[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 146 (Monday, August 1, 2022)]


[Notices]


[Pages 46982-46991]


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


[FR Doc No: 2022-16508]



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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY



U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services



[CIS No. 2681-21; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2013-0001]


RIN 1615-ZB72




Extension and Redesignation of Syria for Temporary Protected


Status



AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department


of Homeland Security (DHS).



ACTION: Notice of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) 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 Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)


for 18 months, effective October 1, 2022, through March 31, 2024. This


extension allows existing TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through March


31, 2024, so long as they otherwise continue to meet the eligibility


requirements for TPS. Existing TPS beneficiaries who wish to extend


their status through March 31, 2024, must re-register during the 60-day


re-registration period described in this notice. The Secretary is also


redesignating Syria for TPS. The redesignation of Syria allows


additional Syrian nationals (and individuals having no nationality who


last habitually resided in Syria) who have been continuously residing


in the United States since July 28, 2022 to apply for TPS for the first


time during the initial registration period described under the


redesignation information in this notice. In addition to demonstrating


continuous residence in the United States since July 28, 2022 and


meeting other eligibility criteria, initial applicants for TPS under


this designation must demonstrate that they have been continuously


physically present in the United States since October 1, 2022, the


effective date of this redesignation of Syria for TPS.



DATES:


    Extension of Designation of Syria for TPS: The 18-month extension


of Syria's designation for TPS is effective on October 1, 2022, and


will remain in effect for 18 months, through March 31, 2024. The


extension impacts existing beneficiaries of TPS.


    Re-registration: The 60-day re-registration period for existing


beneficiaries runs from August 1, 2022through September 30, 2022.


(Note: It is important for re-registrants to timely re-register during


the registration period and not to wait until their Employment


Authorization Documents (EADs) expire, as delaying reregistration could


result in gaps in their employment authorization documentation.)


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


for TPS is effective on October 1, 2022, and will remain in effect for


18 months, through March 31, 2024. The redesignation impacts potential


first-time applicants and others who do not currently have TPS.


    First-time Registration: The initial registration period for new


applicants under the Syria TPS redesignation begins on August 1, 2022


and will remain in effect through March 31, 2024.



FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: You may contact Ren[aacute] Cutlip-


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


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


Homeland Security, by mail at 5900 Capital Gateway Drive, Camp Springs,


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


    For further information on TPS, including guidance on the


registration process and additional information on eligibility, please


visit the USCIS TPS web page at uscis.gov/tps. You can find specific


information about Syria's TPS designation by selecting ``Syria'' 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


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:



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 (Approval Notice)


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



Purpose of This Action (TPS)



    Through this notice, DHS sets forth procedures necessary for


nationals of Syria (or individuals having no nationality who last


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



[[Page 46983]]



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 a prior designation of Syria and whose


applications have been granted. Failure to re-register properly may


result in the withdrawal of your TPS following appropriate procedures.


See 8 CFR 244.14.


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


designation, the 60-day re-registration period runs from August 1, 2022


through September 30, 2022. USCIS will issue new EADs with a March 31,


2024 expiration date to eligible Syrian 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. Accordingly, through this Federal Register notice, DHS


automatically extends the validity of certain EADs previously issued


under the TPS designation of Syria through September 30, 2023.


Therefore, as proof of continued employment authorization through


September 30, 2023, TPS beneficiaries can show their EADs that have the


notation A-12 or C-19 under Category and a ``Card Expires'' date of


September 30, 2022, March 31, 2021, September 30, 2019, or March 31,



  1. 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 Syria TPS application (Form I-821) and/or


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


pending as of August 1, 2022 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 31, 2024. 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 6,448 beneficiaries under Syria'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 August 1, 2022 and runs through the full length


of the redesignation period ending March 31, 2024.\1\ In addition to


demonstrating continuous residence in the United States since July 28,


2022 and meeting other eligibility criteria, initial applicants for TPS


under this redesignation must demonstrate that they have been


continuously physically present in the United States since October 1,


2022,\2\ the effective date of this redesignation of Syria, before


USCIS may grant them TPS. DHS estimates that approximately 960


individuals may become newly eligible for TPS under the redesignation


of Syria.


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    \1\ 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). In keeping


with the humanitarian purpose of TPS and advancing the goal of


ensuring ``the Federal Government eliminates . . . barriers that


prevent immigrants from accessing government services available to


them'' under Executive Order 14012, Restoring Faith in Our Legal


Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion


Efforts for New Americans, 86 FR 8277 (Feb. 5, 2021), the Secretary


has recently exercised his discretion to provide for TPS initial


registration periods that coincide with the full period of a TPS


country's initial designation or redesignation. See, e.g.,


Designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status, 86 FR 41863


(Aug. 3, 2021) (providing 18-mos. registration period under new TPS


designation of Haiti); Extension of Initial Registration Periods for


New Temporary Protected Status Applicants Under the Designations for


Venezuela, Syria and Burma; Correction to the Notice on the


Designation of Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status and


Implementation of Employment Authorization for Venezuelans Covered


by Deferred Enforced Departure, 86 FR 41986 (Aug. 4, 2021)


(extending initial registration periods from 180 days to 18 months


for the three applicable countries)). For the same reasons, the


Secretary is similarly exercising his discretion to provide


applicants under this TPS designation of Syria with an 18-month


initial registration period.


    \2\ The ``continuous physical presence date'' (CPP) is the


effective date of the most recent TPS designation of the country,


which is either the publication date of the designation announcement


in the Federal Register or such later date as the Secretary may


establish. The ``continuous residence date'' (CR) is any date


established by the Secretary when a country is designated (or


sometimes redesignated) for TPS. See INA Sec.  244(b)(2)(A)


(effective date of designation); 244(c)(1)(A)(i-ii) (discussing CR


and CPP date requirements).


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What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?



     TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible


nationals of a foreign state designated for TPS under the INA, or to


eligible individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in


the designated foreign state, regardless of their country of birth.


     During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are


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


authorized to work so long as they continue to meet the requirements of


TPS. They may apply for and receive EADs as evidence of employment


authorization.


     TPS beneficiaries may also apply for and be granted travel


authorization as a matter of discretion.


     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 foreign state'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


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 Syria designated for TPS?



    Syria was initially designated on the basis of extraordinary and


temporary conditions that prevented nationals of Syria from returning


in safety. See Designation of Syrian Arab Republic for Temporary


Protected Status, 77 FR 19026 (Mar. 29, 2012). Following the initial


designation, TPS for Syria was extended and newly designated three


times: (1) from October 1, 2013, to March 31, 2015, based on ongoing


armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions; \3\ (2) from


April 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016, based on ongoing armed conflict


and extraordinary and temporary conditions; \4\ and (3) from October 1,


2016, to March 31, 2018, based on ongoing armed conflict and


extraordinary and temporary conditions.\5\ Thereafter, TPS for Syria


was extended from April 1, 2018, to September 30, 2019, based on


ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions \6\


and October 1, 2019, to March 31, 2021, based on ongoing armed conflict


and extraordinary and temporary conditions.\7\ Most recently, TPS for


Syria was extended and redesignated



[[Page 46984]]



from March 31, 2021, to September 30, 2022, based on ongoing armed


conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions.\8\


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    \3\ See Extension and Redesignation of Syria for Temporary


Protected Status, 78 FR 36223 (June 16, 2013).


    \4\ See Extension and Redesignation of the Syrian Arab Republic


for Temporary Protected Status, 80 FR 245, (Jan. 4, 2015).


    \5\ See Extension and Redesignation of Syria for Temporary


Protected Status, 81 FR 50533, (Jul. 31, 2016)


    \6\ See Extension of the Designation of Syria for Temporary


Protected Status, 83 FR 9329, (Mar. 4, 2018).


    \7\ See Extension of the Designation of Syria for Temporary


Protected Status, 84 FR 49751, (Sep. 22, 2019)


    \8\ See Extension and Redesignation of Syria for Temporary


Protected Status, 86 FR 14946, (Mar. 18, 2021).


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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 agencies of the U.S.


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


the Secretary determines that certain country conditions exist.\9\ The


decision to designate any foreign state (or part thereof) is a


discretionary decision, and there is no judicial review of any


determination with respect to the designation, termination, or


extension of a designation. See INA section 244(b)(5)(A); 8 U.S.C.


1254a(b)(5)(A).\10\ 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


foreign state). See INA section 244(a)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A).


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    \9\ INA Sec.  244(b)(1) ascribes this power to the Attorney


General. Congress transferred this authority from the Attorney


General to the Secretary of Homeland Security. See Homeland Security


Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135. The Secretary may


designate a country (or part of a country) for TPS on the basis of


ongoing armed conflict such that returning would pose a serious


threat to the personal safety of the country's nationals and


habitual residents, environmental disaster (including an epidemic),


or extraordinary and temporary conditions in the country that


prevent the safe return of the country's nationals. For


environmental disaster-based designations, certain other statutory


requirements must be met, including that the foreign government must


request TPS. A designation based on extraordinary and temporary


conditions cannot be made if the Secretary finds that allowing the


country's nationals to remain temporarily in the United States is


contrary to the U.S. national interest. Id., at Sec.  244(b)(1).


    \10\ This issue of judicial review is the subject of 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).


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    At least 60 days before the expiration of a foreign state's TPS


designation or extension, the Secretary, after consultation with


appropriate U.S. Government agencies, must review the conditions in the


foreign state designated for TPS to determine whether they continue to


meet the conditions for the TPS designation. See INA section


244(b)(3)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). If the Secretary determines that


the foreign state continues to meet 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 Syria for TPS?



    In addition to extending an existing TPS designation, the


Secretary, after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, may


redesignate a country (or part thereof) for TPS. See section 244(b)(1)


of the 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'').


    When the Secretary designates or redesignates a country for TPS,


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


TPS applicants must demonstrate that they have been ``continuously


resid[ing]'' in the United States. See section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii) of the


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 Syria will be July 28, 2022. Initial applicants for


TPS under this redesignation must also show they have been


``continuously physically present'' in the United States since October


1, 2022, which is the effective date of the Secretary's redesignation,


of Syria. 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


October 1, 2022, the effective date of this redesignation for Syria.


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 Syria and


simultaneously redesignating Syria for TPS through March 31, 2024?



    DHS has reviewed country conditions in Syria. Based on the review,


including input received from the Department of State (DOS) and other


U.S. Government agencies, the Secretary has determined that an 18-month


TPS extension is warranted because the ongoing armed conflict and


extraordinary and temporary conditions supporting Syria's TPS


designation remain. The Secretary has further determined that the


conditions support redesignating Syria for TPS under section


244(b)(3)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C) of the Act and is changing the


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


that applicants must meet to be eligible for TPS.



Overview



    DHS has conducted a thorough review of country conditions in Syria.


The ongoing civil war has resulted in large-scale destruction of


infrastructure, mass displacement of civilians, high levels of food


insecurity, limited access to water and medical care, and widespread


civilian casualties. These impacts have been compounded by the COVID-19


pandemic which has contributed to the further breakdown of the economy


and strained an already overburdened healthcare system.


    The United Nations (UN) has verified that at least 350,209


identified civilians and combatants were killed between March 2011 and


March 2021, including 26,727 women and 27,126 children, but it has


warned that this figure ``indicates a minimum verifiable number'' and


is an ``undercount of the actual number.'' \11\ The Syrian Observatory


for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based monitoring group with a network of


sources on the ground, had documented the deaths of 494,438 people as


of June 2021 and said that at least 159,774 civilians had been


killed.\12\ The group estimated that the actual toll from the war was


more than 606,000, saying 47,000 civilians were believed to have died


of torture in government-run prisons.\13\ Another monitoring group, the


Violations Documentation Center, which relies on information from



[[Page 46985]]



activists across the country, had documented 239,251 battle-related


deaths, including 145,240 civilians, as of June 2022.\14\ Additionally,


the ongoing military operations have injured more than 2.1 million


Syrian civilians with varying injuries, wounds, and permanent


disabilities.\15\


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    \11\ This count includes ``only those people identifiable by


full name, with an established date of death, and who died in an


identified governorate'' and was sourced from OHCHR's own data,


records maintained by civil society organizations, and information


from the Syrian government. UNOHCR, ``Oral update on the extent of


conflict-related deaths in the Syrian Arab Republic [verbar] OHCHR''


(September 24, 2021), https://www.ohchr.org/en/statements/2021/09/oral-update-extent-conflict-related-deaths-syrian-arab-republic?LangID=E&NewsID=27531.


    \12\ SOHR, ``Total death toll [verbar] Over 606,000 people


killed across Syria since the beginning of the ``Syrian


Revolution'', including 495,000 documented by SOHR (June 1, 2021),


https://www.syriahr.com/en/217360/.


    \13\ SOHR, ``Total death toll [verbar] Over 606,000 people


killed across Syria since the beginning of the ``Syrian


Revolution'', including 495,000 documented by SOHR (June 1, 2021),


https://www.syriahr.com/en/217360/.


    \14\ Violation Documentation Center, ``Monthly statistical on


casualties in Syria, June 2022'' (June 2022), https://scm.bz/en/violations-watch/monthly-statistical-on-casualities-in-syria-june-2022.


    \15\ SOHR, ``Total death toll [verbar] Over 606,000 people


killed across Syria since the beginning of the ``Syrian


Revolution'', including 495,000 documented by SOHR (June 1, 2021),


https://www.syriahr.com/en/217360/.


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    Eleven years of war have inflicted immense suffering on the Syrian


people. More than half of Syria's pre-war population of 22 million have


either fled the country or are displaced within its borders.\16\ Syria


remains the world's largest displacement crisis.\17\ The number of


Syrian IDPs to date is approximately 7 million people.\18\


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    \16\ UNHCR, ``Eleven years on, mounting challenges push many


displaced Syrians to the brink'' (March 15, 2022), https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/news/briefing/2022/3/623055174/eleven-years-mounting-challenges-push-displaced-syrians-brink.html.


    \17\ UNHCR, ``Eleven years on, mounting challenges push many


displaced Syrians to the brink'' (Mar 15, 2022), https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/news/briefing/2022/3/623055174/eleven-years-mounting-challenges-push-displaced-syrians-brink.html.


    \18\ USAID, ``Syria--Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #4, Fiscal


Year (FY) 2022'' (Mar 4, 2022), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/syria-complex-emergency-fact-sheet-4-fiscal-year-fy-2022.


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    Harm to civilians has been widespread, but the magnitude of


violence has varied greatly by location. Parties to the Syrian conflict


killed 1,271 civilians in 2021, including 299 children and 134


women.\19\ Both government and opposition forces reportedly engage in


indiscriminate attacks through the use of airstrikes, explosives,


snipers, and rocket and mortar attacks, killing thousands and leaving


many without the means or ability to escape the violence.\20\ Since


2021, cities as far north as Idlib, and as far south as Daraa have seen


heavy civilian casualties as well as damage to civilian objects.\21\


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    \19\ Syrian Network for Human Rights, ``Eleventh Annual Report:


The Most Notable Human Rights Violations in Syria in 2021'' (Jan 21,


2022), https://snhr.org/wp-content/pdf/english/Eleventh_Annual_Report_The_Most_Notable_Human_Rights_Violations_in_Syria_in_2021_en.pdf.


    \20\ Human Rights Watch, ``Syria: Events of 2021'' (Jan. 2022),


https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2022/country-chapters/syria.


    \21\ Human Rights Watch, ``Syria: Events of 2021'' (Jan. 2022),


https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2022/country-chapters/syria.


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    Multiple actors in the conflict have been accused of targeting


civilians and civilian facilities. In January 2022, Russia conducted


airstrikes on the Al Arshani Water Pump Station located west of Idlib


city, injuring at least one station worker, causing substantial damage


to the station's buildings and equipment, and forcing the station's


main water pumping pipe temporarily out of service.\22\ In February


2022, there were at least six incidents of attacks impacting vital


civilian facilities, among them, a school, two markets, a park, and a


livestock farm.\23\ In April 2022, ISIS claimed responsibility for an


attack on civilians gathering for an iftar meal during Ramadan, killing


seven people and wounding four.\24\ Also in April 2022, Syrian


government forces shelled a village in north Idlib countryside, killing


at least three students on their way to school.\25\ According to the


Syrian Civil Defense, Russian and Syrian forces and allied militias


have launched 130 air and artillery attacks on northwestern Syria


during the first quarter of 2022.\26\ These attacks struck civilian


homes, public buildings, and service facilities, killing\47\ people and


wounding more than 100 others.\27\


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    \22\ Syrian Archive, ``Airstrikes on the Al Arshani Water Pump


Station in Idlib'' (February 14, 2022), https://syrianarchive.org/en/investigations/arshani.


    \23\ Syrian Network for Human Rights, ``The Most Notable Human


Rights Violations in Syria in February 2022,'' (Mar. 4, 2022),


https://snhr.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/M220303E.pdf.


    \24\ Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, ``SOHR: Daesh kills 7


Syrians at Ramadan iftar meal'' (Apr 29, 2022), https://www.syriahr.com/en/249367/.


    \25\ Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, ``Regime offensive


[verbar] Three students killed in regime rocket attack on area in


Idlib countryside'' (Apr 4, 2022), https://www.syriahr.com/en/245693/.


    \26\ Euro-Med Monitor, ``Killing 4 children in Syrian regime


bombardment may amount to war crime'' (Apr 5, 2022), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/killing-4-children-syrian-regime-bombardment-may-amount-war-crime-enar.


    \27\ Euro-Med Monitor, ``Killing 4 children in Syrian regime


bombardment may amount to war crime,'' (April 6, 2022), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/killing-4-children-syrian-regime-bombardment-may-amount-war-crime-enar.


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    Mandatory military service has been the law in Syria since


2007.\28\ Men from the ages of 18 to 42 are required to serve, and


women may enlist voluntarily.\29\ Conscripts are required to serve for


18 to 21 months, depending on their level of education.\30\ Syria has


intermittently declared amnesties for military service evaders to


encourage returns, however, ``returnees have found themselves back on


conscription lists in as little as seven days, after the government


exploited a loophole in the decree,'' thereby rendering the amnesty


provisions meaningless.\31\ In February 2021, the Syrian regime


announced an amendment to the military conscription laws. Under the


amended law, those who did not do military service before the age of 43


must pay $8,000, or lose their property without notice or any right to


appeal.\32\


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    \28\ The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, ``TIMEP Brief:


Conscription Law'' (Aug 22, 2019), https://timep.org/reports-briefings/timep-brief-conscription-law/.


    \29\ The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, ``TIMEP Brief:


Conscription Law'' (Aug 22, 2019), https://timep.org/reports-briefings/timep-brief-conscription-law/.


    \30\ The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, ``TIMEP Brief:


Conscription Law'' (Aug 22, 2019), https://timep.org/reports-briefings/timep-brief-conscription-law/.


    \31\ Human Rights Watch, ``Our Lives are Like Death'' (Oct.


2021), https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/media_2021/10/syria1021_web.pdf.


    \32\ Human Rights Watch, ``Syrian `Military Evaders' Face


Unlawful Seizure of Property, Assets'' (Feb 9, 2021), https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/02/09/syrian-military-evaders-face-unlawful-seizure-property-assets.


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    The Syrian Democratic Forces and other entities in Syria have also


been accused of forced conscription: ``[The Syrian Network for Human


Rights (SNHR)] . . . recorded Syrian Democratic Forces kidnapping two


children [in January 2022] with the aim of taking them to its training


and recruitment camps and forcibly conscripting them . . .'' \33\


Further, compulsory recruitment under the ``Law on Mandatory Self-


Defense Duty'' was first introduced in 2014 and is confined to the


areas of northern and eastern Syria under the control of the Kurdish-


led Autonomous Administration.\34\ Under this law, conscription is


mandatory for all male residents, both Syrian nationals and stateless


Kurds, after reaching 18 years old. Syrians from other parts of the


country who have resided in the area longer than five years are


obligated to join as well.\35\


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    \33\ Syrian Network for Human Rights, ``143 Arbitrary Arrests/


Detentions Documented in Syria in January 2022,'' including 2


children, (Feb. 2, 2022), https://snhr.org/wp-content/pdf/english/143_Arbitrary_Arrests_Detentions_Documented_in_Syria_in_January_2022_Including_Two_Children_en.pdf.


    \34\ European Union Agency for Asylum, ``Persons fearing forced


or child recruitment by Kurdish forces,'' (last updated Sept. 2020),


https://euaa.europa.eu/country-guidance-syria/26-persons-fearing-forced-or-child-recruitment-kurdish-forces.


    \35\ European Union Agency for Asylum, ``Persons fearing forced


or child recruitment by Kurdish forces,'' (last updated Sept. 2020),


https://euaa.europa.eu/country-guidance-syria/26-persons-fearing-forced-or-child-recruitment-kurdish-forces.


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



    Syrian children have suffered disproportionately since the start of


the conflict. At least 29,661 children have been killed in Syria since


March 2011, including 181 due to torture, in addition to 5,036 arrested


or forcibly disappeared children.\36\ The SNHR estimates that


 


[[Page 46986]]



there are at least 1,374 children currently serving in the Syrian


regime forces.\37\ Other actors in the conflict are also accused of


engaging in forced conscription of children. These include: Hay'at


Tahrir al Sham, Syrian Democratic Forces, factions of the Syrian


National Army (SNA), Al-Nusra Front, ISIS, as well as Iranian militias


or militias supported by Iran.\38\ According to the United Nations High


Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are currently at least 2.5


million displaced children in Syria.\39\ The United Nations Children's


Fund (UNICEF) reported 6.5 million children in need of humanitarian


assistance in a March 2022 report.\40\


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



    \36\ Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR). ''On World


Children's Day; Tenth Annual Report on Violations against Children


in Syria'' (Nov. 20, 2021), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/world-children-s-day-tenth-annual-report-violations-against-children.


    \37\ Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR). ''On World


Children's Day; Tenth Annual Report on Violations against Children


in Syria'' (Nov. 20, 2021), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/world-children-s-day-tenth-annual-report-violations-against-children.


    \38\ Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR). ''On World


Children's Day; Tenth Annual Report on Violations against Children


in Syria'' (Nov. 20, 2021), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/world-children-s-day-tenth-annual-report-violations-against-children.


    \40\ UNICEF, ``Whole of Syria Humanitarian Situation Report:


March 2022,'' (May 15, 2022), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/unicef-whole-syria-humanitarian-situation-report-march-2022.


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



    Human rights abuses continue to be rampant in Syria. One report


cites 2,218 cases of arbitrary arrest or detention, including 85


children and 77 women, committed by parties to the conflict and


controlling forces in 2021, almost half of which were attributed to the


Assad regime.\41\ The same report notes that at least 104 individuals


were documented as dying as a result of torture in 2021 at the hands of


Syrian regime forces, Syrian Democratic Forces, Hay'at Tahrir al Sham,


factions of the Syrian National Army as well as other parties to the


conflict.\42\ Furthermore, individuals returning to Syria have reported


that the Syrian government or its affiliated militias subjected them or


their family members to arbitrary arrest or detention, torture and


other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, kidnappings, and


extrajudicial killings after their return to Syria.\43\ Human Rights


Watch has reported ``21 cases of arrest and arbitrary detention . . .''


13 cases of torture, 3 kidnappings, 5 extrajudicial killings, and 17


enforced disappearances between 2017 and 2021 among refugees who had


returned to Syria from Jordan and Lebanon.'' \44\


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



    \41\ Syrian Network for Human Rights, ``Eleventh Annual Report:


The Most Notable Human Rights Violations in Syria in 2021'' (Jan 21,


2022), https://snhr.org/wp-content/pdf/english/Eleventh_Annual_Report_The_Most_Notable_Human_Rights_Violations_in_Syria_in_2021_en.pdf.


    \42\ Syrian Network for Human Rights, ``Eleventh Annual Report:


The Most Notable Human Rights Violations in Syria in 2021'' (Jan 21,


2022), https://snhr.org/wp-content/pdf/english/Eleventh_Annual_Report_The_Most_Notable_Human_Rights_Violations_in_Syria_in_2021_en.pdf.


    \43\ Human Rights Watch. ''Our Lives are Like Death'' (Oct.


2021), https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/media_2021/10/syria1021_web.pdf.


    \44\ Human Rights Watch, ``Syria: Events of 2021'' (Jan. 2022),


https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2022/country-chapters/syria.


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



    After 11 years of conflict, Syria's healthcare system has suffered


gravely. As of March 2022, Physicians for Human Rights has documented


and verified 601 attacks hitting at least 350 health facilities since


the start of the conflict.\45\ A January 2022 report states that more


than 50% of healthcare workers are estimated to have left the country


in the last decade.\46\ Out of the almost 1,800 available public health


centers, 45% were not fully functioning as of September 2021, at a time


when the Syrian people needed them the most amidst the COVID-19


pandemic.\47\ Seven medical personnel were killed in Syria in 2021 at


the hands of parties to the conflict and controlling forces in


Syria.\48\ The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated shortcomings


in an already weakened healthcare system. The UN identifies Syria as


one of the countries in the Middle East most severely affected by the


COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as low vaccine availability, vaccine


hesitancy, infections among frontline health workers, high transmission


rates in IDP camps, oxygen supply shortages, inadequate testing


materials, and limited cold chain and technical capacity hamper


infection prevention, monitoring, and response efforts.\49\ As of March


2022, 11.4% of the total population had received at least one dose of


the COVID-19 vaccine, and only 6.6% were fully vaccinated.\50\


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


 


    \45\ International Rescue Committee, ``11 years of violence


against health care in Syria'' (Mar 31, 2022), https://www.rescue.org/resource/11-years-violence-against-health-care-syria.


    \46\ UNOCHA, ``Situation Report #35: Recent Developments in


Northwest Syria and RAATA'' (Jan 2022), https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/operations/stima/document/situation-report-35-recent-developments-northwest-syria-and-raata-january.


    \47\ International Rescue Committee, ``11 years of violence


against health care in Syria'' (Mar 31, 2022), https://www.rescue.org/resource/11-years-violence-against-health-care-syria.


    \48\ Syrian Network for Human Rights, ``Eleventh Annual Report:


The Most Notable Human Rights Violations in Syria in 2021'' (Jan 21,


2022), https://snhr.org/wp-content/pdf/english/Eleventh_Annual_Report_The_Most_Notable_Human_Rights_Violations_in_Syria_in_2021_en.pdf.


    \49\ USAID, ``Syria--Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #4, Fiscal


Year (FY) 2022'' (Mar 4, 2022), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/syria-complex-emergency-fact-sheet-4-fiscal-year-fy-2022.


    \50\ World Health Organization, ``Monthly COVID-19 Bulletin:


March 2022,'' (Mar. 26, 2022), https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/monthly_covid-19_bulletin-march_2022.pdf.


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


 


    According to the World Food Program (WFP), at least 12.4 million


Syrians, out of an estimated population of 16 million, are food


insecure.\51\ This 2021 estimate reflects an increase of 3.1 million


food insecure people in one year.\52\ Moreover, according to the same


report, more than 600,000 children are chronically malnourished.\53\


The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs


(UNOCHA) reports that routine shortages in basic goods, including bread


and fuel, have become commonplace and the number of people in need of


humanitarian assistance increased by 21% in 2021--reaching a total of


13.4 million people, with 1.48 million in ``catastrophic'' need.\54\


The price of the national food basket \55\ increased by 24% from


February to March 2022, the greatest monthly increase and the highest


price recorded since tracking began in 2013.\56\


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


 


    \51\ Human Rights Watch, ``Syria: Events of 2021'' (Jan. 2022),


https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2022/country-chapters/syria.


    \52\ Human Rights Watch, ``Syria: Events of 2021'' (Jan. 2022),


https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2022/country-chapters/syria.


    \53\ Human Rights Watch, ``Syria: Events of 2021'' (Jan. 2022),


https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2022/country-chapters/syria.


    \54\ Human Rights Watch, ``Syria: Events of 2021'' (Jan. 2022),


https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2022/country-chapters/syria.


    \55\ The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issues a


monthly food price index, a measure of change in international


prices of a basket of food commodities. See United Nations, ``Global


Issues: Food'' (last visited 6/27/2022), https://www.un.org/en/global-issues/food. A national food basket is a group of essential


food commodities. In Syria, the food basket is set at a group of dry


goods providing 2,060 kcal a day for a family of five during a


month. The basket includes 37 kg bread, 19 kg rice, 19 kg lentils, 5


kg of sugar, and 7 liters of vegetable oil. See World Food Program,


``Syria Country Office Market Price Watch Bulletin Issue 88, March


2022, (Apr. 27, 2022), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/syria-country-office-market-price-watch-bulletin-issue-88-march-2022.


    \56\ UNICEF, ``Whole of Syria Humanitarian Situation Report:


March 2022,'' (May 15, 2022), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/unicef-whole-syria-humanitarian-situation-report-march-2022.


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


 


    In 2021, Syria was impacted by several climate and natural


resource-related shocks. Erratic rainfall as well as historically low


water levels in the Euphrates River have reduced access to water for


drinking and domestic use for over five million people.\57\ In


addition,


 


[[Page 46987]]


 


this has triggered substantial harvest and income losses, decreased


hydroelectricity generation, and increased water-borne illnesses.\58\


Northern Syria is experiencing severe water shortages as a result of


higher-than-average temperatures.\59\ Of 1,087 UNICEF beneficiaries


surveyed across Syria in February and March 2022, 15% reported water


availability once a week or less and 19% reported no water


availability.\60\


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


 


    \57\ UNOCHA, ``2022 Humanitarian Needs Overview: Syrian Arab


Republic'' (Feb 22, 2022), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/2022-humanitarian-needs-overview-syrian-arab-republic-february-2022.


    \58\ UNOCHA, ``2022 Humanitarian Needs Overview: Syrian Arab


Republic'' (Feb 22, 2022), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/2022-humanitarian-needs-overview-syrian-arab-republic-february-2022.


    \59\ International Rescue Committee, ''Crisis in Syria: Economic


crisis compounds over a decade of war'' (Mar. 15, 2022), https://www.rescue.org/article/crisis-syria-economic-crisis-compounds-over-decade-war.


    \60\ UNICEF, ``Whole of Syria Humanitarian Situation Report:


March 2022,'' (May 15, 2022), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/unicef-whole-syria-humanitarian-situation-report-march-2022.


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


 


    In October 2021, the World Bank estimated that the Syrian economy


had shrunk by more than 60% since 2010.\61\ Between October 2019 and


October 2021, the Syrian pound lost 82% of its value against the


dollar.\62\ UNOCHA estimated that, in 2021, 90% of the population lived


below the poverty line.\63\ An April 2022 World Bank report indicates


that ``the continued depreciation of the local currency has led to


rampant inflation, worsening already high food insecurity and pushing


more people into poverty.'' \64\ A UN report from April 2022 estimates


that 14.6 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, which


is a 9% increase from the previous year.\65\


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


 


    \61\ Human Rights Watch, ''Our Lives Are Like Death'' (Oct.


2021), https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/media_2021/10/syria1021_web.pdf.


    \62\ International Rescue Committee, ''Crisis in Syria: Economic


crisis compounds over a decade of war'' (Mar. 15, 2022), https://www.rescue.org/article/crisis-syria-economic-crisis-compounds-over-decade-war


    \63\ Human Rights Watch, ``Syria: Events of 2021'' (Jan. 2022),


https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2022/country-chapters/syria.


    \64\ World Bank. ``Macro Poverty Outlook for Syria: April 2022''


(April 2022), http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/099039004242232398/IDU0107dbcc10f799044b70bc070ac75483e6628.


    \65\ UNHCR, ``Syria: UNHCR Operational Update, April 2022'' (May


12, 2022), https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/syria-unhcr-operational-update-april-2022.


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


 


    In summary, the ongoing conflict, compounded by economic downturn,


food insecurity, water insecurity, the COVID-19 pandemic, a weakened


healthcare system, weakened civilian infrastructure, human rights


violations and abuses, violations of the law of armed conflict, forced


conscription and mass displacement have an enormous human cost for the


Syrian people.


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


Government agencies, the Secretary has determined that:


     The conditions supporting Syria'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 Syria


and, due to such conflict, requiring the return to Syria of Syrian


nationals (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually


resided in 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 (or individuals


having no nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) from


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


interest of the United States to permit Syrian 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 Syria for TPS should be extended for an


18-month period, from October 1, 2022, through March 31, 2024. See INA


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


     Due to the conditions described above, Syria should be


simultaneously extended and redesignated for TPS effective October 1,


2022, through, 2024. 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).


     The Secretary has determined that TPS applicants must


demonstrate that they have continuously resided in the United States


since July 28, 2022.


     Initial TPS applicants under the redesignation must


demonstrate that they have been continuously physically present in the


United States since October 1, 2022, the effective date of the


redesignation of Syria for TPS.


     There are approximately 6,448 current Syria TPS


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


under the extension.


     It is estimated that approximately 960 additional


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


This population includes Syrian nationals in the United States in


nonimmigrant status or without immigration status.


 


Notice of the Designation 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 U.S. Government agencies, the statutory conditions


supporting Syria's designation for TPS on the basis of ongoing armed


conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions are met. See INA


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


244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C). On the basis of this


determination, I am simultaneously extending the existing designation


of TPS for Syria for 18 months, from October 1, 2022, through March 31,


2024, and redesignating Syria 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.


 


Eligibility and Employment Authorization for TPS


 


Required Application Forms and Application Fees To Register for TPS


 


    To register for TPS based on the designation of Syria, you must


submit a Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, and


pay the filing fee (or request a fee waiver, which you may submit on


Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver). 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.


    TPS beneficiaries are authorized to work in the United States. You


are not required to submit Form I-765 or have an EAD, but see below for


more information if you want to work in the United States.


    Individuals who have a Syria TPS application (Form I-821) that was


still pending as of August 1, 2022 do not need to file the application


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


the individual TPS through March 31, 2024.


    For more information on the application forms and fees for TPS,


please visit the USCIS TPS web page at 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).


 


How can TPS beneficiaries obtain an Employment Authorization Document


(EAD)?


 


    Every employee must provide their employer with documentation


showing that they have the legal right to work in the United States.


TPS beneficiaries are


 


[[Page 46988]]


 


eligible to obtain an EAD, which proves their legal right to work.


Those who want to obtain an EAD must file a Form I-765, Application for


Employment Authorization, and pay the Form I-765 fee (or request a fee


waiver, which you may submit on Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver).


TPS applicants may file this form along with their TPS application, or


at a later date, provided their TPS application is still pending or has


been approved. Beneficiaries with a Syrian TPS-related Form I-765 that


was still pending as of August 1, 2022 do not need to file the


application again. 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.


 


Refiling an Initial TPS Registration Application After Receiving a


Denial of a Fee Waiver Request


 


    If you receive a denial of a fee waiver request, you must refile


your Form I-821 for TPS along with the required fees during the


registration period, which extends until March 31, 2024. You may also


file for your Employment Authorization Document on Form I-765 with


payment of the fee along with your TPS application or at any later date


you decide you want to request an EAD during the registration period.


 


Filing Information


 


    USCIS offers the option to applicants for TPS under Syria's


designation to file Form I-821 and related requests for EADs online or


by mail. When filing a TPS application, applicants can also request an


EAD by submitting a completed Form I-765, Request for Employment


Authorization, with their Form I-821.


    Online filing: Form I-821 and I-765 are available for concurrent


filing online.\66\ To file these forms online, you must first create a


USCIS online account.\67\


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


 


    \66\ Find information about online filing at ``Forms Available


to File Online,'' https://www.uscis.gov/file-online/forms-available-to-file-online.


    \67\ https://myaccount.uscis.gov/users/sign_up.


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


 


    Mail filing: Mail your application for TPS to the proper address in


Table 1.


Table 1-Mailing Addresses


    Mail your completed Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected


Status; Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; Form I-


912, Request for Fee Waiver (if applicable); and supporting


documentation to the proper address in Table 1.


 


                       Table 1--Mailing Addresses


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


                If . . .                          Mail to . . .


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


You are using the U.S. Postal Service    USCIS, Attn: TPS Syria, P.O.


 (USPS).                                  Box 6943, Chicago, IL 60680-


                                          6943.


You are using FedEx, UPS, or DHL.......  USCIS, Attn: TPS Syria (Box


                                          6943), 131 S Dearborn 3rd


                                          Floor, Chicago, IL 60603-5517.


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


 


    If you were granted TPS by an immigration judge (IJ) or the Board


of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and you wish to request an EAD, please


mail your Form I-765 application to the appropriate mailing address in


Table 1. When you are 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 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


(that is, registering) for TPS on the USCIS website at uscis.gov/tps


under ``Syria.''


 


Travel


 


    TPS beneficiaries may also apply for and be granted travel


authorization as a matter of discretion. You must file for travel


authorization if you wish to travel outside of the United States. If


granted, travel authorization gives you permission to leave the United


States and return during a specific period. To request travel


authorization, you must file Form I-131, Application for Travel


Document, available at www.uscis.gov/i-131. You may file Form I-131


together with your Form I-821 or separately. When filing the Form I-


131, you must:


     Select Item Number 1.d. in Part 2 on the Form I-131; and


     Submit the fee for the Form I-131, or request a fee


waiver, which you may submit on Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver.


    If you are filing Form I-131 together with Form I-821, send your


forms to the address listed in Table 1. If you are filing Form I-131


separately based on a pending or approved Form I-821, send your form to


the address listed in Table 2 and include a copy of Form I-797 for the


approved or pending Form I-821.


 


                       Table 2--Mailing Addresses


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


            If you are . . .                      Mail to . . .


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


Filing Form I-131 together with a Form   The address provided in Table


 I-821, Application for Temporary         1.


 Protected Status.


Filing Form I-131 based on a pending or  USCIS, Attn: I-131 TPS, P.O.


 approved Form I-821, and you are using   Box 660167, Dallas, TX 75266-


 the U.S. Postal Service (USPS):          0867.


You must include a copy of the receipt


 notice (Form I-797C) showing we


 accepted or approved your Form I-821.


Filing Form I-131 based on a pending or  USCIS, Attn: I-131 TPS, 2501 S


 approved Form I-821, and you are using   State Hwy. 121 Business, Ste.


 FedEx, UPS, or DHL:                      400, Lewisville, TX 75067.


You must include a copy of the receipt


 notice (Form I-797C) showing we


 accepted or approved your Form I-821.


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


 


 


[[Page 46989]]


 


Biometric Services Fee for TPS


 


    Biometrics (such as fingerprints) are required for all applicants


14 years of age and older. Those applicants must submit a biometric


services fee. As previously stated, if you are unable to pay the


biometric services fee, you may request a fee waiver, which you may


submit on Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver. For more information on


the application forms and fees for TPS, please visit the USCIS TPS web


page at uscis.gov/tps. If necessary, you may be required to visit an


Application Support Center to have your biometrics captured. For


additional information on the USCIS biometric screening process, please


see the USCIS Customer Profile Management Service Privacy Impact


Assessment, available at dhs.gov/privacy.


 


General Employment-Related Information for TPS Applicants and Their


Employers


 


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


EAD request?


 


    To get case status information about your TPS application, as well


as the status of your TPS-based EAD request, you can check Case Status


Online at 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 extension of my current EAD


through September 30, 2023, using this Federal Register notice?


 


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


currently have a Syria TPS-based EAD that has the notation A-12 or C-19


under Category and a ``Card Expires'' date of September 30, 2022, March


31, 2021, September 30, 2019, or March 31, 2018, this Federal Register


notice automatically extends your EAD through September 30, 2023.


Although this Federal Register notice automatically extends your EAD


through September 30, 2023, 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.


 


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


identity and employment authorization when completing Form I-9?


 


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


Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, as well as the


Acceptable Documents web page at 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 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 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 states A-12 or C-19 under Category and has a


Card Expires date of September 30, 2022, March 31, 2021, September 30,


2019, or March 31, 2018, 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 September 30, 2023, unless your TPS has been withdrawn


or your request for TPS has been denied. Your country of birth notated


on the EAD does not have to reflect the TPS designated country of Syria


for you to be eligible for this extension.


 


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 it. Once your employer has reviewed the ``Card Expires'' 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 September 30, 2023, but you are not required


to do so. The last day of the automatic EAD extension is September 30,



  1. Before you start work on October 1, 2023, your employer is


required by law to reverify your employment authorization on 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.


 


If I have an EAD based on another immigration status, can I obtain a


new TPS-based EAD?


 


    Yes, if you are eligible for TPS, you can obtain a new TPS-based


EAD, regardless of whether you have an EAD or work authorization based


on another immigration status. If you want to obtain a new TPS-based


EAD valid through March 31, 2024, then you must file Form I-765,


Application for Employment Authorization, and pay the associated fee


(unless USCIS grants your fee waiver request).


 


Can my employer require that I provide any other documentation such as


evidence of my status or proof of my Syrian citizenship or a Form I-


797C showing that I registered for TPS for Form I-9 completion?


 


    No. When completing Form I-9, employers must accept any


documentation you choose to present from 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 need not reverify List B identity documents. Employers may


not request proof of Syrian citizenship or proof of registration for


TPS when completing Form I-9 for new hires or reverifying the


employment authorization of current employees. If


 


[[Page 46990]]


 


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 to relate 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 October 1, 2023:



  1. For Section 1, you should:

  2. Check ``An alien authorized to work until'' and enter September


30, 2023, as the ``expiration date''; and



  1. Enter your 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 30,


2022, March 31, 2021, September 30, 2019, or March 31, 2018;



  1. Write in the document title;

  2. Enter the issuing authority;

  3. Provide the document number; and

  4. Write September 30, 2023, as the expiration date.


    Before the start of work on October 1, 2023, employers must


reverify the employee's employment authorization on 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 on the front of the card and has a ``Card Expires'' date of


September 30, 2022, March 31, 2021, September 30, 2019, or March 31,



  1. The employer may not rely on the country of birth listed on the


card to determine whether you are eligible for this extension.


    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 September 30, 2023, 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


reverify the employee until either the one-year automatic extension has


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


employment authorization, whichever is sooner. By October 1, 2023, when


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


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


Form I-9.


 


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 September 30,


2023, 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 October 1, 2023, you must reverify their


employment authorization on 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. USCIS accepts calls in


English, Spanish and many other languages. Employees or job applicants


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


for information regarding employment discrimination based on


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 Form I-9 differs from records


available to DHS.


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


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


TNC while the case is still pending with E-Verify. A Final


Nonconfirmation (FNC) case result is received when E-Verify cannot


confirm an employee's employment eligibility. An employer may terminate


employment based on a


 


[[Page 46991]]


 


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 justice.gov/ier and the


USCIS and E-Verify websites at uscis.gov/i-9-central and 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.


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 may be used by DHS to determine if you have TPS or another


immigration status. Examples of such documents are:


     Your current EAD with a TPS category code of A12 or C19,


even if your country of birth noted on the EAD does not reflect the TPS


designated country of Syria;


     Your Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record;


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


your Form I-765; or


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


receipt of 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 the 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, regardless of the


country of birth listed on the 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 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 on


or will act on 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. 2022-16508 Filed 7-29-22; 8:45 am]


BILLING CODE 9111-97-P