On July 19, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through March 17, 2020 for Somalis whose current TPS will expire on September 17, 2018.
The reregistration period for eligible Somalis runs from August 27 to October 26, 2018. Their work permits are automatically extended through March 17, 2019. Employers must accept a copy of eligible Somalis’ current work permits plus a copy of the Federal Register notice to update their I-9 forms during the USCIS adjudication process.
TPS is offered to citizens of countries that the U.S. deems unsafe due to natural disasters or wars and civil conflict, so that those already in the U.S. when the Administration designates their country for TPS can apply to remain and work here legally. It is typically offered in 18 month increments, and has often been extended repeatedly. For example, Somalia has been designated for TPS since 1991.
The Administration’s willingness to renew Somali TPS stands in contrast to its decisions over the past year to end TPS for individuals from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. While the Administration estimates that about 500 current Somali TPS beneficiaries will be able to extend their TPS, over 300,000 citizens of the countries named above will lose legal status and the ability to work and contribute to our communities and our economy when their current TPS ends, as MeBIC has noted previously.