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  • News: DHS, USCIS Notice of Extension and Redesignation of South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status

    [Federal Register Volume 81, Number 15 (Monday, January 25, 2016)]
    [Notices]
    [Pages 4051-4059]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov
    [FR Doc No: 2016-01388]


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    [CIS No. 2575-15; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2014-0004]
    RIN 1615-ZB46


    Extension and Redesignation of South Sudan 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 designation of South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status
    (TPS) for 18 months, from May 3, 2016 through November 2, 2017, and
    redesignating South Sudan for TPS for 18 months, effective May 3, 2016
    through November 2, 2017.
    The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain
    TPS through November 2, 2017, so long as they otherwise continue to
    meet the eligibility requirements for TPS. The redesignation of South
    Sudan allows additional individuals who have been continuously residing
    in the United States since January 25, 2016 to obtain TPS, if otherwise
    eligible. The Secretary determined that an extension of the current
    designation and a redesignation of South Sudan for TPS are warranted
    because the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary
    conditions that prompted the 2014 TPS redesignation have persisted, and
    in some cases deteriorated, and would pose a serious threat to the
    personal safety of South Sudanese nationals if they were required to
    return to their country. Although the parties to the conflict signed a
    peace agreement in August 2015, violence persists in many parts of the
    country, and the implementation of the peace agreement is halting to
    date.
    Through this Notice, DHS also sets forth procedures necessary for
    eligible nationals of South Sudan (or aliens having no nationality who
    last habitually resided in South Sudan) 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, the 60-day re-
    registration period runs from January 25, 2016 through March 25, 2016.
    USCIS will issue new EADs with a November 2, 2017, expiration date to
    eligible South Sudan TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply
    for EADs under this extension. Given the timeframes involved with
    processing TPS re-registration applications, DHS recognizes that not
    all re-registrants will receive new EADs before their current EADs
    expire on May 2, 2016. Accordingly, through this Notice, DHS
    automatically extends the validity of EADs issued under the TPS
    designation of South Sudan for 6 months, through November 2, 2016, and
    explains how TPS beneficiaries and their employers may determine which
    EADs are automatically extended and their impact on Employment
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and the E-Verify processes.
    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 January 25, 2016 through July 25, 2016. In addition to
    demonstrating continuous residence in the United States since January
    25, 2016 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 May 3, 2016,
    the effective date of this redesignation of South Sudan, before USCIS
    may grant them TPS.
    TPS initial applications that were filed under South Sudan's 2011
    designation or the 2013 or 2014 redesignations and remain pending on
    January 25, 2016 will be treated as initial applications under this
    redesignation. Individuals who have a pending initial South Sudan 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 November 2, 2017.

    [[Page 4052]]


    DATES: Extension of Designation of South Sudan for TPS: The 18-month
    extension of the TPS designation of South Sudan is effective May 3,
    2016, and will remain in effect through November 2, 2017. The 60-day
    re-registration period runs from January 25, 2016 through March 25,
    2016. (Note: It is important for re-registrants to timely re-register
    during this 60-day period and not to wait until their EADs expire.)
    Redesignation of South Sudan for TPS: The redesignation of South
    Sudan for TPS is effective May 3, 2016, and will remain in effect
    through November 2, 2017, a period of 18 months. The 180-day initial
    registration period for new applicants under the South Sudan TPS
    redesignation runs from January 25, 2016 through July 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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 South Sudan for TPS by selecting ``South Sudan'' from
    the menu on the left side of the TPS Web page.
    For questions concerning this FRN, you can also contact
    the 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).
    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
    FNC Final Nonconfirmation
    Government U.S. Government
    IJ Immigration Judge
    INA Immigration and Nationality Act
    OSC U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for
    Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices
    SAVE USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program
    Secretary Secretary of Homeland Security
    TNC Tentative Nonconfirmation
    TPS Temporary Protected Status
    TTY Text Telephone
    UN United Nations
    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, may not be removed, and are
    authorized to work and obtain EADs so long as they continue to meet the
    requirements of TPS.
    TPS beneficiaries may also be granted travel authorization
    as a matter of discretion.
    The granting of TPS does not result in or lead to
    permanent resident status.
    To qualify for TPS, beneficiaries must meet the
    eligibility standards at INA section 244(c)(2), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(2).
    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 South Sudan designated for TPS?

    On October 13, 2011, the Secretary designated South Sudan for TPS,
    effective November 3, 2011, based on an ongoing armed conflict and
    extraordinary and temporary conditions within South Sudan. See
    Designation of Republic of South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status,
    76 FR 63629 (Oct. 13, 2011). Following the initial designation, the
    Secretary has extended and redesignated South Sudan for TPS two times.
    Most recently, in 2014, the Secretary both extended South Sudan's
    designation and redesignated South Sudan for TPS for 18 months through
    May 2, 2016. See Extension and Redesignation of South Sudan for
    Temporary Protected Status, 79 FR 52019 (Sept. 2, 2014).

    What authority does the Secretary have to extend the designation of
    South Sudan for TPS?

    Section 244(b)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1), authorizes the
    Secretary, after consultation with appropriate agencies of the U.S.
    Government (Government), to designate a foreign state (or part thereof)
    for TPS if the Secretary determines that certain country conditions
    exist.\1\ The Secretary may then grant TPS to eligible nationals of
    that foreign state (or eligible aliens having no nationality who last
    habitually resided in the designated country). See INA section
    244(a)(1)(A), 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, 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 DHS ``shall be deemed to refer to the Secretary'' of
    Homeland Security. See 6 U.S.C. 557 (codifying the Homeland Security
    Act of 2002, tit. XV, section 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 INA section
    244(b)(3)(A), 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 may be extended for an additional period of 6, 12, or
    18 months. See INA section 244(b)(3)(C), 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 INA section 244(b)(3)(B), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(B).

    What is the Secretary's authority to redesignate South Sudan 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 INA section
    244(b)(1), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1); see also INA section 244(c)(1)(A)(i),
    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
    numerous instances in which the Secretary, and prior to the
    establishment of DHS, the Attorney General, has simultaneously extended
    a country's TPS designation and redesignated the country for TPS. See,
    e.g., Extension and Redesignation of Syria for Temporary Protected
    Status, 80 FR 245 (Jan. 5, 2015); Extension and Redesignation of Sudan
    for Temporary

    [[Page 4053]]

    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 Program, 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, he
    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 INA section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii), 8 U.S.C.
    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 South Sudan shall be
    January 25, 2016. Initial applicants for TPS under this redesignation
    must also show they have been ``continuously physically present'' in
    the United States since May 3, 2016, which is the effective date of the
    Secretary's redesignation of South Sudan. See INA section
    244(c)(1)(A)(i), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(i). For each initial TPS
    application filed under the redesignation, the final determination of
    whether the applicant has met the ``continuous physical presence''
    requirement cannot be made until May 3, 2016. 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 South Sudan and
    simultaneously redesignating South Sudan for TPS through November 2,
    2017?

    DHS and the Department of State (DOS) have reviewed conditions in
    South Sudan. Based on the reviews and after consulting with DOS, the
    Secretary has determined that an 18-month extension and redesignation
    is warranted because the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and
    temporary conditions that prompted the September 2, 2014 redesignation
    have persisted, and in some cases deteriorated. In spite of a peace
    deal signed in August 2015, violence persists in many parts of South
    Sudan, and the peace agreement itself remains fragile. The current
    conditions support the expansion of TPS protection to eligible South
    Sudanese nationals who began residing in the United States between
    September 2, 2014 and January 25, 2016.
    South Sudan is in the midst of a crisis involving a cycle of ethnic
    violence, allegations of atrocities and a humanitarian disaster of
    devastating scale. The armed conflict between the Government of South
    Sudan and opposition groups, which has affected a significant portion
    of the country, has been defined by ethnic lines and has been marked by
    brutal violence against civilians. Despite a peace agreement signed in
    August 2015, the security situation remains uncertain and violence
    persists in many areas. The humanitarian situation continues to
    deteriorate, resulting in widespread displacement due to the violence;
    high rates of death, disease, and injuries; severe food insecurity with
    a major malnutrition crisis; and disrupted livelihoods.
    Longstanding political tensions between President Salva Kiir
    Mayardit, an ethnic ****a, and former vice president, Riek Machar Teny,
    an ethnic Nuer, sparked an outbreak of violence in Juba in December
    2013. This outbreak of violence in Juba led to fighting between Nuer
    and ****a elements within the regular Sudan People's Liberation Army.
    Since December 2013, thousands of people have been killed, as fighting
    broadened and continued along ethnic lines. The violence has flared up
    again toward the end of April and into May 2015, and in September
    following the signing of the peace agreement.
    South Sudan also remains embroiled in conflict along its border
    with Sudan. In 2015, Misseriya militias continued to attack Abyei, a
    disputed border area, sometimes with the backing of the Sudanese Armed
    Forces.
    Both government and opposition forces are alleged to have committed
    atrocities, including against civilians. The United Nations (UN) and
    humanitarian actors report that during the 2015 offensive, there have
    been atrocities including those involving rape, the systematic murder
    of boys over the age of 10 and the elderly, the forced recruitment and
    kidnapping of children, and the wholesale destruction and burning of
    villages. The resulting insecurity in northern and central Unity state
    has forced relief organizations to withdraw staff, and as of mid-June
    2015, has left more than 650,000 civilians in need of emergency support
    without access to humanitarian assistance.
    The overall situation in South Sudan has continued to deteriorate
    since the civil conflict began in December 2013, with the security,
    rule of law and human rights situations remaining deeply compromised.
    South Sudan has not held elections since becoming independent in July
    2011. The peace agreement calls for a transitional government to take
    office and elections in 2018, although the transitional government is
    not yet in place. The economic situation in South Sudan further
    contributes to its inability to protect its citizens from the ongoing
    conflict. Since fighting began in December 2013, economic activity
    outside the capital city, which was weak at best before the crisis, has
    all but stopped.
    Humanitarian access has been constrained by security incidents
    against aid staff. Humanitarian workers, both foreign and national,
    have been targeted and killed, with no reported prosecutions. For the
    month of March 2015, the UN reported 64 security incidents against
    humanitarian actors in South Sudan, and both international and South
    Sudanese non-governmental organizations continue to be targets of crime
    and violence. Due to ongoing hostilities in Unity state, all non-
    governmental organizations and UN agencies evacuated staff in May 2015,
    bringing relief efforts in the area to a halt. Consequently, over
    300,000 civilians in need of emergency relief, including food aid and
    medical services were cut off from life-saving assistance. Violence in
    Unity state persists in spite of the peace agreement.
    According to the UN, over half of the country's 12 million people
    are in need of aid. The ongoing conflict has caused a continuous flow
    of internally displaced persons and refugees. The UN High Commissioner
    for Refugees estimates that as of November 2015, approximately 644,000
    people have fled South Sudan as a direct result of the ongoing conflict
    and related food insecurity, in addition to more than 1.6 million South
    Sudanese who have been internally displaced. These figures are expected
    to grow even after the signing of the peace agreement. Estimates of the
    number of people in need of shelter for 2015 include an anticipated
    1.95 million internally displaced persons and a projected 293,000
    refugees.
    Based upon this review and after consultation with appropriate
    Government agencies, the Secretary has determined that:
    The conditions that prompted the 2014 redesignation of
    South Sudan for TPS continue to be met. See INA section 244(b)(3)(A)
    and (C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A) and (C).
    There continues to be an ongoing armed conflict in South
    Sudan and, due to such conflict, requiring the return of South Sudanese
    nationals (or aliens having no nationality who last

    [[Page 4054]]

    habitually resided in South Sudan) to South Sudan would pose a serious
    threat to their personal safety. See INA section 244(b)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C.
    1254a(b)(1)(A).
    There continue to be extraordinary and temporary
    conditions in South Sudan that prevent South Sudanese nationals (or
    aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in South
    Sudan) from returning to South Sudan in safety. See INA section
    244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
    It is not contrary to the national interest of the United
    States to permit South Sudanese (or aliens having no nationality who
    last habitually resided in South Sudan) who meet the eligibility
    requirements of TPS to remain in the United States temporarily. See INA
    section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
    The designation of South Sudan for TPS should be extended
    for an 18-month period from May 3, 2016 through November 2, 2017. See
    INA section 244(b)(3)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
    Based on current country conditions, South Sudan should be
    simultaneously redesignated for TPS effective May 3, 2016 through
    November 2, 2017. See INA sections 244(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2);
    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 January 25, 2016.
    The date by which TPS applicants must demonstrate that
    they have been continuously physically present in the United States is
    May 3, 2016, the effective date of the redesignation of South Sudan for
    TPS.
    There are approximately 50 current South Sudan TPS
    beneficiaries who are expected to file for re-registration under the
    extension.
    It is estimated that an additional 25-150 nationals of
    South Sudan (and persons without nationality who last habitually
    resided in South Sudan) may be eligible for TPS under the redesignation
    of South Sudan. This estimate is based on the total number of South
    Sudanese nationals believed to be in the United States in a
    nonimmigrant status or without lawful immigration status.

    Notice of Extension of the TPS Designation of South Sudan

    By the authority vested in me as Secretary under INA section 244, 8
    U.S.C. 1254a, I have determined, after consultation with the
    appropriate Government agencies, that the conditions that prompted the
    redesignation of TPS for South Sudan in 2014 not only continue to be
    met, but have significantly deteriorated. See INA section 244(b)(3)(A),
    8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). On the basis of this determination, I am
    simultaneously extending the existing designation of TPS for South
    Sudan for 18 months, from May 3, 2016 through November 2, 2017, and
    redesignating South Sudan for TPS for the same 18-month period. See INA
    section 244(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2); 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 January 25, 2016. See INA section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii), 8
    U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii).

    Jeh Charles Johnson,
    Secretary.

    I am currently a South Sudan TPS beneficiary. What should I do?

    If you have been granted TPS under South Sudan's designation, then
    you must re-register under the extension if you wish to maintain TPS
    benefits through November 2, 2017. You must 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 January 25, 2016 through
    March 25, 2016.

    I have a pending initial TPS application filed during the South Sudan
    TPS registration period that ran from September 2, 2014 through March
    2, 2015. What should I do?

    If your TPS application is still pending on January 25, 2016, 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 this re-designation. Therefore, if your TPS
    application is approved, you will be granted TPS through November 2,
    2017. If you have a pending TPS application and you wish to have an EAD
    valid through November 2, 2017, please refer to Table 1 to determine
    whether you should file a new Application for Employment Authorization
    (Form I-765).

    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 previous initial with Category C-19 Application for
    registration period for or A-12. Employment
    South Sudan TPS. Authorization (Form
    I-765) with fee (or
    fee waiver request)
    if you wish to have
    a new EAD valid
    through November 2,
    2017.
    You did not receive You do not need to
    an EAD with file a new
    Category C-19 or A- Application for
    12. Employment
    Authorization (Form
    I-765). If your TPS
    application is
    approved, your
    Application for
    Employment
    Authorization (Form
    I-765) will be
    approved through
    November 2, 2017.
    You did not request an EAD You wish to have an You must file a new
    during the previous initial EAD valid through Application for
    registration period for November 2, 2017. Employment
    South Sudan 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 November 2, Application for
    2017. Employment
    Authorization (Form
    I-765).
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------


    [[Page 4055]]

    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 South Sudan redesignation?

    If you are not a South Sudan TPS beneficiary or do not have a
    pending TPS application with USCIS, you may submit your TPS application
    during the 180-day initial registration period that will run from
    January 25, 2016 through July 25, 2016.

    Required Application Forms and Application Fees To Register or Re-
    register for TPS

    To register or re-register for TPS based on the designation of
    South Sudan, you must submit each of the following 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)(2) and 244.6.
    If you are filing an application for 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.
    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. You do
    not need to pay the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-
    765) fee if you are under the age of 14 or are 66 and older, applying
    for late initial registration and you want an EAD.
    If you are applying for re-registration, you must pay the
    fee for the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765),
    regardless of your age, 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 fee and/or biometrics fee, you
    may complete a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or submit a personal
    letter requesting a fee waiver with 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).

    Biometric Services Fee

    Biometrics (such as fingerprints) are required for all applicants
    14 years and 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 complete a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or
    submit a personal letter requesting a fee waiver with 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 July 25, 2016.
    If you attempt to submit your application with a fee waiver request
    before that deadline, and receive your application back with the USCIS
    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. You must include the correct fees or file a new
    fee waiver request. 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.
    Please be aware that if you re-file your TPS application packet with a
    new fee waiver request after the deadline and that your new fee waiver
    request is denied, you cannot refile again. Note: Alternatively, you
    may pay the TPS application fee and biometrics fee (if you are age 14
    or older) but wait to request an EAD and pay the Application for
    Employment Authorization (Form I-765) application fee after USCIS
    grants your TPS application, if you are eligible.

    Re-Filing a Re-Registration TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of
    a Fee Waiver Request

    You should re-register as soon as possible within the 60-day period
    so that USCIS can process your application and issue any EAD promptly.
    Filing early will also allow you time to re-file your application
    before the deadline, should USCIS deny your fee waiver request. If,
    however, you receive a denial of your fee waiver request and you are
    unable to re-file by the re-registration deadline, you may still re-
    file your application. This situation will be reviewed to determine
    whether you have established good cause for late re-registration.
    However, you are urged to re-file within 45 days of the date on any
    USCIS fee waiver denial notice, if at all possible. See INA section
    244(c)(3)(C); 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: 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, you 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 your TPS re-registration, if
    you are 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-765) without
    the fee and without requesting an EAD.

    Mailing Information

    Mail your application for TPS to the proper address in Table 1.

    Table 1--Mailing Addresses
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If. . . Mail to. . .
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You are applying through the U.S. USCIS, Attn: TPS South Sudan,
    Postal Service. P.O. Box 6943, Chicago, IL
    60680-6943.
    You are using a non-U.S. Postal Service USCIS, Attn: TPS South Sudan,
    delivery service. 131 S. Dearborn Street, 3rd
    Floor, Chicago, IL 60603-5517.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------


    [[Page 4056]]

    If you were granted TPS by an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board
    of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and wish to request an EAD or are re-
    registering for the first time following a grant of TPS by an IJ or the
    BIA, please mail your application to the appropriate mailing address in
    Table 1. When submitting a re-registration and/or requesting an EAD
    based on an IJ/BIA grant of TPS, Please include a copy of the IJ or BIA
    order granting you TPS with your application. This will aid in the
    verification of your grant of TPS and processing of your application,
    as USCIS may not have received records of your grant of TPS by either
    the IJ or the BIA.

    E-Filing

    You cannot electronically file your application when re-registering
    or submitting an initial registration for South Sudan TPS. Please mail
    your application to the mailing address listed in Table 1.

    Supporting Documents

    What type of basic supporting documentation must I submit with my
    initial TPS application?

    To meet the basic eligibility requirements for TPS, you must submit
    evidence that you:
    Are a national of South Sudan or an alien having no
    nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan. Documents may
    include a copy of your passport if available, other documentation
    issued by the Government of South Sudan showing your nationality (such
    as a national identity card or official travel documentation issued by
    the Government of South Sudan), and/or your birth certificate with
    English translation accompanied by photo identification. USCIS will
    also consider certain forms of secondary evidence supporting your South
    Sudan nationality. If the evidence presented is insufficient for USCIS
    to make a determination as to your nationality, USCIS may request
    additional evidence. If you cannot provide a passport, birth
    certificate with photo identification, or a national identity document
    with your photo or fingerprint, you must submit an affidavit showing
    proof of your unsuccessful efforts to obtain such documents and
    affirming that you are a national of South Sudan. However, please be
    aware that an interview with an immigration officer will be required if
    you do not present any documentary proof of identity or nationality or
    if USCIS otherwise requests a personal appearance. See 8 CFR
    103.2(b)(9), 244.9(a)(1);
    Have continuously resided in the United States since
    January 25, 2016. See INA section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii); 8 U.S.C.
    1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii); 8 CFR 244.9(a)(2); and
    Have been continuously physically present in the United
    States since May 3, 2016, the effective date of the redesignation of
    South Sudan for TPS. See INA sections 244(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i); 8
    U.S.C. 1254a(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i).
    You must also submit two color passport-style photographs of
    yourself. The filing instructions on the Application for Temporary
    Protected Status (Form I-821) list all the documents needed to
    establish basic eligibility for TPS. You may also find information on
    the acceptable documentation and other requirements for applying for
    TPS on the USCIS Web site at www.uscis.gov/tps under ``South Sudan.''

    Do I need to submit additional supporting documentation when filing an
    initial TPS registration or reregistering for TPS?

    If one or more of the questions listed in Part 4, Question 2 of the
    Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) applies to you,
    then you must submit an explanation on a separate sheet(s) of paper
    and/or additional documentation.

    Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

    How can I get information on the status of my EAD request?

    To get case status information about your TPS application,
    including the status of a request for an EAD, you can check Case Status
    Online, available at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National
    Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833). If your
    Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) has been pending
    for more than 90 days, and you still need assistance, you may request
    an EAD inquiry appointment with USCIS by using the InfoPass system at
    https://infopass.uscis.gov. However, we strongly encourage you first to
    check Case Status Online or call the USCIS National Customer Service
    Center for assistance before making an InfoPass appointment.

    Am I eligible to receive an automatic 6-month extension of my current
    EAD through November 2, 2016?

    Provided that you currently have TPS under the designation of South
    Sudan, this Notice automatically extends your EAD by 6 months if you:
    Are a national of South Sudan (or an alien having no
    nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan);
    Received an EAD under the last extension of TPS for South
    Sudan; and
    Have an EAD with a marked expiration date of May 2, 2016,
    bearing the notation ``A-12'' or ``C-19'' on the face of the card under
    ``Category.''
    Although this Notice automatically extends your EAD through
    November 2, 2016, you must re-register timely for TPS in accordance
    with the procedures described in this Notice if you would like to
    maintain your TPS.

    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 being hired, you must present proof of identity and
    employment authorization to your 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.'' You may present an acceptable receipt for List A,
    List B, or List C documents as described in the Form I-9 Instructions.
    An acceptable receipt is one that shows an employee has applied to
    replace a document that was lost, stolen or damaged. If you present
    this receipt, you must present your employer with the actual document
    within 90 days. Employers may not reject a document based on a future
    expiration date.
    If your EAD has an expiration date of May 2, 2016, and states ``A-
    12'' or ``C-19'' under ``Category,'' it has been extended automatically
    for 6 months by virtue of this Federal Register Notice, and you may
    choose to present your EAD to your employer as proof of identity and
    employment authorization for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form
    I-9) through November 2, 2016 (see the subsection titled ``How do my
    employer and I complete the Employment Eligibility Verification

    [[Page 4057]]

    (Form I-9) using an automatically extended EAD for a new job?'' for
    further information). To minimize confusion over this extension at the
    time of hire, you should explain to your employer that USCIS has
    automatically extended your EAD through November 2, 2016, based on your
    Temporary Protected Status. You are also strongly encouraged, although
    not required, to show your employer a copy of this Federal Register
    Notice confirming the automatic extension of employment authorization
    through November 2, 2016. As an alternative to presenting your
    automatically extended EAD, you may choose to present any other
    acceptable document from List A, or a combination of one selection from
    List B and one selection from List C.

    What documentation may I show my employer if I am already employed but
    my current TPS-related EAD is set to expire?

    Even though EADs with an expiration date of May 2, 2016, that state
    ``A-12'' or ``C-19'' under ``Category'' have been automatically
    extended for 6 months by this Federal Register Notice, your employer
    will need to ask you about your continued employment authorization once
    May 2, 2016, is reached to meet its responsibilities for Employment
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). Your employer does not need to
    complete a new Form I-9 to reverify your employment authorization until
    November 2, 2016, the expiration date of the automatic extension, but
    may need to reinspect your automatically extended EAD to check the
    expiration date and code in order to record the updated expiration date
    on your Form I-9 if your employer did not keep a copy of this EAD at
    the time you initially presented it. You and your employer must make
    corrections to the employment authorization expiration dates in Section
    1 and Section 2 of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) (see
    the subsection titled ``What corrections should my current employer and
    I make to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) if my EAD has
    been automatically extended?'' for further information). You are also
    strongly encouraged, although not required, to show this Federal
    Register Notice to your employer to explain what to do for Employment
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).
    By November 2, 2016, the expiration date of the automatic
    extension, your employer must reverify your employment authorization.
    At that time, you must present any unexpired document from List A or
    any unexpired document from List C on Employment Eligibility
    Verification (Form I-9) to reverify employment authorization, or an
    acceptable List A or List C receipt described in the Form I-9
    instructions. Your employer is required to reverify on Employment
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) the employment authorization of
    current employees upon the automatically extended expiration date of a
    TPS-related EAD, which is November 2, 2016, in this case. 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, complete 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, and cannot reject an acceptable
    receipt. An acceptable receipt is one that shows an employee has
    applied to replace a document that was lost, stolen or damaged.

    Can my employer require that I produce any other documentation to prove
    my current TPS status, such as proof of my South Sudanese citizenship
    or proof that I have re-registered for TPS?

    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) that reasonably
    appears to be genuine and that relates to you or an acceptable List A,
    List B, or List C receipt. Employers may not request documentation that
    does not appear on the ``Lists of Acceptable Documents.'' Therefore,
    employers may not request proof of South Sudanese citizenship or proof
    of re-registration for TPS when completing Employment Eligibility
    Verification (Form I-9) for new hires or reverifying the employment
    authorization of current employees. Refer to the ``Note to Employees''
    section of this Notice 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 that
    although you are not required to provide your employer with a copy of
    this Federal Register Notice, you are strongly encouraged to do so to
    help avoid confusion.

    What happens after November 2, 2016, for purposes of employment
    authorization?

    After November 2, 2016, employers may no longer accept the EADs
    that this Federal Register Notice automatically extended. Before that
    time, however, USCIS will work to issue new EADs to eligible TPS re-
    registrants who request them. These new EADs should have an expiration
    date of November 2, 2017, and can be presented to your employer for
    completion of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).
    Alternatively, you may choose to present any other legally acceptable
    document or combination of documents listed on the Employment
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).

    How do my employer and I complete Employment Eligibility Verification
    (Form I-9) using an automatically extended EAD for a new job?

    When using an automatically extended EAD to complete Employment
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) for a new job before November 2,
    2016, you and your employer should do the following:
    1. For Section 1, you should:
    a. Check ``An alien authorized to work;''
    b. Write the automatically extended EAD expiration date (November
    2, 2016) in the first space; and
    c. Write your alien number (USCIS number or A-number) in the second
    space (your EAD or other document from DHS will have your USCIS number
    or A-number printed on it; the USCIS number is the same as your A-
    number without the A prefix).
    2. For Section 2, employers should record the:
    a. Document title;
    b. Issuing authority;
    c. Document number; and
    d. Automatically extended EAD expiration date (November 2, 2016).
    By November 2, 2016, employers must reverify the employee's
    employment authorization in Section 3 of the Employment Eligibility
    Verification (Form I-9).

    What corrections should my current employer and I make to Employment
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) if my EAD has been automatically
    extended?

    If you are an existing employee who presented a TPS-related EAD
    that was valid when you first started your job but that EAD has now
    been automatically extended, your employer may reinspect your
    automatically extended EAD if the employer does not have a photocopy of
    the EAD on file, and you and your

    [[Page 4058]]

    employer should correct your previously completed Employment
    Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) as follows:
    1. For Section 1, you should:
    a. Draw a line through the expiration date in the first space;
    b. Write ``November 2, 2016'' above the previous date;
    c. Write ``TPS Ext.'' in the margin of Section 1; and
    d. Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 1.
    2. For Section 2, employers should:
    a. Draw a line through the expiration date written in Section 2;
    b. Write ``November 2, 2016'' above the previous date;
    c. Write ``EAD Ext.'' in the margin of Section 2; and
    d. Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 2.
    By November 2, 2016, when the automatic extension of EADs expires,
    employers must reverify the employee's employment authorization in
    Section 3.

    If I am an employer enrolled in E-Verify, what do I do when I receive a
    ``Work Authorization Documents Expiration'' alert for an automatically
    extended EAD?

    If you are an employer who participates in E-Verify and you have an
    employee who is a TPS beneficiary who provided a TPS-related EAD when
    he or she first started working for you, you will receive a ``Work
    Authorization Documents Expiring'' case alert when this EAD is about to
    expire. Usually, this message is an alert to complete Section 3 of the
    Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) to reverify an
    employee's employment authorization. For existing employees with TPS-
    related EADs that have been automatically extended, employers should
    dismiss this alert by clicking the red ``X'' in the ``dismiss alert''
    column and follow the instructions above explaining how to correct the
    Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). By November 2, 2016,
    employment authorization must be reverified in Section 3. Employers
    should never use E-Verify for reverification.

    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 at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls and emails are accepted
    in English and many other languages. 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 800-237-2515), which
    offers language interpretation in numerous languages, or email OSC at
    osccrt@usdoj.gov.

    Note to Employees

    For general questions about the employment eligibility verification
    process, you may call USCIS at 888-897-7781 (TTY 877-875-6028) or email
    at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls are accepted in English and many other
    languages. You may also call the OSC Worker Information Hotline at 800-
    255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515) for information regarding employment
    discrimination based upon citizenship status, 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 Lists of Acceptable Documents if the
    documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the
    employee, or an acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt described
    in the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) Instructions.
    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 who receive an
    E-Verify 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 Employment Eligibility
    Verification (Form I-9) differs from Federal or state government
    records.
    Employers may not terminate, suspend, delay training, withhold pay,
    lower pay, or take any adverse action against you based on your
    decision to contest a TNC or because your case is still pending with E-
    Verify. A Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) case result is received when E-
    Verify cannot verify your 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). If you believe you were discriminated against
    by an employer in the E-Verify process based on citizenship or
    immigration status or based on national origin, you may contact OSC's
    Worker Information Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515).
    Additional information about proper nondiscriminatory Employment
    Eligibility Verification (Form 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;
    (2) A copy of this Federal Register Notice if your EAD is
    automatically extended under this Notice;
    (3) A copy of your Application for Temporary Protected Status
    Notice of Action (Form I-797) for this re-registration;
    (4) A copy of your past or current Application for Temporary
    Protected Status Approval Notice (Form I-797), if you received one from
    USCIS; and/or
    (5) If there is an automatic extension of work authorization, a
    copy of the fact sheet from the USCIS TPS Web site that provides
    information on the automatic extension.
    Check with the government agency regarding which document(s) the
    agency will accept. You may also provide the agency with a copy of this
    Federal Register 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

    [[Page 4059]]

    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 to correct records under the
    Freedom of Information Act 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. 2016-01388 Filed 1-22-16; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
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