
    an additional 230,000 refugees fled to neighboring countries. UNHCR 
    predicts these numbers could increase to four million refugees and 
    eight million IDPs by the end of 2013.
        Based upon this review and after consultation with appropriate 
    Government agencies, the Secretary finds that:
         The conditions that prompted the March 29, 2012 
    designation of Syria for TPS continue to be met. See sections 
    244(b)(3)(A) and (C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A) and (C).
         There continue to be extraordinary and temporary 
    conditions in Syria that continue to prevent the safe return of Syrian 
    nationals. See section 244(b)(1)(C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 
    1254a(b)(1)(C).
         It is not contrary to the national interest of the United 
    States to permit Syrian nationals (and persons who have no nationality 
    who last habitually resided in Syria) who meet the eligibility 
    requirements of TPS to remain in the United States temporarily. See 
    section 244(b)(1)(C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
         There is an armed conflict in Syria and, due to such 
    conflict, requiring the return of Syrian nationals to Syria would pose 
    a serious threat to their personal safety. See section 244(b)(1)(A) of 
    the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A).
         The designation of Syria for TPS should be extended for an 
    additional 18-month period from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015. 
    See section 244(b)(3)(C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
         Based on current country conditions, Syria should be 
    simultaneously redesignated for TPS effective October 1, 2013 through 
    March 31, 2015. See sections 244(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2) of the 
    INA; 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2).
         TPS applicants must demonstrate that they have 
    continuously resided in the United States since June 17, 2013.
         The date by which TPS applicants must demonstrate that 
    they have been continuously physically present in the United States is 
    October 1, 2013, the effective date of the redesignation of Syria for 
    TPS.
         There are approximately 2,600 current Syrian TPS 
    beneficiaries who are expected to be eligible to re-register for TPS 
    under the extension.
         It is estimated that 9,000 additional individuals may be 
    eligible for TPS under the redesignation of Syria.
    
    Notice of Extension of the TPS Designation of Syria and Redesignation 
    of Syria for TPS
    
        By the authority vested in me as Secretary under section 244 of the 
    INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a, I have determined, after consultation with the 
    appropriate Government agencies, that the conditions that prompted the 
    designation of Syria for TPS on March 29, 2012, continue to be met. See 
    section 244(b)(3)(A) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). In fact, 
    those conditions have deteriorated further. In addition, there is now 
    an on-going armed conflict in Syria that poses a serious threat to the 
    personal safety of nationals of Syria if they were to be required to 
    return to Syria. On the basis of these determinations, I am 
    simultaneously extending the existing TPS designation of Syria for 18 
    months from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015, and redesignating 
    Syria for TPS for 18 months from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 
    2015. See sections 244(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2) of the INA; 8 
    U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2). I have also determined 
    that eligible individuals must demonstrate that they have continuously 
    resided in the United States since June 17, 2013. See section 
    244(c)(1)(A)(ii) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii).
    
    Janet Napolitano,
    Secretary.
    
    I am currently a Syrian TPS beneficiary. What should I do?
    
        If you filed a TPS application during the original Syria TPS 
    registration period that ran from March 29, 2012 through September 25, 
    2012, and that application was approved prior to June 17, 2013, then 
    you need to file a re-registration application under the extension if 
    you wish to maintain TPS benefits through March 31, 2015. You must also 
    use the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) to re-
    register for TPS. The 60-day open re-registration period will run from 
    June 17, 2013 through August 16, 2013.
    
    I have a pending TPS application filed during the original Syria TPS 
    registration period that ran from March 29, 2012 through September 25, 
    2012. What should I do?
    
        If your TPS application is still pending on June 17, 2013, then you 
    do not need to file a new Application for Temporary Protected Status 
    (Form I-821). Pending TPS applications will be treated as initial 
    applications under the re-designation. Therefore, if your TPS 
    application is approved, you will be granted TPS through March 31, 
    2015. If you have a pending TPS application and you wish to have an EAD 
    valid through March 31, 2015, please refer to Table 1 to determine 
    whether you should file a new Application for Employment Authorization 
    (Form I-765).
    
    [[Page 36227]]
    
    
    
         Table 1--Form and EAD Information for Pending TPS Applications
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
              If . . .                  And . . .            Then . . .
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You requested an EAD during   You received an EAD   You must file a new
     the original registration     with Category C19     Application for
     period for Syria TPS.         or A12.               Employment
                                                         Authorization (Form
                                                         I-765) with fee (or
                                                         fee waiver request)
                                                         if you wish to have
                                                         a new EAD valid
                                                         through March 31,
                                                         2015.
                                  You did not receive   You do not need to
                                   an EAD with           file a new
                                   Category C19 or A12.  Application for
                                                         Employment
                                                         Authorization (Form
                                                         I-765). If your TPS
                                                         application is
                                                         approved, your Form
                                                         I-765 will be
                                                         approved through
                                                         March 31, 2015.
    You did not request an EAD    You wish to have an   You must file a new
     during the original           EAD valid through     Application for
     registration period for       March 31, 2015.       Employment
     Syria TPS.                                          Authorization (Form
                                                         I-765) with fee (or
                                                         fee waiver
                                                         request).
                                  You do not wish to    You do not need to
                                   have an EAD valid     file a new
                                   through March 31,     Application for
                                   2015.                 Employment
                                                         Authorization (Form
                                                         I-765).
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    I am not a TPS beneficiary, and I do not have a TPS application 
    pending. What are the procedures for initial registration for TPS under 
    the Syria redesignation?
    
        If you are not a Syrian TPS beneficiary or have a pending 
    application for Syria TPS, you may submit your TPS application during 
    the 180-day initial registration period that will run from June 17, 
    2013 through December 16, 2013.
    
    Required Application Forms and Application Fees To Register or Re-
    Register for TPS
    
        To register or re-register for TPS for Syria, an applicant must 
    submit each of the following two applications:
        1. Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821).
         If you are filing an initial application, you must pay the 
    fee for the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821). 
    See 8 CFR 244.2(f)(1) and 244.6 and information on initial filing on 
    the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.
         If you are filing for TPS re-registration, you do not need 
    to pay the fee for the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form 
    I-821). See 8 CFR 244.17.
        and
        2. Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765).
         If you are applying for initial registration and want an 
    EAD, you must pay the fee for the Application for Employment 
    Authorization (Form I-765) only if you are age 14 through 65. No fee 
    for the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) is 
    required if you are under the age of 14 or are 66 and older and 
    applying for initial registration.
         If you are applying for re-registration (or have a pending 
    initial TPS application filed during the original designation and you 
    received a previous TPS-related EAD), you must pay the fee for the 
    Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) only if you want 
    an EAD.
         You do not pay the fee for the Application for Employment 
    Authorization (Form I-765) if you are not requesting an EAD, regardless 
    of whether you are applying for initial registration or re-
    registration.
        You must submit both completed application forms together. If you 
    are unable to pay for the application and/or biometrics fee, you may 
    apply for a fee waiver by completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-
    912) or submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and by 
    providing satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information 
    on the application forms and fees for TPS, please visit the USCIS TPS 
    Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. Fees for the Application for 
    Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821), the Application for Employment 
    Authorization (Form I-765), and biometric services are also described 
    in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1)(i).
    
    Biometric Services Fee
    
        Biometrics (such as fingerprints) are required for all applicants 
    14 years of age or older. Those applicants must submit a biometric 
    services fee. As previously stated, if you are unable to pay for the 
    biometric services fee, you may apply for a fee waiver by completing a 
    Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or by submitting a personal letter 
    requesting a fee waiver, and providing satisfactory supporting 
    documentation. For more information on the biometric services fee, 
    please visit the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov. If necessary, 
    you may be required to visit an Application Support Center to have your 
    biometrics captured.
    
    Refiling an Initial TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of a Fee 
    Waiver Request
    
        If you request a fee waiver when filing your initial TPS 
    application package and your request is denied, you may re-file your 
    application packet before the initial filing deadline of December 16, 
    2013. If you submit your application with a fee waiver request before 
    that deadline, but you receive a fee waiver denial and there are fewer 
    than 45 days before the filing deadline (or the deadline has passed), 
    you may still re-file your application within the 45-day period after 
    the date on the USCIS fee waiver denial notice. Your application will 
    not be rejected even if the filing deadline has passed, provided it is 
    mailed within those 45 days and all other required information for the 
    application is included. Note: If you wish, you may also wait to 
    request an EAD and pay the Application for Employment Authorization 
    (Form I-765) fee after USCIS grants you TPS, if you are found eligible. 
    If you choose to do this, you would file the Application for Temporary 
    Protected Status (Form I-821) with the fee and the Application for 
    Employment Authorization (Form I-756) without fee and without 
    requesting an EAD.
    
    Refiling a Re-Registration TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of 
    a Fee Waiver Request
    
        USCIS urges all re-registering applicants to file as soon as 
    possible within the 60-day re-registration period so that USCIS can 
    process the applications and issue EADs promptly. Filing early will 
    also allow those applicants who may receive denials of their fee waiver 
    requests to have time to re-file their applications before the re-
    registration deadline. If, however, an applicant receives a denial of 
    his or her fee waiver request and is unable to re-
    
    [[Page 36228]]
    
    file by the re-registration deadline, the applicant may still re-file 
    his or her application. This situation will be reviewed under good 
    cause for late re-registration. However, applicants are urged to re-
    file within 45 days of the date on their USCIS fee waiver denial 
    notice, if at all possible. See section 244(c)(3)(C) of the INA; 8 
    U.S.C. 1254a(c)(3)(C); 8 CFR 244.17(c). For more information on good 
    cause for late re-registration, visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. Note: As previously stated, although a re-
    registering TPS beneficiary age 14 and older must pay the biometric 
    services fee (but not the initial TPS application fee) when filing a 
    TPS re-registration application, the applicant may decide to wait to 
    request an EAD, and therefore not pay the Application for Employment 
    Authorization (Form I-765) fee, until after USCIS has approved the 
    individual's TPS re-registration, if he or she is eligible.
    
    Mailing Information
    
        Mail your application for TPS to the proper address in Table 2.
    
                           Table 2--Mailing Addresses
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    If . . .                          Mail to . . .
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You are applying through the U.S.        U.S. Citizenship and
     Postal Service.                          Immigration Services, Attn:
                                              TPS Syria, P.O. Box 6943,
                                              Chicago, IL 60680-6943.
    You are using a non-U.S. Postal Service  U.S. Citizenship and
     delivery service.                        Immigration Services Attn: TPS
                                              Syria, 131 S. Dearborn 3rd
                                              Floor, Chicago, IL 60603-5517.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        If you were granted TPS by an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board 
    of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and you wish to request an EAD or are re-
    registering for the first time following a grant of TPS by the IJ or 
    BIA, please mail your application to the appropriate address in Table 
    2. Upon receiving a Notice of Action (Form I-797) from USCIS, please 
    send an email to TPSijgrant.vsc@uscis.dhs.gov with the receipt number 
    and state that you submitted a re-registration and/or request for an 
    EAD based on an IJ/BIA grant of TPS. You can find detailed information 
    on what further information you need to email and the email addresses 
    on the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.
    
    E-Filing
    
        You cannot electronically file your application when re-registering 
    or applying for initial registration for Syria TPS. Please mail your 
    application to the mailing address listed in Table 2.
    
    Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
    
    May I request an interim EAD at my local USCIS office?
    
        No. USCIS will not issue interim EADs to TPS applicants and re-
    registrants at local offices.
    
    Will my current EAD, which is set to expire on September 30, 2013, be 
    automatically extended for 6 months?
    
        No. This Notice does not automatically extend previously issued 
    EADs. DHS has announced the extension of the TPS designation of Syria 
    and established the re-registration period at an early date to allow 
    sufficient time for USCIS to process EAD requests prior to the 
    September 30, 2013 expiration date. You must apply during the 60-day 
    re-registration period. Failure to file your TPS application during the 
    re-registration period without good cause may result in gaps in work 
    authorization. DHS strongly encourages you to apply as early as 
    possible within the re-registration period.
    
    When hired, what documentation may I show to my employer as proof of 
    employment authorization and identity when completing Employment 
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)?
    
        You can find a list of acceptable document choices on the ``Lists 
    of Acceptable Documents'' for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form 
    I-9). You can find additional detailed information on the USCIS I-9 
    Central Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/I-9Central. Employers are 
    required to verify the identity and employment authorization of all new 
    employees by using Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). 
    Within 3 days of hire, an employee must present proof of identity and 
    employment authorization to his or her employer.
        You may present any document from List A (reflecting both your 
    identity and employment authorization), or one document from List B 
    (reflecting identity) together with one document from List C 
    (reflecting employment authorization). An EAD is an acceptable document 
    under ``List A.'' Employers may not reject a document based upon a 
    future expiration date.
    
    What documentation may I show my employer if I am already employed but 
    my current TPS-related EAD is set to expire?
    
        You must present any document from List A or any document from List 
    C on Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) to reverify 
    employment authorization. Your employer is required to reverify on 
    Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) the employment 
    authorization of current employees upon the expiration of a TPS-related 
    EAD. Your employer should use either Section 3 of the Employment 
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) originally completed for the 
    employee or, if this section has already been completed or if the 
    version of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) is no longer 
    valid, in Section 3 of a new Employment Eligibility Verification (Form 
    I-9) using the most current version. Note that your employer may not 
    specify which List A or List C document employees must present.
        USCIS anticipates that it will be able to process and issue new 
    EADs for existing TPS Syria beneficiaries before their current EADs 
    expire on September 30, 2013. However, re-registering beneficiaries are 
    encouraged to file as early as possible within the 60-day re-
    registration period to help ensure that they receive their EADs 
    promptly.
    
    Can my employer require that I produce any other documentation to prove 
    my status, such as proof of my Syrian citizenship?
    
        No. When completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9), 
    including reverifying employment authorization, employers must accept 
    any documentation that appears on the ``Lists of Acceptable Documents'' 
    for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and that reasonably 
    appears to be genuine and that relates to you. Employers may not 
    request documentation that does not appear on the ``Lists of Acceptable 
    Documents.'' Therefore, employers may not request proof of Syrian 
    citizenship when completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form 
    I-9) for new hires or
    
    [[Page 36229]]
    
    reverifying the employment authorization of current employees. If 
    presented with an EAD that is unexpired on its face, employers should 
    accept such EAD as a valid List A document so long as the EAD 
    reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the employee. Refer 
    to the Note to Employees section for important information about your 
    rights if your employer rejects lawful documentation, requires 
    additional documentation, or otherwise discriminates against you based 
    on your citizenship or immigration status, or your national origin.
    
    Note to All Employers
    
        Employers are reminded that the laws requiring proper employment 
    eligibility verification and prohibiting unfair immigration-related 
    employment practices remain in full force. This Notice does not 
    supersede or in any way limit applicable employment verification rules 
    and policy guidance, including those rules setting forth reverification 
    requirements. For general questions about the employment eligibility 
    verification process, employers may call USCIS at 888-464-4218 (TTY 
    877-875-6028) or email USCIS at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls and emails 
    are accepted in English and many other languages including Arabic. For 
    questions about avoiding discrimination during the employment 
    eligibility verification process, employers may also call the U.S. 
    Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-
    Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer Hotline at 800-255-
    8155 (TTY for the hearing impaired is at 800-237-2515), which offers 
    language interpretation in numerous languages, or email OSC at 
    osccrt@usdoj.gov
    Note to All Employees
    
        For general questions about the employment eligibility verification 
    process, employees may call USCIS at 888-897-7781 (TTY 877-875-6028) or 
    email USCIS at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls and emails are accepted in 
    English, Spanish and many other languages including Arabic. Employees 
    or applicants may also call the OSC Worker Information Hotline at 800-
    255-7688 (TTY for the hearing impaired is at 800-237-2515) for 
    information regarding employment discrimination based upon citizenship, 
    immigration status, or national origin, or for information regarding 
    discrimination related to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-
    9) and E-Verify. The OSC Worker Information Hotline provides language 
    interpretation in numerous languages.
        To comply with the law, employers must accept any document or 
    combination of documents from the List of Acceptable Documents if the 
    documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the 
    employee. Employers may not require extra or additional documentation 
    beyond what is required for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form 
    I-9) completion. Further, employers participating in E-Verify that 
    receive an E-Verify initial case result of ``Tentative Nonconfirmation 
    (TNC)'' must promptly inform employees of the TNC and give such 
    employees an opportunity to contest the TNC. A TNC case result means 
    that the information entered into E-Verify from Form I-9 differs from 
    Social Security Administration, DHS, or DOS records. Employers may not 
    terminate, suspend, delay training, withhold pay, lower pay or take any 
    other adverse action against an employee based on the employee's 
    decision to contest a TNC or because the case is still pending with E-
    Verify. A Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) case result is received when E-
    Verify cannot verify an employee's employment eligibility. An employer 
    may terminate employment based on a case result of FNC. Work-authorized 
    employees who receive an FNC may call USCIS for assistance at 888-897-
    7781 (TTY 877-875-6028). Additional information about proper 
    nondiscriminatory I-9 and E-Verify procedures is available on the OSC 
    Web site at http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc and the USCIS Web site 
    at http://www.dhs.gov/E-verify.
    
    Note Regarding Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (Such as 
    Departments of Motor Vehicles)
    
        While Federal government agencies must follow the guidelines laid 
    out by the Federal government, state and local government agencies 
    establish their own rules and guidelines when granting certain 
    benefits. Each state may have different laws, requirements, and 
    determinations about what documents you need to provide to prove 
    eligibility for certain benefits. Whether you are applying for a 
    Federal, state, or local government benefit, you may need to provide 
    the government agency with documents that show you are a TPS 
    beneficiary and/or show you are authorized to work based on TPS. 
    Examples are:
        (1) Your unexpired EAD card;
        (2) A copy of your Application for Temporary Protected Status 
    Notice of Action (Form I-797) for this re-registration; and/or
        (3) A copy of your past or current Application for Temporary 
    Protected Status Notice of Action (Form I-797), if you received one 
    from USCIS.
        Check with the government agency regarding which document(s) the 
    agency will accept. You may also provide the agency with a copy of this 
    Notice.
        Some benefit-granting agencies use the USCIS Systematic Alien 
    Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE) to verify the current 
    immigration status of applicants for public benefits. If such an agency 
    has denied your application based solely or in part on a SAVE response, 
    the agency must offer you the opportunity to appeal the decision in 
    accordance with the agency's procedures. If the agency has received and 
    acted upon or will act upon a SAVE verification and you do not believe 
    the response is correct, you may make an InfoPass appointment for an 
    in-person interview at a local USCIS office. Detailed information on 
    how to make corrections, make an appointment, or submit a written 
    request can be found at the SAVE Web site at http://www.uscis.gov/save, 
    then by choosing ``How to Correct Your Records'' from the menu on the 
    right.
    
    [FR Doc. 2013-14101 Filed 6-14-13; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
    
    
    
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