DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

November 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Citizenship, Families

Due to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has announced his decision to designate Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. As a result, eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Federal Register notices provide details and procedures for applying for TPS and are available at www.uscis.gov/tps.
The TPS designations for the three countries are effective Nov. 21, 2014 and will be in effect for 18 months. The designations mean that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) will not be removed from the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins Nov. 21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015.
To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014 and “continuously physically present in” the United States since Nov. 21, 2014. Applicants also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS. The eligibility requirements are fully described in the Federal Register notices and on the TPS Web page at www.uscis.gov/tps
Liberians currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum may apply for TPS. If they do not apply for TPS within the initial 180-day registration period, they risk being ineligible for TPS because they will have missed the initial registration period. Liberians covered by DED who already possess or have applied for an EAD do not need to also apply for one related to this TPS designation. However, such individuals who are granted TPS may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.
Applicants may request that USCIS waive any or all fees based on demonstrated inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject any TPS application that does not include the required filing fee or a properly documented fee-waiver request.
All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/forms or request them by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.

Temporary Protected Status Extended for Salvadorans

May 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Citizenship

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of El Salvador for an additional 18 months, beginning Sept. 10, 2013, and ending March 9, 2015.

Current Salvadoran beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from May 30, 2013, through July 29, 2013. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins. Applications will not be accepted before May 30, 2013.

The 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new employment authorization document (EAD). Eligible Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries who re-register during the registration period will receive a new EAD with an expiration date of March 9, 2015. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current EADs expire. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS El Salvador EADs bearing a Sept. 9, 2013, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs are now valid through March 9, 2014.

For the complete article, please visit Temporary Protected Status Extended for Salvadorans on the www.uscis.gov website.

Update:

May 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Citizenship, Features

Starting Monday, May 6, 2013, USCIS will implement Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its field offices. Individuals will now be required to submit biometric data, specifically fingerprints and photographs, when appearing at USCIS offices for interviews or to receive evidence of an immigration benefit. CIV will help to both defend against threats to national security and protect customers from identity fraud by enhancing the agency’s ability to verify identity.

USCIS to Implement Customer Identity Verification at Field Offices

April 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Citizenship

On Monday, May 6, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its field offices. Individuals will now be required to submit biometric data, specifically fingerprints and photographs, when appearing at USCIS offices for interviews or to receive evidence of an immigration benefit. CIV will help to both defend against threats to national security and protect customers from identity fraud by enhancing the agency’s ability to verify identity.

Currently, USCIS requires applicants and petitioners requesting immigration or naturalization benefits to visit one of our Application Support Centers (ASCs) to provide biometric data. USCIS uses this data to help determine eligibility for requested benefits. This requirement, along with providing a government-issued document for examination, will not change.

For CIV, an individual appearing at a USCIS field office for an interview or to be issued evidence of an immigration benefit will have his or her identity biometrically re-verified. Examples of evidence include temporary travel documents, parole authorizations, temporary extensions of Form I-90, and temporary I-551 stamps on passports or on Forms I-94 to evidence lawful permanent resident status. Individuals coming to USCIS field offices for other purposes, such as an Infopass appointment or as the guest of an applicant or petitioner, will not submit biometric data.

Under this new process, staff will take two fingerprints and a photograph of the individual and input this information into the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology’s (US-VISIT’s) Secondary Inspections Tool (SIT). SIT is a Web-based application that processes, displays and retrieves biometric and biographic data. US-VISIT also links databases associated with border inspections and security. After identity verification is satisfactorily completed, individuals will proceed to their interviews or be issued their immigration documents.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon

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Temporary Protected Status Extended for Hondurans

April 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Citizenship

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Honduras for an additional 18 months, beginning July 6, 2013, and ending Jan. 5, 2015.

Current Honduran beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from April 3, 2013, through June 3, 2013. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins. Applications will not be accepted before April 3, 2013.

The 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new employment authorization document (EAD). Eligible Honduran TPS beneficiaries who request an EAD and meet the re-registration deadline will receive a new EAD with an expiration date of Jan. 5, 2015. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current EADs expire. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS Honduras EADs that have a July 5, 2013, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs are now valid through Jan. 5, 2014.

To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. TPS re-registrants must also submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, but no application fee is required if the re-registrant does not want an EAD. Re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee, but they must submit the biometric services fee, or a fee waiver request, if they are 14 years or older. All TPS re-registrants applying for an EAD must submit the Form I-765 application fee, or a fee waiver request.

TPS applicants may request that USCIS waive any fees by filing a Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a personal letter requesting these fees be waived. Failure to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee waiver request will result in rejection of the entire TPS application.

Applicants can download TPS forms for free from the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/forms. Applicants can also request free TPS forms by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.

Additional information on TPS for Honduras, including guidance on the application process and eligibility, is available online at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. Further details on this extension of TPS for Honduras, including the application requirements and procedures, will appear in a Federal Register notice scheduled for publication on April 3, 2013.

Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check My Case Status Online, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=382d8aea586bd310VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=68439c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD

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This information provided is not intended to replace the advice of an attorney but is merely provided as a public service. Each immigration case is different. For more information, consult with Thomas Esparza, Jr., Board Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law with more than 32 years of experience.