Redesignation Allows Additional Eligible Syrian Nationals to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization Documents
WASHINGTON – Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today announced the extension and redesignation of Syria for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months, from April 1, 2024, to September 30, 2025, due to ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Syria that prevent individuals from safely returning. The corresponding Federal Register notice provides information about how to register as a new or current beneficiary for TPS under Syria ’s extension and redesignation.
Secretary Mayorkas made the decision to extend and redesignate TPS for this population in consultation with interagency partners and with careful consideration of certain country conditions. The civil war in Syria has involved large-scale destruction of infrastructure, widespread civilian casualties, and human rights abuses and violations. The humanitarian consequences are dire, with mass displacement of civilians, high levels of food insecurity, and limited access to health care and clean water. These effects were compounded by the February 6, 2023 earthquakes, which further destroyed infrastructure, worsened the breakdown of the economy, and intensified demand on an already overburdened health care system.
Accompanying this announcement is a Special Student Relief notice for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Syria so that eligible students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain F-1 status through the TPS designation period.
“We recognize the vulnerable status of Syrian nationals already present in the United States who cannot safely return home,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “We are therefore using the legal tool available to us to provide them with this much-needed humanitarian relief.”
A country may be designated for TPS when conditions in the country fall into one or more of the three statutory bases for designation: ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. Syria’s designation is based on ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions, specifically, he serious threat posed by ongoing hostilities and human rights abuses by Syrian regime forces, terrorist groups and other non-state actors, food insecurity, spread of disease and mass displacement.
The extension of TPS for Syria allows approximately 6,200 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through September 5, 2025 if they continue to meet TPS eligibility requirements. The redesignation of Syria for TPS allows an estimated 2,000 additional Syrian nationals (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) who have been continuously residing in the United States since January 25, 2024, to file initial applications to obtain TPS, if they are otherwise eligible. Syrians who were not residing in the United States as of January 25, 2024, are not eligible for TPS. The initial registration period for new applicants under the redesignation runs from January 29, 2024, through September 30, 2025.
Re-registration is limited to individuals who previously registered for and were granted TPS under Syria’s prior designation. Current Syrian TPS beneficiaries must re-register in a timely manner during the 60-day re-registration period from January 29, 2024, through March 29, 2024, to ensure they keep their TPS and employment authorization.
The Department of Homeland Security recognizes that not all re-registrants may receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before their current EAD expires and is automatically extending through March 31, 2025, the validity of certain EADs previously issued under Syria’s TPS designation.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to process pending applications filed under previous TPS designations for Syria. Individuals with a pending Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, or a related Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as of January 29, 2024, do not need to file either application again. If USCIS approves a pending Form I-821 or Form I-765 filed under the previous designation of TPS for Syria, USCIS will grant the individual TPS through Sept. 30, 2025, and issue an EAD valid through the same date.
Under the redesignation of Syria, eligible individuals who do not have TPS may submit an initial Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, during the initial registration period that runs from February 1, 2024, through Sept. 30, 2025. Applicants also may apply for TPS-related EADs and for travel authorization. Applicants can request an EAD by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with their Form I-821, or separately later.
The Federal Register notice explains eligibility criteria, timelines, and procedures necessary for current beneficiaries to re-register and renew their EAD, and for new applicants to submit an initial application under the redesignation and apply for an EAD.