[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 138 (Thursday, July 22, 2021)]

[Notices]

[Pages 38744-38753]

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[FR Doc No: 2021-15595]

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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2698-21; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2013-0006]

RIN 1615-ZB77

Extension and Redesignation of Somalia for Temporary Protected

Status

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of

Homeland Security.

ACTION: Notice of temporary protected status extension and

redesignation.

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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 Somalia for Temporary Protected Status

(TPS) for 18 months, from September 18, 2021, through March 17, 2023,

and redesignating Somalia for 18 months, effective September 18, 2021

through March 17, 2023. The extension allows currently eligible TPS

beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 17, 2023, so long as they

otherwise continue to meet the eligibility requirements for TPS. The

redesignation of Somalia allows additional individuals who have been

continuously residing in the United States since July 19, 2021 to

obtain TPS, if otherwise eligible.

DATES: Extension of Designation of Somalia for TPS: The 18-month

extension of the TPS designation of Somalia is effective September 18,

2021, and will remain in effect through March 17, 2023. The 60-day re-

registration period for existing beneficiaries runs from July 22, 2021

through September 20, 2021. (Note: It is important for re-registrants

to timely re-register during this 60-day period and not to wait until

their EADs expire.)

Redesignation of Somalia for TPS: The 18-month redesignation of

Somalia for TPS is effective September 18, 2021, and will remain in

effect through March 17, 2023. The initial registration period for new

applicants under the Somalia TPS redesignation begins on July 22, 2021

and will remain in effect through March 17, 2023. For more information,

see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: You may contact Andria Strano, Acting

Chief, Humanitarian Affairs Division, Office of Policy and Strategy,

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland

Security, by mail at 5900 Capital Gateway Drive,

[[Page 38745]]

Camp Springs, MD 20746, or by phone at 800-375-5283.

ADDRESSES: For further information on TPS, including guidance on the

registration and re-registration 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 of Somalia's TPS designation by selecting ``Somalia'' from

the menu on the left side of the TPS web page.

If you have additional questions about TPS, please visit uscis.gov/tools. Our online virtual assistant, Emma, can answer many of your

questions and point you to additional information on our website. If

you are unable to find your answers there, you may also call our USCIS

Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833).

Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual

cases may check Case Status Online, available on the USCIS website at

http://www.uscis.gov, or visit the USCIS Contact Center at uscis.gov/contactcenter.

Further information will also be available at local USCIS offices

upon publication of this notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In general, individuals must be given an

initial registration period of no less than 180 days to register for

TPS, but the Secretary has discretion to provide for a longer

registration period. See 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(iv). Historically, the

length of the initial registration period has varied. Compare 66 FR

14214 (March 9, 2001) (18 months initial registration period for

applicants under TPS designation for El Salvador) with 80 FR 36346

(June 24, 2015) (180-day initial registration period for applicants

under TPS designation for Nepal). In recent years this period has

generally been limited to the statutory minimum of 180 days, although

later extensions of the initial registration period have also been

announced for some countries. See, e.g., 81 FR 4051 (Jan. 25, 2016)

(setting 180-day initial registration period during extension and

redesignation of South Sudan for TPS); 78 FR 1866 (Jan. 9, 2013)

(setting 180-day initial registration period during extension and

redesignation of Sudan for TPS); but see 75 FR 39957 (July 13, 2010)

(extension of previously announced initial 180-day registration period

for Haiti TPS applicants to allow more time for individuals to apply).

After evaluating whether to limit the initial registration period for

TPS under this new designation of Somalia to the statutory minimum of

180 days, DHS has determined that it will provide the full 18 months of

this designation for applicants to file their initial registration Form

I-821 and, if desired, Form I-765 to obtain employment authorization

documentation. Limiting the initial registration period to 180-days may

place a burden on applicants who may be otherwise eligible for TPS. In

addition, permitting registration throughout the entirety of the

designation period could reduce the operational burden on USCIS, as

incoming applications may be spread out over a longer period of time.

This extended registration period is both in keeping with the

humanitarian purpose of TPS and will better advance the goal of

ensuring ``the Federal Government eliminates sources of fear and other

barriers that prevent immigrants from accessing government services

available to them.'' See Executive Order 14012, Restoring Faith in Our

Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion

Efforts for New Americans, 86 FR 8277.

Table of Abbreviations

BIA--Board of Immigration Appeals

CFR--Code of Federal Regulations

DHS--U.S. Department of Homeland Security

DOS--U.S. Department of State

EAD--Employment Authorization Document

FNC--Final Nonconfirmation

Form I-765--Application for Employment Authorization

Form I-797--Notice of Action

Form I-821--Application for Temporary Protected Status

Form I-9--Employment Eligibility Verification

Form I-912--Request for Fee Waiver

Form I-94--Arrival/Departure Record

FR--Federal Register

Government--U.S. Government

IER--U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Immigrant

and Employee Rights Section

IJ--Immigration Judge

INA--Immigration and Nationality Act

SAVE--USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program

Secretary--Secretary of Homeland Security

TNC--Tentative Nonconfirmation

TPS--Temporary Protected Status

TTY--Text Telephone

USCIS--U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S.C.--United States Code

Through this notice, DHS sets forth procedures necessary for

eligible nationals of Somalia (or individuals having no nationality who

last habitually resided in Somalia) to (1) re-register for TPS and to

apply for renewal of their EADs with USCIS or (2) submit an initial

registration application under the redesignation and apply for an EAD.

Re-registration is limited to individuals who have previously

registered for TPS under the designation of Somalia and whose

applications have been granted.

For individuals who have already been granted TPS under Somalia's

designation, the 60-day re-registration period runs from July 22, 2021

through September 20, 2021. USCIS will issue new EADs with a March 17,

2023 expiration date to eligible Somali TPS beneficiaries who timely

re-register and apply for EADs. Given the time frames involved with

processing TPS re-registration applications, DHS recognizes that not

all re-registrants may receive new EADs before their current EADs

expire on September 17, 2021. Accordingly, through this Federal

Register notice, DHS automatically extends the validity of EADs

previously issued under the TPS designation of Somalia for 180 days,

through March 16, 2022. Therefore, TPS beneficiaries can show their

EADs with: (1) A September 17, 2021, expiration date on the face of the

card and (2) an A-12 or C-19 category code, as proof of continued

employment authorization through March 16, 2022. This notice explains

how TPS beneficiaries and their employers may determine which EADs are

automatically extended and how this affects the Form I-9, Employment

Eligibility Verification, E-Verify, and USCIS Systematic Alien

Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) processes.

Individuals who have a Somalia TPS application (Form I-821) and/or

Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) that was still

pending as of July 22, 2021 do not need to file either application

again. If USCIS approves an individual's Form I-821, USCIS will grant

the individual TPS through March 17, 2023. Similarly, if USCIS approves

a pending TPS-related Form I-765, USCIS will issue the individual a new

EAD that will be valid through the same date. There are currently

approximately 447 beneficiaries under Somalia's TPS designation.

Under the redesignation, individuals who currently do not have TPS

may submit an initial application during the initial registration

period that runs from July 22, 2021 and runs through the full length of

the redesignation period ending March 17, 2023. In addition to

demonstrating continuous residence in the United States since July 19,

2021 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 September

18, 2021, the effective date of this redesignation of Somalia, before

USCIS may grant them TPS. The DHS

[[Page 38746]]

Office of Immigration Statistics has estimated that approximately 100

individuals may become newly eligible for TPS under the redesignation

of Somalia.

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible

nationals of a country designated for TPS under the INA, or to eligible

individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in the

designated country.

During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are

eligible to remain in the United States, may not be removed, and are

authorized to obtain EADs so long as they continue to meet the

requirements of TPS.

TPS beneficiaries may also apply for and be granted travel

authorization as a matter of discretion. Upon return from such

authorized travel, TPS beneficiaries retain the same immigration status

they had prior to the travel.

To qualify for TPS, beneficiaries must meet the

eligibility standards at INA section 244(c)(1)-(2), 8 U.S.C.

1254a(c)(1)-(2).

When the Secretary terminates a country's TPS designation,

beneficiaries return to one of the following:

[cir] The same immigration status or category that they maintained

before TPS, if any (unless that status or category has since expired or

been terminated); or

[cir] Any other lawfully obtained immigration status or category

they received while registered for TPS, as long as it is still valid

beyond the date TPS terminates.

When was Somalia designated for TPS?

Somalia was initially designated on September 16, 1991, on the

basis of extraordinary and temporary conditions in Somalia that

prevented nationals of Somalia from safely returning. See Designation

of Nationals of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status, 56 FR 46804

(Sept. 16, 1991). Somalia's designation for TPS has been consecutively

extended by multiple administrations since its initial designation in

  1. Additionally, Somalia was redesignated for TPS in 2001, based on

extraordinary and temporary conditions. See Extension and Redesignation

of Somalia under Temporary Protected Status Program, 66 FR 46288 (Sept.

4, 2001). In 2012, Somalia was again redesignated for TPS on the basis

of extraordinary and temporary conditions and under the separate basis

of ongoing armed conflict. See Extension and Redesignation of Somalia

for Temporary Protected Status, 77 FR 25723 (May 1, 2012). Somalia's

2012 TPS designation was subsequently extended in 2013, 2015, 2017,

2018, and most recently in 2020 for 18 months based on ongoing armed

conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions. See Extension of

the Designation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status, 85 FR 14229

(March 11, 2020).

What authority does the Secretary have to extend the designation of

Somalia for TPS?

Section 244(b)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1), authorizes the

Secretary, after consultation with appropriate agencies of the U.S.

Government (Government), to designate a foreign state (or part thereof)

for TPS if the Secretary determines that certain country conditions

exist.\1\ The decision to designate any foreign state (or part thereof)

is a discretionary decision, and the TPS statute states there is no

judicial review of any determination with respect to the designation,

extension, or termination of a designation.\2\ The Secretary, in his or

her discretion, may then grant TPS to eligible nationals of that

foreign state (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually

resided in the designated country). See INA section 244(a)(1)(A), 8

U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A).

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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).

\2\ See INA, section 244(b)(5)(A). This issue of judicial review

remains the subject of ongoing litigation. See, e.g., Ramos v. Wolf,

975 F.3d 872 (9th Cir. 2020), petition for en banc rehearing filed

Nov. 30, 2020 (No. 18-16981); Saget v. Trump, 375 F. Supp. 3d 280

(E.D.N.Y. 2019), appeal pending, No. No. 19-1685 (2d Cir.).

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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 the

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 does not

determine that the foreign state no longer meets the conditions for TPS

designation, the designation will be extended for an additional period

of 6 months or, in the Secretary's discretion, 12 or 18 months. See INA

section 244(b)(3)(A), (C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A), (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 Somalia 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 Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1); see also section 244(c)(1)(A)(i) of

the Act, 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).\3\

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\3\ The extension and redesignation of TPS for Somalia 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., 76 FR 29000 (May 19, 2011) (extension and

redesignation for Haiti); 69 FR 60168 (Oct. 7, 2004) (extension and

redesignation for Sudan); 62 FR 16608 (Apr. 7, 1997) (extension and

redesignation for Liberia).

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When the Secretary designates or redesignates a country for TPS,

the Secretary also has the discretion to establish the date from which

initial TPS applicants must demonstrate that they have been

``continuously resid[ing]'' in the United States. See section

244(c)(1)(A)(ii) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii). The Secretary

has determined that the ``continuous residence'' date for applicants

for TPS under the redesignation of Somalia shall be July 19, 2021.

Initial applicants for TPS under this redesignation must also show they

have been ``continuously physically present'' in the United States

since September 18, 2021, which is the effective date of the

Secretary's redesignation, of Somalia. See section 244(c)(1)(A)(i) of

the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(i). For each initial TPS application

filed under the redesignation, the final determination of whether the

applicant has met the ``continuous physical presence'' requirement

cannot be made until September 18, 2021. USCIS, however, will issue

employment authorization documentation, as appropriate, during the

registration period in accordance with 8 CFR 244.5(b).

Why is the Secretary extending the TPS designation for Somalia and

simultaneously redesignating Somalia for TPS through March 17, 2023?

DHS has reviewed country conditions in Somalia. Based on the

review,

[[Page 38747]]

including input received from DOS, the Secretary has determined that an

18-month extension is warranted because the ongoing armed conflict and

extraordinary and temporary conditions supporting Somalia's 2012 TPS

redesignation persist. The Secretary has further determined that the

conditions support redesignating Somalia for TPS under section

244(b)(1)(A) and (C) of the Act and is changing the ``continuous

residence'' and ``continuous physical presence'' dates that applicants

must meet to be eligible for TPS.

The ongoing armed conflict in Somalia, along with natural disasters

and contagious disease outbreaks, have worsened an already severe

humanitarian crisis. Since DHS last extended TPS for Somalia, a

dramatic upsurge in violence, severe drought, flooding, and the spread

of desert locusts have contributed to worsening food insecurity and

internal displacement.\4\ Moreover, an outbreak of cholera in

conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic presented major challenges for a

healthcare system that had already been severely weakened by ongoing

conflict. These conditions have left a large portion of the population

in need of humanitarian assistance.\5\ Numerous factors impede the

delivery of humanitarian aid, including difficulty accessing areas

affected by climate-related disasters, general insecurity, and most

notably threats to aid workers and restrictions on the presence and

work of humanitarian agencies. \6\

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\4\ Humanitarian Response Plan Somalia, The UN Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, February 2021, pg. 7.

\5\ Somalia Key Figures, The UN Office for the Coordination of

Humanitarian Affairs, https://m.reliefweb.int/country/216/som?figures-display=all (last visited May 5, 2021).

\6\ Humanitarian Response Plan Somalia, The UN Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, February 2021, pg. 5; 2020

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia, U.S. Department

of State, April 7, 2021, pg. 15.

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The insurgent group Al-Shabaab continues to present a significant

risk. Becoming bolder since early 2019, Al-Shabaab regularly attacks

major towns and conducts deadly attacks on civilian and military

targets alike.\7\ The organization continues to maintain its capability

to infiltrate Mogadishu and carry out high-profile attacks.\8\ The

group conducted a monthly average of 140 attacks between November 2020

and February 2021.\9\ The group continues to maintain a stronghold in

the southern parts of Somalia, such as the Lower Juba and Lower

Shabelle regions, and also retains operational military capacity in the

northern federal member states of Puntland \10\ and Somaliland.\11\

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\7\ Felbab-Brown, Vanda, The Problem with Militias in Somalia,

United Nations Center for Policy Research, 2020 pg. 120.

\8\ Situation in Somalia Report of the Secretary-General

(November 2020-February 2021), UN Security Council, February 17,

2021 pg. 3.

\9\ Situation in Somalia Report of the Secretary-General

(November 2020-February 2021), UN Security Council, February 17,

2021, pg.4.

\10\ Puntland is a region in the north-east part of Somalia that

declared itself as an autonomous state in August 1998. Puntland

Profile, BBC News, last updated on March 11, 2019.

\11\ Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991.

While not internationally recognized as an independent state,

Somaliland has a political system, government institutions, a police

force, and its own currency. Somaliland Profile, BBC News, last

updated on December 14, 2017; Felbab-Brown, Vanda, The Problem with

Militias in Somalia, United Nations Center for Policy Research,

2020, pg. 12.

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Interclan \12\ conflicts remain a major concern, particularly in

Hiiraan, Galmudug, Lower Shabelle, and Middle Shabelle regions in

southern and central Somalia, and in the Sool region, bordering

Puntland and Somaliland.\13\ Beginning in April 2020 and throughout the

year, the area around Wanlaweyn in Lower Shabelle region saw fierce

interclan fighting between clan militias.\14\ Civilians continue to

bear the brunt of the ongoing interclan violence.\15\ This violence led

to the destruction of property and livelihoods, including via land

grabbing; limited free movement and access to humanitarian assistance;

and taxation of communities (including through forced child

recruitment).\16\

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\12\ Information on Somali clans and sub-clan divisions is

available in the Genealogical Table of Somali Clans, UNHCR, March

15, 2004.

\13\ Humanitarian Response Plan Somalia, The UN Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, February 2021, pg.13.

\14\ 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,

U.S. Department of State, April 7, 2021, pg. 4.

\15\ 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,

U.S. Department of State, April 7, 2021, pg. 5.

\16\ Humanitarian Response Plan Somalia, The UN Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, February 2021, pg. 12-13.

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Security forces and private landowners continued to forcibly evict

\17\ internally displaced persons (IDPs).\18\ In September of 2020,

100,000 IDPs reportedly were evicted from their temporary homes through

that point in the year.\19\

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\17\ Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are generally most

affected by forced evictions in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital.

Generally, these IDPs--fleeing from insecurity and natural disasters

in rural areas--establish temporary settlements in abandoned areas

in Mogadishu, where they pay rent to ``gatekeepers''--the de facto

managers of these informal settlements. These evictions are linked

to rising land and property values, and clan power dynamics among

one of the most powerful clans--the Hawiye clan in the Mogadishu

area. The combination of these factors has led to forced evictions

of IDPs, usually with force and without any prior notice.

UnSettlement: Urban displacement in the 21st century, Internal

Displacement Monitoring Centre, November 2018, pg. 5-7.

\18\ Somalia 2020, Amnesty International, 2021.

\19\ Somalia 2020, Amnesty International, 2021.

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Women and girls in Somalia face high rates of gender-based

violence, and IDPs are disproportionately impacted.\20\ This includes

abductions, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), and early and

forced marriage, as well as reported incidents of rape and gang rape by

state agents, militias associated with clans, and unidentified armed

men.\21\ Al-Shabaab also committed gender-based violence,\22\ including

forced marriages in areas under its control.\23\ There are also reports

of rape and sexual exploitation and abuse by government forces,

including by the Somali National Army (SNA) and the African Union

Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces.\24\

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\20\ 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,

U.S. Department of State, April 7, 2021, pg. 30-31.

\21\ 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,

U.S. Department of State, April 7, 2021, pg. 30-31.

\22\ 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,

U.S. Department of State, April 7, 2021, pg. 14.

\23\ Situation in Somalia Report of the Secretary-General

(November 2020-February 2021), UN Security Council, February 17,

2021, pg. 10.

\24\ 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,

U.S. Department of State, April 7, 2021, pg. 5.

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All parties to the conflict in Somalia continued to commit serious

abuses against children, including those involving killings, maiming,

and recruitment and use of child soldiers.\25\ Between November 2020

and February 2021, some 1,112 children (924 boys and 188 girls) were

affected by serious abuses.\26\ During this period, 395 children were

abducted, 254 children were killed or maimed, 375 children were

recruited and used as child soldiers, and 88 girls were victims of rape

and other forms of sexual violence.\27\ Al-Shabaab was responsible for

most of these abuses.\28\ Al-Shabaab also continued to recruit and use

children to directly participate in hostilities, and used them in

suicide attacks and, at times, as human shields

[[Page 38748]]

for other fighters.\29\ Al-Shabaab's recruitment practices included

raiding schools, madrassas, and mosques, and harassing and coercing

clan elders to recruit children.\30\

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\25\ Somalia Word Report: Events of 2020, Human Rights Watch,

2021.

\26\ Situation in Somalia Report of the Secretary-General

(November 2020-February 2021), UN Security Council, February 17,

2021, pg. 9-10.

\27\ Situation in Somalia Report of the Secretary-General

(November 2020-February 2021), UN Security Council, February 17,

2021, pg. 9-10.

\28\ Situation in Somalia Report of the Secretary-General

(November 2020-February 2021), UN Security Council, February 17,

2021, pg. 9-10.

\29\ 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,

U.S. Department of State, April 7, 2021, pg. 14.

\30\ 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,

U.S. Department of State, April 7, 2021, pg. 14.

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In April 2021, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian

Affairs (UNOCHA) reported that ``80 percent of the country is

experiencing drought conditions,'' \31\ with drought affecting the

three main regions of Somalia--South/Central, Puntland and

Somaliland.\32\ Below average rainfall from October to December 2020,

followed by harsher and unusually warm temperatures in January to March

2021, worsened drought conditions across the country in March and April

2021.\33\ Ongoing water shortages linked to drought are driving steep

water price increases in many regions, and a growing number of people

rely on expensive water delivered by trucks to meet their basic needs,

contributing to worsening humanitarian conditions.\34\ As of April

2021, more than 116,000 people have been displaced due to drought and

resultant water scarcity.\35\

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\31\ Somalia: Drought Conditions Update, The UN Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, April 26, 2021.

\32\ Somalia Drought Update, Food and Agriculture Organization

of the United Nations, April 22, 2021, pg. 1.

\33\ Somalia Drought Update, Food and Agriculture Organization

of the United Nations, April 22, 2021, pg. 1.

\34\ Fact Sheet #2: Somalia-Complex Emergency, U.S. Agency for

International Development, April 28, 2021, pg. 2.

\35\ Fact Sheet #2: Somalia-Complex Emergency, U.S. Agency for

International Development, April 28, 2021, pg. 2.

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Somalia has also experienced ongoing problems related to flooding.

In October 2019, heavy rains displaced close to 270,000 people; the

worst affected region was in Hiiraan, in central Somalia.\36\ In 2020,

ongoing flooding events displaced 919,000 people and destroyed

infrastructure, property and 144,000 hectares of agricultural

fields.\37\

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\36\ Hundreds of thousands of people affected by floods in

central Somalia, MSF, November 5, 2019.

\37\ Humanitarian Response Plan Somalia, The UN Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, February 2021, pg. 11.

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In December 2020, locust swarms began forming in central regions of

Somalia,\38\ spreading to southern and northern regions in early 2021

and affecting close to 300,000 hectares of land and 700,000 people.\39\

On February 2, 2020, the Somali government declared a national state of

emergency due to the impact of the locusts.\40\ UNOCHA reported in

February 2021 that Somalia experienced its worst desert locust upsurge

in 25 years, damaging tens of thousands of hectares of cropland and

pasture with potentially severe consequences for agriculture and

pastoral-based livelihoods.\41\

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\38\ Humanitarian Response Plan Somalia, The UN Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, February 2021, pg. 12.

\39\ Situation in Somalia Report of the Secretary-General

(November 2020-February 2021), UN Security Council, February 17,

2021 pg. 10.

\40\ Situation in Somalia--Report of the Secretary-General (S/

2020/121), UN Security Council, February 13, 2020, pg. 11.

\41\ Humanitarian Response Plan Somalia, The UN Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, February 2021, pg. 12.

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In an October 2020 report, the Food and Agriculture Organization of

the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) identified

Somalia as one of 20 ``acute food insecurity hotspots,'' \42\ and noted

that Somalia is facing ``high levels of acute food insecurity.'' \43\

The Food Security Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) for Somalia assessed

that the ``drivers of acute food insecurity in Somalia included the

compounding effects of poor and erratic rainfall distribution,

flooding, Desert Locust infestation, socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19,

and conflict.'' \44\ As of March 2021, an estimated 2.7 million people

are facing acute food insecurity.\45\ Moreover, in March 2021, UNOCHA

also reported that in 2020, children constitute over 60% of those in

need in Somalia, and malnutrition rates among children remain among the

worst in the world.\46\

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\42\ FAO-WFP early warning analysis of acute food insecurity

hotspots: October 2020, Food and Agriculture Organization of the

United Nations and the World Food Programme, Nov. 2020, pg. 6.

\43\ FAO-WFP early warning analysis of acute food insecurity

hotspots: October 2020, Food and Agriculture Organization of the

United Nations and the World Food Programme, Nov. 2020, pg. 13.

\44\ Up to 2.7 million in Somalia face acute food insecurity

Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes through mid-2021, Food

Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit, February 4, 2021.

\45\ Fact Sheet #2: Somalia-Complex Emergency, U.S. Agency for

International Development, April 28, 2021, pg. 1.

\46\ 2021 Somalia Humanitarian Needs Overview, The UN Office for

the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs pg. 7.

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COVID-19 has directly impacted Somalia's health care system, which

is limited.\47\ In June 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO)

assessed that Somalia's health system, decimated by decades of civil

war, ranked 194 out of 195 on the Global Health Security Index.\48\

While the global standard for healthcare workers is 25 per 100,000

people, Somalia has only 2 healthcare workers per 100,000 people.\49\

With only 15 ICU beds for a population of more than 15 million, it is

listed among the least-prepared countries in the world to detect and

report epidemics, or to execute a rapid response that might mitigate

further spread of disease.\50\

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\47\ COVID-19, locusts, flooding: WHO and triple threat in

Somalia, World Health Organization, June 23, 2020.

\48\ COVID-19, locusts, flooding: WHO and triple threat in

Somalia, World Health Organization, June 23, 2020.

\49\ COVID-19, locusts, flooding: WHO and triple threat in

Somalia, World Health Organization, June 23, 2020.

\50\ COVID-19, locusts, flooding: WHO and triple threat in

Somalia, World Health Organization, June 23, 2020.

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Somalia has also been experiencing a cholera outbreak since

December 2017, following floods that affected areas near the Jubba and

Shabelle rivers in southern and central Somalia.\51\ According to WHO,

in 2020 Somalia had 6,589 suspected cases of cholera and 33 reported

deaths.\52\ In April 2020, flash floods caused by heavy rains led to

the contamination of water sources, thus causing an increase in the

number of cholera cases.\53\

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\51\ Outbreak update--Cholera in Somalia, World Health

Organization, March 23, 2021.

\52\ Outbreak update--Cholera in Somalia, World Health

Organization, December 27, 2020.

\53\ Outbreak update--Cholera in Somalia, World Health

Organization, March 23, 2021.

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Humanitarian organizations operating in Somalia face heightened

challenges, as security constraints continued to hinder the delivery of

humanitarian assistance.\54\ UNOCHA reported that in 2020, ``a

staggering 255 incidents occurred impacting humanitarian operations, in

which 15 humanitarian workers were killed, compared to 151 incidents in

2019.'' \55\

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\54\ Humanitarian Response Plan Somalia, The UN Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, February 2021, pg. 5.

\55\ Humanitarian Response Plan Somalia, The UN Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, February 2021, pg. 5.

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

In December 2019, the World Bank reported that ``[d]ecades of civil

war and political fragmentation have made Somalia one of the poorest

countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nearly seven of 10 Somalis live in

poverty, the sixth-highest rate in the region.'' \56\ While the World

Bank stated in March 2020 that ``Somalia reached a key economic

milestone in obtaining debt relief,'' \57\ the African Development Bank

assessed

[[Page 38749]]

that Somalia's economy was also affected by ``reduced foreign direct

investment, as investors shied away during contentious elections that

were postponed, a shrinkage in remittances because of the global

recession, and bans on livestock exports by the Gulf countries.'' \58\

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

\56\ From data to development: Poverty and policy in Somalia,

World Bank Blogs, December 09, 2019.

\57\ The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank

determined that Somalia had taken the necessary steps to begin

receiving debt relief. For additional details on these requirements,

please see Somalia to Receive Debt Relief under the Enhanced HIPC

Initiative, World Bank, March 25, 2020.

\58\ Somalia Economic Outlook, African Development Bank (last

visited on May 7, 2021).

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Based upon this review and after consultation with appropriate U.S.

Government agencies, the Secretary has determined that:

The conditions supporting Somalia's designation for TPS

continue to be met. See INA section 244(b)(3)(A) and (C), 8 U.S.C.

1254a(b)(3)(A) and (C).

There continues to be an ongoing armed conflict in Somalia

and, due to such conflict and the accompanying humanitarian crisis that

has been worsened by, among other things, the COVID-19 pandemic,

requiring the return to Somalia of Somali nationals (or individuals

having no nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia) 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 Somalia that prevent Somali nationals (or individuals

having no nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia) from

returning to Somalia in safety, and it is not contrary to the national

interest of the United States to permit Somali TPS beneficiaries 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 Somalia for TPS should be extended for

an 18-month period, from September 18, 2021, through March 17, 2023.

See INA section 244(b)(3)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).

Due to the conditions described above, Somalia should be

simultaneously redesignated for TPS effective September 18, 2021,

through March 17, 2023. See section 244(b)(1)(A) and (C) and (b)(2) of

the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A) and (C) and (b)(2).

For the redesignation, the Secretary has determined that

initial TPS applicants must demonstrate that they have continuously

resided in the United States since July 19, 2021.

Initial TPS applicants under the redesignation must

demonstrate that they have been continuously physically present in the

United States since September 18, 2021, the effective date of the

redesignation of Somalia for TPS.

There are approximately 447 current Somalia TPS

beneficiaries who are expected to be eligible to re-register for TPS

under the extension.

It is estimated that approximately 100 additional

individuals may be eligible for TPS under the redesignation of Somalia.

This population includes Somali nationals in the United States in

nonimmigrant status or without immigration status.

Notice of Extension of the TPS Designation and Redesignation of Somalia

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, the conditions supporting Somalia's

designation for TPS continue to be met. See INA section 244(b)(3)(A), 8

U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). On the basis of this determination, I am

simultaneously extending the existing designation of TPS for Somalia

for 18 months, from September 18, 2021, through March 17, 2023, and

redesignating Somalia for TPS for the same 18-month period. See INA

section 244(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C) and (b)(2); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A),

(b)(1)(C), and (b)(2).

Alejandro N. Mayorkas,

Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Required Application Forms and Application Fees To Register or Re-

Register for TPS

To register or re-register for TPS based on the designation of

Somalia, you must submit an Application for Temporary Protected Status

(Form I-821). If you are filing an initial application, you must pay

the fee for the Form I-821. If you can demonstrate an inability to pay

the fee, you may request a fee waiver by submitting a Request for a Fee

Waiver (Form I-912). If you are filing an application for re-

registration, you do not need to pay the fee for the Form I-821. There

is no Form I-821 fee for re-registration. See 8 CFR 244.17. You may be

required to pay the biometric services fee. If you can demonstrate an

inability to pay the biometric services fee, you may request to have

the fee waived. Please see additional information under the ``Biometric

Services Fee'' section of this notice.

Through this Federal Register notice, your existing EAD issued

under the TPS designation of Somalia with the expiration date of

September 17, 2021, is automatically extended for 180 days, through

March 16, 2022. If you want to obtain a new EAD valid through March 17,

2023, you must file an Application for Employment Authorization (Form

I-765) and pay the Form I-765 fee (or request a fee waiver). If you do

not want a new EAD, you do not have to file Form I-765 and pay the Form

I-765 fee. If you do not want to request a new EAD now, you may also

file Form I-765 at a later date and pay the fee (or request a fee

waiver), provided that you still have TPS or a pending TPS application.

However, you are strongly encouraged to file your application for a new

EAD as early as possible to avoid gaps in the validity of your

employment authorization documentation and to ensure that you receive

your new EAD by March 16, 2022.

If you are applying for initial registration and want an EAD, you

must file and pay the fee for the Form I-765. If you do not want to

request an EAD now, you may also file Form I-765 at a later date and

pay the fee (or request a fee waiver), provided that you still have TPS

or a pending TPS application. You may file the application for a new

EAD either prior to or after your current EAD has expired.

Everyone must provide their employer with documentation showing

that they have the legal right to work in the United States. You do not

need to have an EAD, but you can obtain one and it will prove your

legal right to work.

If you have a Form I-821 or Form I-765 that was still pending as of

July 22, 2021, then you do not need to file either application again.

If USCIS approves your pending TPS application, USCIS will grant you

TPS through March 17, 2023. Similarly, if USCIS approves your pending

TPS-related Form I-765, it will be valid through the same date.

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 Form I-821, the 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 and older. Those applicants must generally submit a

biometric services fee. As previously stated, if you can demonstrate an

inability to pay the biometric services fee, you may be able to have

the fee waived. You can request a fee waiver by submitting a Request

for Fee Waiver (Form I-912). For more information on the application

forms and fees for TPS, please visit the USCIS TPS web page at

www.uscis.gov/tps. USCIS may require you to visit an Application

Support Center so we can capture your biometrics. For additional

information on the USCIS biometrics

[[Page 38750]]

screening process, please see the USCIS Customer Profile Management

Service Privacy Impact Assessment, available at www.dhs.gov/privacy.

Refiling a TPS Initial Registration Application After Receiving Notice

That USCIS Did Not Grant the Fee Waiver Request

You should file as soon as possible so USCIS can process your

application and issue any EAD promptly, if you requested one. If USCIS

denies your fee waiver request related to your initial TPS application,

you must refile your Form I-821 for TPS along with the required fees no

later than March 17, 2023, to continue seeking initial TPS. If USCIS

does not grant your fee waiver request, you may also refile your Form

I-765, with fee, either with your Form I-821 or at a later time as long

as it is within the period that Somalia is designated for TPS, if you

choose.

Note: An initial applicant for TPS must pay the Form I-821 filing

fee and applicants age 14 or older must also pay the biometric services

fee, unless USCIS grants a fee waiver. However, if you decide to wait

to request an EAD, you do not have to file the Form I-765 or pay the

associated Form I-765 fee (or request a fee waiver) at the time of

registration. You may wait to seek an EAD until after USCIS has

approved your TPS registration application or at any later date you

decide you want to request an EAD as long as TPS for Somalia continues.

To register for TPS, you only need to file the Form I-821 with the $50

filing fee and the biometric services fee, if applicable (or request a

fee waiver).

Refiling a TPS Re-Registration Application After Receiving Notice That

the Fee Waiver Request Was Not Granted

You should file as soon as possible so USCIS can process your

application and issue any EAD promptly, if you requested one. Properly

filing early will also give you time to refile your application before

the deadline, if USCIS does not grant your fee waiver request. If you

receive a notice that USCIS did not grant your fee waiver request, and

you are unable to refile by the re-registration deadline, you may still

refile your Form I-821 with the biometrics fee. USCIS will review this

situation to determine whether you established good cause for late TPS

re-registration. However, if possible, we urge you to refile within 45

days of the date on any USCIS notice that we did not grant you a fee

waiver. See INA section 244(c)(3)(C); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(3)(C); 8 CFR

244.17(b). For more information on good cause for late re-registration,

visit the USCIS TPS web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. If USCIS does

not grant your fee waiver request, you may also refile your Form I-765

with the fee either with your Form I-821 or at a later time, if you

choose.

Note: A re-registering TPS beneficiary age 14 and older must pay

the biometric services fee (but not the Form I-821 filing fee), or

request a fee waiver, when filing a TPS re-registration application.

However, if you decide to wait to request an EAD, you do not have to

file the Form I-765 or pay the associated Form I-765 fee (or request a

fee waiver) at the time of re-registration. You may wait to seek an EAD

until after USCIS has approved your TPS re-registration application or

at any later date you decide you want to request an EAD. To re-register

for TPS, you only need to file the Form I-821 with the biometric

services fee, if applicable (or request a fee waiver).

Mailing Information

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

Table 1--Mailing Addresses

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

If you would like to send your application by: Then, mail your application to:

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

U.S. Postal Service................................ U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Attn: TPS

Somalia, P.O. Box 6943, Chicago, IL 60680-6943.

FedEx, UPS, or DHL................................. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Attn: TPS

Somalia (Box 6943), 131 S Dearborn St., 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 an IJ or the

BIA, please mail your application to the appropriate mailing address in

Table 1. When you are re-registering and requesting an EAD based on an

IJ/BIA grant of TPS, please include a copy of the IJ or BIA order

granting you TPS with your application. This will help us to verify

your grant of TPS and process your application.

Supporting Documents

The filing instructions on the Form I-821 list all the documents

needed to establish eligibility for TPS. You may also find information

on the acceptable documentation and other requirements for applying or

registering for TPS on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/tps under

``Somalia.''

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

How can I obtain information on the status of my TPS application and

EAD request?

To get case status information about your TPS application,

including the status of an EAD request, you can check Case Status

Online at http://www.uscis.gov, or visit the USCIS Contact Center at

uscis.gov/contactcenter. If your Form I-765 has been pending for more

than 90 days, and you still need assistance, you may ask a question

about your case online at egov.uscis.gov/e-request/Intro.do or call the

USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833).

Am I eligible to receive an automatic 180-day extension of my current

EAD through March 16, 2022, using this Federal Register notice?

Yes. Regardless of your country of birth, provided that you

currently have a Somalia TPS-based EAD with an expiration date of

September 17, 2021, on the face of the card, bearing the notation A-12

or C-19 under Category, this notice automatically extends your EAD

through March 16, 2022. Although this Federal Register notice

automatically extends your EAD through March 16, 2022, you must re-

register timely for TPS in accordance with the procedures described in

this Federal Register notice to maintain your TPS and employment

authorization.

[[Page 38751]]

When hired, what documentation may I show to my employer as evidence of

employment authorization and identity when completing Form I-9?

You can find the Lists of Acceptable Documents on the third page of

Form I-9 as well as the Acceptable Documents web page at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/acceptable-documents. Employers must complete

Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of all new

employees. Within three days of hire, employees must present acceptable

documents to their employers as evidence of identity and employment

authorization to satisfy Form I-9 requirements.

You may present any document from List A (which provides evidence

of both identity and employment authorization), or one document from

List B (which provides evidence of your identity) together with one

document from List C (which provides evidence of employment

authorization), or you may present an acceptable receipt for List A,

List B, or List C documents as described in the Form I-9 instructions.

Employers may not reject a document based on a future expiration date.

You can find additional information about Form I-9 on the I-9 Central

web page at http://www.uscis.gov/I-9Central.

An EAD is an acceptable document under List A. See the section

``How do my employer and I complete Form I-9 using my automatically

extended EAD for a new job?'' of this Federal Register notice for

further information. If your EAD has an expiration date of September

17, 2021, and states A-12 or C-19 under Category, it has been extended

automatically by virtue of this Federal Register notice and you may

choose to present your EAD to your employer as proof of identity and

employment eligibility for Form I-9 through March 16, 2022, unless your

TPS has been withdrawn or your request for TPS has been denied.

What documentation may I present to my employer for Form I-9 if I am

already employed but my current TPS-related EAD is set to expire?

Even though we have automatically extended your EAD, your employer

is required by law to ask you about your continued employment

authorization. Your employer may need to re-inspect your automatically

extended EAD to check the Card Expires date and Category code if your

employer did not keep a copy of your EAD when you initially presented

  1. Once your employer has reviewed the Card Expiration date and

Category code, your employer should update the EAD expiration date in

Section 2 of Form I-9. See the section ``What updates should my current

employer make to Form I-9 if my EAD has been automatically extended?''

of this Federal Register notice for further information. You may show

this Federal Register notice to your employer to explain what to do for

Form I-9 and to show that USCIS has automatically extended your EAD

through March 16, 2022, but you are not required to do so. The last day

of the automatic EAD extension is March 16, 2022. Before you start work

on March 17, 2022, your employer is required by law to reverify your

employment authorization in Section 3 of Form I-9. By that time, you

must present any document from List A or any document from List C on

Form I-9 Lists of Acceptable Documents, or an acceptable List A or List

C receipt described in the Form I-9 instructions to reverify employment

authorization.

Your employer may not specify which List A or List C document you

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 Somali citizenship or a Form I-797C

showing I re-registered for TPS?

No. When completing Form I-9, including reverifying employment

authorization, employers must accept any documentation that appears on

the Form I-9 Lists of Acceptable Documents that reasonably appears to

be genuine and that relates to you, or an acceptable List A, List B, or

List C receipt. Employers do not need to reverify List B identity

documents. Therefore, employers may not request proof of Somali

citizenship or proof of re-registration for TPS when completing Form I-

9 for new hires or reverifying the employment authorization of current

employees. If you present an EAD that USCIS has automatically extended,

employers should accept it as a valid List A document so long as the

EAD reasonably appears to be genuine and relates to you. Refer to the

Note to Employees section of this Federal Register 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.

How do my employer and I complete Form I-9 using my automatically

extended EAD for a new job?

When using an automatically extended EAD to complete Form I-9 for a

new job before March 17, 2022:

  1. For Section 1, you should:
  2. Check ``An alien authorized to work until'' and enter March 16,

2022, as the ``expiration date''; and

  1. Enter your Alien Number/USCIS number or A-Number where

indicated. (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.)

  1. For Section 2, employers should:
  2. Determine if the EAD is auto-extended by ensuring it is in

category A-12 or C-19 and has a Card Expires date of September 17,

2021;

  1. Write in the document title;
  2. Enter the issuing authority;
  3. Provide the document number; and
  4. Write March 16, 2022, as the expiration date.

Before the start of work on March 17, 2022, employers must reverify

the employee's employment authorization in Section 3 of Form I-9.

What updates should my current employer make to Form I-9 if my EAD has

been automatically extended?

If you presented a TPS-related EAD that was valid when you first

started your job and USCIS has now automatically extended your EAD,

your employer may need to re-inspect your current EAD if they do not

have a copy of the EAD on file. Your employer should determine if your

EAD is automatically extended by ensuring that it contains Category A-

12 or C-19 and has a Card Expires date of September 17, 2021, on the

front of the card.

If your employer determines that USCIS has automatically extended

your EAD, your employer should update Section 2 of your previously

completed Form I-9 as follows:

  1. Write EAD EXT and March 16, 2022, as the last day of the

automatic extension in the Additional Information field; and

  1. Initial and date the correction.

Note: This is not considered a reverification. Employers do not

complete Section 3 until either the 180-day automatic extension has

ended, or the employee presents a new document to show continued

employment authorization, whichever is sooner. By March 17, 2022, when

the employee's automatically extended EAD has expired, employers are

required by law to reverify the employee's employment authorization in

Section 3.

[[Page 38752]]

If I am an employer enrolled in E-Verify, how do I verify a new

employee whose EAD has been automatically extended?

Employers may create a case in E-Verify for a new employee by

entering the number from the Document Number field on Form I-9 into the

document number field in E-Verify. Employers should enter March 16,

2022, as the expiration date for an EAD that has been extended under

this Federal Register notice.

If I am an employer enrolled in E-Verify, what do I do when I receive a

``Work Authorization Documents Expiring'' alert for an automatically

extended EAD?

E-Verify automated the verification process for TPS-related EADs

that are automatically extended. If you have employees who provided a

TPS-related EAD when they first started working for you, you will

receive a ``Work Authorization Documents Expiring'' case alert when the

auto-extension period for this EAD is about to expire. Before this

employee starts work on March 17, 2022, you must reverify their

employment authorization in Section 3 of Form I-9. Employers may not

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 Federal Register 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@uscis.dhs.gov. USCIS accepts calls and emails in English and

many other languages. For questions about avoiding discrimination

during the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-

Verify), employers may call the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil

Rights Division, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) Employer

Hotline at 800-255-8155 (TTY 800-237-2515). IER offers language

interpretation in numerous languages. Employers may also email IER at

IER@usdoj.gov.

Note to 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@uscis.dhs.gov. Calls are accepted in English,

Spanish, and many other languages. Employees or applicants may also

call the IER Worker Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515) for

information regarding employment discrimination based upon citizenship,

immigration status, or national origin, including discrimination

related to Form I-9 and E-Verify. The IER Worker Hotline provides

language interpretation in numerous languages.

To comply with the law, employers must accept any document or

combination of documents from the Lists of Acceptable Documents if the

documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the

employee, or an acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt as

described in the Form I-9 Instructions. Employers may not require extra

or additional documentation beyond what is required for Form I-9

completion. Further, employers participating in E-Verify who receive an

E-Verify case result of Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) must promptly

inform employees of the TNC and give such employees an opportunity to

contest the TNC. A TNC case result means that the information entered

into E-Verify from an employee's Form I-9 differs from Federal or State

government records.

Employers may not terminate, suspend, delay training, withhold or

lower pay, or take any adverse action against an employee because of

the TNC while 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). For more information about E-Verify-related discrimination

or to report an employer for discrimination in the E-Verify process

based on citizenship, immigration status, or national origin, contact

IER's Worker Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515). Additional

information about proper nondiscriminatory Form I-9 and E-Verify

procedures is available on the IER website at https://www.justice.gov/ier and on the USCIS and E-Verify websites at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central and https://www.e-verify.gov.

Note Regarding Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (Such as

Departments of Motor Vehicles)

For Federal purposes, TPS beneficiaries presenting an automatically

extended EAD referenced in this Federal Register notice do not need to

show any other document, such as an I-797C Notice of Action or this

Federal Register notice, to prove that they qualify for this extension.

However, 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, show you are authorized to work based on TPS or other

status, or that may be used by DHS to determine whether you have TPS or

other immigration status. Examples of such documents are:

Your current EAD;

Your Form I-797, Notice of Action, reflecting approval of

your Form I-765; or

Your Form I-797, the notice of approval, for a past or

current Form I-821, if you received one from USCIS.

Check with the government agency regarding which document(s) the

agency will accept. Some benefit-granting agencies use USCIS'

Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program to

confirm the current immigration status of applicants for public

benefits. While SAVE can verify when an individual has TPS, each

agency's procedures govern whether they will accept an unexpired EAD,

Form I-797, or Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. If an agency

accepts the type of TPS-related document you are presenting, such as an

EAD, the agency should accept your automatically extended EAD. It may

assist the agency if you:

  1. Present the agency with a copy of the relevant Federal Register

notice showing the extension of TPS-related documentation in addition

to your recent TPS-related document with your A-number, USCIS number or

Form I-94 number;

  1. Explain that SAVE will be able to verify the continuation of

your TPS using this information; and

  1. Ask the agency to initiate a SAVE query with your information

and follow through with additional verification steps, if necessary, to

get a final SAVE response verifying your TPS.

You can also ask the agency to look for SAVE notices or contact

SAVE if they have any questions about your immigration status or

automatic

[[Page 38753]]

extension of TPS-related documentation. In most cases, SAVE provides an

automated electronic response to benefit-granting agencies within

seconds, but, occasionally, verification can be delayed. You can check

the status of your SAVE verification by using CaseCheck at

save.uscis.gov/casecheck/. CaseCheck is a free service that lets you

follow the progress of your SAVE verification case using your date of

birth and one immigration identifier number (A-number, USCIS number or

Form I-94 number) or Verification Case Number. If 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 SAVE

response is correct, the SAVE website, www.uscis.gov/save, has detailed

information on how to make corrections or update your immigration

record, make an appointment, or submit a written request to correct

records.

[FR Doc. 2021-15595 Filed 7-21-21; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9111-97-P