Welcome back to Visalawyerblog! We hope you had a wonderful fourth of July weekend with your family and loved ones.
In this blog post, we share with you some exciting news for Yemeni nationals receiving benefits under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. The Biden administration has made the decision to extend Temporary Protected Status for Yemeni nationals currently receiving protections under the program until March 3, 2023. In addition, the re-designation means that certain eligible Yemeni nationals will be able to apply for TPS protections for the first time.
The main benefit of applying for this program is that those who are approved for Temporary Protected Status can remain in the country on a lawful basis, will receive protection against deportation (deferred status), and are eligible to apply for employment authorization and travel permission by filing, Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-131 Application for Travel Document, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
How did this all happen?
Extension of Designation of Yemen for TPS
On January 6, 2021, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, announced an 18-month extension and redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the country of Yemen. This extension and re-designation will be in effect from September 4, 2021, through March 3, 2023 (an 18-month period)
Secretary Mayorkas made this decision after consulting with government officials and taking into consideration the ongoing armed conflict in Yemen, lack of access to food, water, and healthcare, the large-scale destruction of Yemen’s infrastructure, population displacement, the ongoing cholera outbreak since 2016, and the worsening COVID-19 situation in the country.
Mayorkas found that these circumstances ultimately prevented Yemeni nationals from safely returning to their home country stating, “Yemen continues to experience worsening humanitarian and economic conditions that prevent individuals from safely returning to their homes. Therefore, I have decided to extend and re-designate Yemen for Temporary Protected Status. We will continue to protect and offer these individuals a place of residency temporarily in the United States.”
Currently, there are an estimated 1,700 beneficiaries receiving TPS benefits under Yemen’s designation. The program’s extension will mean that these beneficiaries can re-register for benefits and retain TPS status through March 3, 2023, so long as they can demonstrate that they continue to meet the TPS eligibility requirements.
Re-registration Period July 9, 2021 to September 7, 2021
Current beneficiaries re-registering under the extension of TPS for Yemen must re-register in a timely manner during the 60-day registration period that runs from Friday, July 9, 2021, through Tuesday, September 7, 2021, to ensure they keep their TPS and work authorization without a gap.
Employment Authorization Documents
USCIS will issue new Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) with a March 3, 2023, expiration date to eligible beneficiaries under Yemen’s TPS designation who timely re-register and apply for EADs under this redesignation.
Given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, DHS recognizes that not all re-registrants may receive new EADs before their current EADs expire on September 3, 2021.
Accordingly, as stated in the Federal Register Notice, DHS automatically extends the validity of EADs previously issued under the TPS designation of Yemen for 180 days, through March 2, 2022.
Therefore, TPS beneficiaries can show their EADs with: (1) a September 3, 2021 expiration date on the face of the card and (2) an A–12 or C–19 category code as proof of continued employment authorization through March 2, 2022.
The Federal Register Notice further 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.
First time TPS applicants
Under the re-designation of Yemen, 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 July 9, 2021, through the full length of the re-designation period ending March 3, 2023. Applicants are also eligible to apply for TPS-related Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and for travel authorization by filing Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization and Form I-131 Application for Travel Document with USCIS.
To be eligible for first-time TPS, you must demonstrate that you are a Yemeni national (or that last habitually resided in Yemen) who has been continuously residing in the United States since July 5, 2021, and has been continuously physically present in the United States since September 4, 2021.
The DHS Office of Immigration Statistics estimates that approximately 480 individuals may become newly eligible for TPS under the redesignation of Yemen.
To review the complete eligibility requirements, forms, and supporting documentation required with the filing of Form I-821, please click here.
Where Can I find More Information?
Tomorrow, Friday June 9, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security will release an official publication in the Federal Register outlining the application procedures and eligibility for Yemeni nationals seeking an extension of their TPS benefits, as well as those wishing to apply for TPS benefits for the first time. An unpublished version is now available in the Federal Register. The general eligibility requirements are set forth below for your convenience.
Under the redesignation, individuals who do not have TPS may submit an initial application during the initial registration period that runs from July 9, 2021 and runs through the full length of the redesignation period ending March 3, 2023. In addition to demonstrating continuous residence in the United States since July 5, 2021 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 September 4, 2021, the effective date of this redesignation of Yemen, before USCIS may grant them TPS.