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]


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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.

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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).
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\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).
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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