USCIS Extends TPS for the Sudan and Designates TPS for South Sudan

On October 13, 2011 the Department of Homeland Security published notice that it is extending Temporary Protected Status for the Sudan from November 2, 2011 through May 2, 2013, and that it is separately designating TPS for the newly formed nation of South Sudan. Affected and eligible TPS Sudanese nationals can extend TPS status and automatically extend employment authorization. Affected and eligible nationals of the Republic of South Sudan can continue TPS status and also continue employment authorization.

As background, the United States grants a safe haven or TPS to nationals of a country that has experienced temporary conditions that prevents a safe return of its nationals from the United States arising out of an ongoing armed conflict, or a national disaster such as an earthquake, or for other extraordinary reasons. Affected nationals must have been in the United States by a date certain before the date of DHS designation. Benefits are not automatic and affected nationals must apply to USCIS both for TPS and for employment authorization based upon TPS. TPS grants are for a discretionary period of 6, 12, or 18 months and can be renewed without limitation provided the basis for the designation continues.

The Attorney General first designated the Sudan for TPS on November 4, 1997. Since then, TPS has been extended 12 times. DHS advises that it is extending TPS again for the Sudan because the armed conflict there continues and extraordinary conditions persist. The re-registration periods for current Sudanese TPS beneficiaries starts on October 13, 2011 and ends 180 days later on April 10, 2012. Sudanese nationals must establish continuous residence in the United States since October 7, 2004.

The Republic of South Sudan gained independence from the Sudan on July 9, 2011, creating a dilemma for some Sudanese TPS beneficiaries and for the United States. Because DHS was concerned that some Sudanese may now be citizens of South Sudan and may no longer be covered by the ongoing Sudan TPS designation, it designated South Sudan for TPS benefits. TPS for South Sudan began on October 13, 2011 and will remain in effect until May 2, 2013. The registration period begins on October 13, 2011 and ends 180 days later on April 10, 2012. South Sudanese nationals must establish continuous residence in the United States since October 7, 2004.

Persons granted TPS are permitted to remain in the United States for the TPS grant period, to obtain employment authorization while here, and are eligible to apply for travel permission. Presently, the DHS has TPS in effect for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan and now South Sudan.

Stewart Rabinowitz is President of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. Mr. Rabinowitz is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. To contact a Dallas immigration lawyer or Dallas immigration attorney visit http://www.rabinowitzrabinowitz.com.