[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 2 (Monday, January 5, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 245-252]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-30871]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2548-14; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2013-0001]
RIN 1615-ZB35


Extension and Redesignation of the Syrian Arab Republic 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 designation of the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) for
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from April 1, 2015
through September 30, 2016, and redesignating Syria for TPS for 18
months, effective April 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.
The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain
TPS through September 30, 2016, so long as they otherwise continue to
meet the eligibility requirements for TPS. The redesignation of Syria
allows additional individuals who have been continuously residing in
the United States since January 5, 2015 to obtain TPS, if otherwise
eligible. The Secretary has determined that an extension of the current
designation and a redesignation of Syria for TPS are warranted because
the ongoing armed conflict and other extraordinary and temporary
conditions that prompted the 2013 TPS redesignation have not only
persisted, but have deteriorated, and because the ongoing armed
conflict in Syria and other extraordinary and temporary conditions
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 2012
original Syria designation or under the 2013 Syria redesignation, the
60-day re-registration period runs from January 5, 2015 through March
6, 2015. USCIS will issue new EADs with a September 30, 2016 expiration
date to eligible Syria 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 March 31, 2015. Accordingly, through this Notice, DHS
automatically extends the validity of EADs issued under the TPS
designation of Syria for 6 months, through September 30, 2015, 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 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 5, 2015 through July 6, 2015. In addition to demonstrating
continuous residence in the United States since January 5, 2015 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 April 1, 2015, the
effective date of this redesignation of Syria, before USCIS may grant
them TPS.
TPS initial applications that were either filed during 2012
designation or during the 2013 Syria redesignation and remain pending
on January 5, 2015 will be treated as initial applications under this
2015 redesignation. Individuals who have a pending initial Syria 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 September 30, 2016.

DATES: Extension of Designation of Syria for TPS: The 18-month
extension of the TPS designation of Syria is effective April 1, 2015,
and will remain in effect through September 30, 2016. The 60-day re-
registration period runs from January 5, 2015 through March 6, 2015.
Redesignation of Syria for TPS: The redesignation of Syria for TPS
is effective April 1, 2015, and will remain in effect through September
30, 2016, a period of 18 months. The 180-day initial registration
period for new applicants under the Syria TPS redesignation runs from
January 5, 2015 through July 6, 2015.

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 Syria
for TPS by selecting ``TPS Designated Country: Syria'' from the menu on
the left side 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

[[Page 246]]

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
ISIL--Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (also sometimes referred
to as the Islamic State, ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-
Sham, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)
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
TNC--Tentative Nonconfirmation
TPS--Temporary Protected Status
TTY--Text Telephone
UN--United Nations
UNHCR--United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
USAID--U.S. Agency for International Development
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.
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.
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
prevented Syrian nationals and those with no nationality who last
resided in Syria 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 INA
section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C). In 2013, the Secretary
both extended Syria's designation and redesignated Syria for TPS for 18
months through March 31, 2015. See Extension and Redesignation of Syria
for Temporary Protected Status, 78 FR 36223 (Jun. 17, 2013). The 2013
redesignation of Syria for TPS added the ongoing armed conflict in
Syria as an additional basis for TPS. This announcement is the third
designation of TPS for Syria and the first extension since the 2013
redesignation.

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 U.S. Government
(Government) agencies, to designate a foreign state (or part thereof)
for TPS if the Secretary finds that certain country conditions
exist.\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 INA section 244(a)(1)(A), 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, 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).
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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 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 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 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, 78 FR 36223 (Jun. 17, 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 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 Syria shall be
January 5, 2015. Initial applicants for TPS under this redesignation
must also show they have been ``continuously physically present'' in
the United States since April 1, 2015, which is the effective date of
the Secretary's redesignation of Syria. 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''

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requirement cannot be made until April 1, 2015. 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 September 30, 2016?

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 and redesignation is warranted because the ongoing armed
conflict and other extraordinary and temporary conditions that prompted
the June 17, 2013 redesignation continue to be met. 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 June 17, 2013 and January 5, 2015. The
``continuous physical presence'' date must be the effective date of the
redesignation, which the Secretary has established as April 1, 2015 so
that individuals granted TPS under the redesignation will have TPS for
the same 18-month period through September 30, 2016 as TPS
beneficiaries re-registering under the extension. See INA section
244(c)(1)(A)(i); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(i).
Violence in Syria is widespread and indiscriminate. The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights estimates that more than 191,000 people
have been killed since the start of the civil unrest in Syria in March
2011. The situation is extremely dangerous for civilians throughout the
country with the deterioration of public security, continued arbitrary
and unlawful killings, and the near collapse of public institutions,
including health, education, and sanitation. The Syrian Arab Republic
Government (SARG) continues to target humanitarian outposts, hospitals,
medical staff, schools, breadlines, and other civilian sites. The SARG
also regularly disrupts the delivery of humanitarian assistance to
those in need. In addition to the ongoing, high-level atrocities
committed by the SARG, rebel factions, violent extremists, foreign
fighters, and unidentified assailants have abducted and killed
civilians, journalists, humanitarian workers, and United Nations (UN)
personnel.
The UN reported in late September 2014 that approximately 6.4
million Syrians are internally displaced. Acts of violence and human
rights abuses continue in most major urban centers, and have
significantly worsened in Aleppo, rural Damascus, Dar'a, Raqqa,
northern Hasakah province, Deir al-Zour, and Latakia. Violent
extremists openly surfaced among the armed opposition in the fight
against the SARG, increasingly employing irregular tactics, including
suicide bombings of security force targets, resulting in civilian
casualties. The military continued to fight the opposition, responding
with air strikes and heavy artillery, and harming civilians in the
process.
A number of violent extremists have factored prominently in the
conflict and pose a danger to civilians. In early 2014, the Islamic
State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) emerged as one of the most
significant radical Islamist fighting forces. The al-Nusra Front (also
known as the Jabhat al Nusra) represents the interests of al-Qaeda in
Syria. These violent extremist groups have engaged in indiscriminate
attacks including bombings and suicide attacks throughout Syria.
Various other violent extremists have been actively engaged in armed
resistance in Syria. Reports indicate that there may be as many as
5,000 foreign fighters in Syria.
Since 2011, the Syrian military has engaged in warfare against
opposition forces, with fighting taking place throughout Syria. In June
2014, Amnesty International reported that SARG forces continue to carry
out indiscriminate attacks, bombarding populated civilian areas, and
that opposition fighters have also carried out indiscriminate attacks.
The UN indicated that increasingly the attacks by SARG forces and the
armed opposition have targeted civilians. There has been an increase in
the reported use of barrel bombs (oil drums packed with crude
explosives and shrapnel) by the SARG and mortars by opposition forces
against residential neighborhoods, particularly in Aleppo, Dar'a, rural
Damascus, and Deir al-Zour.
Chemical weapons have been used against civilian populations and
soldiers. In December 2013, the UN stated that chemical weapons were
used in Ghouta, Khan al-Assal, Jobar, Saraqueb and Ashrafieh Sahnaya.
The U.S. Government concluded the SARG used chemical weapons in the
eastern suburbs outside Damascus in an August 2013 attack, killing more
than 1,400 individuals. The regime has also employed the use of
incendiary weapons and landmines in civilian areas, as well as
ballistic missiles.
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre noted that by the end
of 2013, Syria's internal displacement crisis had become the largest in
the world. As of October 2014, the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) reported that more than 3.2 million refugees from
Syria have sought refuge in neighboring countries. Although the pace of
refugee outflow has decreased since mid-year 2013, UNHCR projects an
estimated 3.6 million Syrian refugees in the region by the end of 2014.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs reported
that approximately 10.8 million Syrians remaining inside Syria were in
need of humanitarian assistance as of June 2014. Access for delivery of
humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people continues to be a serious
challenge, with 4.7 million persons living in hard-to-reach areas with
little or no access to assistance as of October 2014. The situation is
extremely dangerous and precarious for civilians, including those who
are internally displaced throughout the country.
Interethnic and sectarian violence is a severe problem and has
resulted in civilian deaths and displacement. Armed groups are active
in Syria, and several continue to threaten the long-term security of
the region. Ongoing interethnic violence and the increasing role of
violent extremist groups, including the ISIL and al-Nusra Front, are
likely to perpetuate fighting for the foreseeable future.
In July 2014, the UN reported that siege tactics left many
civilians trapped without food and subject to shelling and sniper
attacks. Local NGOs and international humanitarian organizations such
as UNHCR, the World Food Program, and the International Committee of
the Red Cross face significant SARG-imposed obstacles to gaining access
to areas under opposition control, particularly near Aleppo and the
eastern suburbs of Damascus. Residents in Syria's northeastern
provinces of Deir al-Zour, Hasakah, and Raqqa also are difficult to
reach by humanitarian workers due to the presence of ISIL. Water and
electricity supplies have been cut as a part of the conflict strategy.
Due to lack of clean water, there has also been a rise in infectious
and water-borne diseases. Illnesses such as measles and typhoid fever
have grown exponentially since pre-war times and polio reemerged in
Syria in 2013 for the first time since 1999, with 36 laboratory-
confirmed cases.
Serious, persistent conflict continues to pose substantial risk
throughout Syria. Tens of thousands have been killed by SARG forces and
non-state armed groups. Concerns for safety have led to massive
displacement within

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Syria. The refusal of the SARG and certain armed groups to allow
unfettered humanitarian access to vulnerable populations throughout the
country, coupled with continued fighting, has caused a grave
humanitarian crisis that continues to deteriorate. All of these factors
together present an exceedingly dangerous security environment
throughout most of the country. The high number of Syrian refugees and
the continued escalation of the conflict within the country indicate
that there is no immediate prospect for safe return.
Based upon this review and after consultation with appropriate
Government agencies, the Secretary finds that:
The conditions that prompted the June 17, 2013
redesignation of Syria 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 ongoing 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 INA section
244(b)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A).
There continue to be extraordinary and temporary
conditions in Syria that prevent Syrian nationals from returning to
Syria 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 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 INA
section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
The designation of Syria for TPS should be extended for an
additional 18-month period from April 1, 2015 through September 30,
2016. See INA section 244(b)(3)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
Based on current country conditions, Syria should be
simultaneously redesignated for TPS effective April 1, 2015 through
September 30, 2016. 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 5, 2015.
The date by which TPS applicants must demonstrate that
they have been continuously physically present in the United States is
April 1, 2015, the effective date of the redesignation of Syria for
TPS.
There are approximately 5,000 current Syrian TPS
beneficiaries who are expected to apply for re-registration and may be
eligible to retain their TPS under the extension.
It is estimated that an additional 5,000 individuals may
file initial applications 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 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 Syria for TPS in 2013 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 these determinations, I am
simultaneously extending the existing TPS designation of Syria for 18
months from April 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016, and redesignating
Syria for TPS for the same 18-month period. 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). I have also determined that eligible individuals
must demonstrate that they have continuously resided in the United
States since January 5, 2015. 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 Syria TPS beneficiary. What should I do?

If you filed a TPS application during the Syria TPS registration
period that ran from June 17, 2013 through December 16, 2013, and that
application was approved prior to January 5, 2015, then you need to
file a re-registration application under the extension if you wish to
maintain TPS benefits through September 30, 2016. 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
5, 2015 through March 6, 2015.

I have a pending initial TPS application filed during the Syria TPS
registration period that ran from June 17, 2013 through December 16,
2013. What should I do?

If your TPS application is still pending on January 5, 2015, 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 September 30,
2016. If you have a pending TPS application and you wish to have an EAD
valid through September 30, 2016, 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
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If . . . And . . . Then . . .
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You requested an EAD during You received an EAD You must file a new
the previous initial with Category C19 Application for
registration period for or A12. Employment
Syria TPS. Authorization (Form
I-765) with fee (or
fee waiver request)
if you wish to have
a new EAD valid
through September
30, 2016.
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
Application for
Employment
Authorization (Form
I-765) will be
approved through
September 30, 2016.
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 September 30, 2016.. Employment
Syria TPS. You do not wish to Authorization (Form
have an EAD valid I-765) with fee (or
through September fee waiver
30, 2016. request).
You do not need to
file a new
Application for
Employment
Authorization (Form
I-765).
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[[Page 249]]

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 Syria 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 5, 2015
through July 6, 2015.

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)(2) and 244.6 and information on initial filing on
the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.
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.
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, you must pay the
fee for the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) only
if you want an EAD, regardless of age.
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 biometric services 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 July 6, 2015.
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-765) without fee and without
requesting an EAD.

Re-Filing a TPS Re-Registration 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-file by the re-
registration deadline, the applicant may still re-file his or her
application. This situation will be reviewed to determine whether the
applicant has established 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 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: 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. USCIS, Attn: TPS Syria, P.O.
Postal Service. Box 6943, Chicago, IL 60680-
6943.
You are using a non-U.S. Postal Service USCIS, Attn: TPS Syria, 131 S.
delivery service. Dearborn 3rd Floor, Chicago,
IL 60603-5517.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


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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 an IJ or
the 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
appropriate email address on the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.

E-Filing

You cannot electronically file your application when re-registering
or submitting an 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 or re-
registrants at local offices.

Am I eligible to receive an automatic 6-month extension of my current
EAD through September 30, 2015?

Provided that you currently have TPS under the Syria designation,
this Notice automatically extends your EAD by 6 months if you:
Are a national of Syria (or an alien having no nationality
who last habitually resided in Syria);
Received an EAD under the last extension or redesignation
of TPS for Syria; and
Have an EAD with a marked expiration date of March 31,
2015, bearing the notation ``A-12'' or ``C-19'' on the face of the card
under ``Category.''
Although this Notice automatically extends your EAD through
September 30, 2015, 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 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). You may present an acceptable
receipt for List A, List B, or List C documents as described in the
Form I-9 Instructions. An EAD is an acceptable document under ``List
A.'' Employers may not reject a document based on a future expiration
date.
If your EAD has an expiration date of March 31, 2015, 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 September 30, 2015 (see the subsection
titled ``How do my employer and I complete the Employment Eligibility
Verification (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 may also show your employer a copy
of this Federal Register Notice confirming the automatic extension of
employment authorization through September 30, 2015. 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 March 31, 2015, 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
March 31, 2015, is reached to meet its responsibilities for Employment
Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). However, your employer does not
need a new document to reverify your employment authorization until
September 30, 2015, the expiration date of the automatic extension.
Instead, 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). In addition, you may also show
this Federal Register Notice to your employer to explain what to do for
Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).
By September 30, 2015, the expiration date of the automatic
extension, your employer must reverify your employment authorization.
At that time, 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, or an acceptable List A or List C
receipt described in the Form I-9 Instructions. Your employer should
complete 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) has expired (check the date in the upper right-
hand corner of the form), 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.

Can my employer require that I provide any other documentation to prove
my status, such as proof of my Syrian citizenship?

No. When completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9),
including re-verifying 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 Syrian citizenship when completing
Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) for new hires or
reverifying the employment authorization of current employees. If

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presented with EADs that have been automatically extended, employers
should accept such EADs as valid List A documents so long as the EADs
reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee. 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.

What happens after September 30, 2015, for purposes of employment
authorization?

After September 30, 2015, employers may no longer accept the EADs
that this Federal Register Notice automatically extended. Before that
time, however, USCIS will issue new EADs to eligible TPS re-registrants
who request them. These new EADs will have an expiration date of
September 30, 2016, 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 prior to September
30, 2015, you and your employer should do the following:
1. For Section 1, you should:
a. Check ``An alien authorized to work'';
b. Write your alien number (USCIS number or A-number) in the first
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); and
c. Write the automatically extended EAD expiration date (September
30, 2015) in the second space.
2. For Section 2, employers should record the:
a. Document title;
b. Document number; and
c. Automatically extended EAD expiration date (September 30, 2015).
By September 30, 2015, 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, you and your 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 second space;
b. Write ``September 30, 2015'' 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 ``September 30, 2015'' above the previous date;
c. Write ``TPS Ext.'' in the margin of Section 2; and
d. Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 2.
By September 30, 2015, 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 provide 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 September 30, 2015,
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 re-
verification requirements. For general questions about the employment
eligibility verification process, employers may call USCIS at 888-464-
4218 (TTY for the hearing impaired is at 877-875-6028) or email USCIS
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 (I-9 and E-
Verify), 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, employees may call USCIS at 888-897-7781 (TTY for the hearing
impaired is at 877-875-6028) or email at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls are
accepted in English, Spanish and many other languages. Employees or
applicants 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 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, or an acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt as
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

[[Page 252]]

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 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 for the hearing impaired is at 877-875-6028). To report an
employer that discriminates against an employee in the E-Verify process
based on citizenship or immigration status, or based on national
origin, 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 of such documents are:
(1) Your unexpired EAD that has been automatically extended, or
your EAD that has not expired;
(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 Notice of Action (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 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. 2014-30871 Filed 1-2-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-97-P