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[Federal Register: May 23, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 100)]
[Notices]               
[Page 33356-33357]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr23my00-102]                         


[[Page 33356]]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

[INS No. 2066-00; AG Order No. 2305-2000]
RIN 1115-AE26

 
Termination of the Province of Kosovo in the Republic of Serbia 
in the State of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia-Montenegro) 
Under the Temporary Protected Status Program

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Attorney General's designation of the Province of Kosovo 
in the Republic of Serbia in the State of the Federal Republic of 
Yugoslavia (Serbia-Montenegro) (the ``Kosovo Province'') under the 
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program expires on June 8, 2000. After 
reviewing county conditions and consulting with the appropriate 
Government agencies, the Attorney General has determined that 
conditions in the Kosovo Province no longer qualify for TPS 
designation. However, because this determination was not made at least 
60 days before the expiration date, the designation of the Kosovo 
Province for TPS is automatically extended for a period of 6 months, 
until December 8, 2000. The termination of the TPS designation of the 
Kosovo Province will therefore take effect on December 8, 2000. After 
that date, aliens who are nationals of the Kosovo Province (and aliens 
having no nationality who last habitually resided in the Kosovo 
Province) who have had TPS under the Kosovo Province designation will 
no longer possess such status. This notice contains information 
regarding the 6-month extension and subsequent termination of the TPS 
designation for the Kosovo Province.

DATES: The termination of the TPS designation for the Kosovo Province 
is extended until December 8, 2000. On December 8, 2000, the TPS 
designation for the Kosovo Province will be terminated.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Valverde, Adjudications 
Officer, Office of Adjudications, Residence and Status Branch, 
Immigration and Naturalization Service, Room 3040, 425 I Street, NW., 
Washington, DC 20536, telephone (202) 514-4754.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:  

What Is the Statutory Authority for the Designation and Termination 
of TPS?

    Under section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act), 8 
U.S.C. 1254a, the Attorney General is authorized to designate a foreign 
state (or past of a state) for TPS. The Attorney General may then grant 
TPS to eligible nationals of that foreign state (or aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in that state). Section 
244(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires the Attorney General to review, at 
least 60 days before the end of the period of TPS designation, the 
conditions in a foreign state designated under section 244(b)(1) of the 
Act. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A).
    Section 244(b)(3) of the Act further requires the Attorney General 
to determine whether the conditions for such a designation continue to 
be met and to terminate the state's designation when the Attorney 
General determines the conditions are no longer met. 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(3)(B). The Attorney General must then publish a notice of 
termination in the Federal Register. If the Attorney General fails to 
make the determination required by section 244(b)(3)(A) of the Act at 
least 60 days before the end of the period of designation, then the 
designation is automatically extended for an additional period of 6 
months. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).

Why Did the Attorney General Decide To Terminate TPS for the Kosovo 
Province?

    On June 8, 1999, the Attorney General published a notice 
redesignating the Kosovo Province for TPS for a period of 1 year, based 
upon conditions in the Kosovo Province at that time. 64 FR 30542 (June 
8, 1999). That TPS designation is scheduled to expire on June 8, 2000.
    Based upon a more recent review of conditions within the Kosovo 
Province by the Departments of Justice and State, the Attorney General 
finds that conditions in the Kosovo Province no longer support a TPS 
designation. A Department of State memorandum concerning the Kosovo 
Province states that ``[a]lthough conditions remain difficult with 
bursts of ethnically-motivated violence, the situation in Kosovo cannot 
now be classified as 'ongoing internal conflict.' Outright fighting 
ended in June 1999 with the withdrawal of the Yugoslav army.'' The 
memorandum also states that ``[t]he United Nations High Commissioner 
for Refugees has determined that Kosovar Albanians, who constitute the 
majority of the Kosovo population, can now return to Kosovo in safety 
to all areas of Kosovo except the Serb-dominated Mitrovica and certain 
areas in Eastern Kosovo. In addition, the vast majority of those who 
fled Kosovo during the conflict returned during the summer and fall of 
1999, shortly after the end of the international military presence 
(KFOR).''
    Based on these findings, the Attorney General has decided to 
terminate the designation of the Kosovo Province for TPS. However, 
because the Attorney General did not make this determination at least 
60 days before the end of the current designation, the designation is 
automatically extended pursuant to section 244(b)(3)(A) of the Act for 
an additional 6 months. The termination will therefore take effect at 
the end of the 6-month extension.

If I Currently Have TPS, How Do I Register for the 6-Month 
Extension?

    Persons previously granted TPS under the Kosovo Province program 
may apply for the 6-month extension by filing the Form I-821, 
Application for Temporary Protected Status, without the fee, during the 
re-registration period that begins May 23, 2000 and ends June 22, 2000. 
Additionally, those applying must file the Form I-765, Application for 
Employment Authorization. See the chart below to determine whether or 
not you must submit the $100 filing fee with the Form I-765.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   If                                  Then
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying for employment          You must complete and file the
 authorization through December 8, 2000.  Form I-765, Application for
                                          Employment Authorization, with
                                          the $100 fee.
You already have employment              You must complete and file the
 authorization or do not require          Form I-765 with no fee.
 employment authorization.
You are applying for employment          You must complete and file the
 authorization and are requesting a fee   Form I-765 and a fee waiver
 waiver.                                  request and requisite
                                          affidavit (and any other
                                          information) in accordance
                                          with 8 CFR 244.20.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 33357]]

    To re-register for TPS, you must also include two identification 
photographs (1\1/2\" x 1\1/2\").

Is Late Initial Registration Possible?

    Yes, in addition to timely re-registration, late initial 
registration is possible for some persons from the Kosovo Province 
under 8 CFR 244.2(f)(2).

What Are the Requirements for Late Initial Registration?

    To apply for late initial registration an applicant must:
     Be a national of the Kosovo Province (or a person who has 
no nationality and who last habitually resided in the Kosovo Province);
     Have been continuously physically present in the United 
States since June 8, 1999;
     Have continuously resided in the United States since June 
8, 1999; and
     Be admissible as an immigrant, except as otherwise 
provided under section 244(c)(2)(A) of the Act.
     Additionally, the applicant for late initial registration 
must be able to demonstrate that, during the initial registration 
period, he or she:
     Was a nonimmigrant, or was granted voluntary departure or 
any relief from removal;
     Had an application for change of status, adjustment of 
status, or any relief from removal pending or subject to further 
review; or
     Was a parolee or had a pending request for reparole; or
     That the applicant is currently the spouse or child of an 
alien currently eligible to be a TPS registrant.
    An applicant for late initial registration must register no later 
than 60 days from the expiration or termination of the qualifying 
condition. 8 CFR 244.2(g).

Where Should I File for an Extension of TPS?

    You may register for the extension of TPS by submitting an 
application and accompanying materials to the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service's local office that has jurisdiction over your 
place of residence.

When Can I File for an Extension of TPS?

    The 30-day re-registration period begins May 23, 2000, and will 
remain in effect until June 22, 2000.

What Can I Do If I Feel That My Return to the Kosovo Province Is 
Unsafe?

    There may be other avenues of immigration relief available to 
aliens who are nationals of the Kosovo Province (and aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in the Kosovo Province) in the 
United States who believe that their particular circumstances make 
return to the Kosovo Province unsafe. Such avenues may include, but are 
not limited to, asylum or withholding of removal.

How Does the Termination of TPS Affect Former TPS Beneficiaries?

    After the designation of the Kosovo Province for TPS is terminated 
on December 8, 2000, those aliens who are nationals of the Kosovo 
Province (and aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided 
in the Kosovo Province) will revert back to the immigration status they 
had prior to TPS, unless they have been granted another immigration 
status. The stay of removal and eligibility for employment 
authorization due to the designation of the Kosovo Province under the 
TPS program will no longer be available. However, the termination of 
the TPS designation for the Kosovo Province will not affect any pending 
applications for other forms of immigration relief.
    Those persons who received TPS under the Kosovo Province 
designation may being accruing periods of unlawful presence as of 
December 8, 2000, if they have not been granted any other immigration 
benefit or have no application for such a benefit pending. Aliens who 
accrue certain periods of unlawful presence in the United States may be 
barred from admission to the United States under section 
212(a)(9)(B)(i) of the Act. See 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(i).

Notice of 6-Month Extension and Termination of Designation of 
Kosovo Province Under the TPS Program

    By the authority vested in me as Attorney General under section 
244(b)(3) of the Act, I have consulted with the appropriate agencies of 
Government concerning conflict and security conditions in the Kosovo 
Province. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3). Based on these consultations, I have 
determined that the Kosovo Province no longer meets the conditions for 
designation of TPS under section 244(b)(1) of the Act. See 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(1).
    Since June 10, 1999, when Serb forces withdrew from northern Kosovo 
and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suspended its airstrikes, 
the Kosovo Province has been relatively peaceful, with the exception of 
occasional isolated outbreaks of violence. An international police 
force has assumed law enforcement duties and began recruiting Kosovars 
for local police forces.
    I also understand that, although the Kosovo Province is still 
rebuilding from the war, the return of persons to the Kosovo Province 
would not result in a danger to their personal safety. The United 
Nations (UN) is planning to phase out its relief efforts and begin 
concentrating on rebuilding housing by mid-year. The UN also plans to 
end its emergency shelter program. Since summer 1999, nearly 90 percent 
of the over 850,000 ethnic Albanians who fled the Kosovo Province have 
returned, including over 3,000 from the United States. In view of the 
recommendations of the Departments of Justice and State for 
termination, I terminate the designation of the Kosovo Province under 
the TPS program. However, because I did not make this determination at 
least 60 days before the expiration of the designation, the designation 
is automatically extended for 6 months, until December 8, 2000.
    Accordingly, I order as follows:
    (1) The designation of the Kosovo Province for TPS under section 
244(b)(1) of the Act is terminated effective December 8, 2000.
    (2) I estimate that there are no more than 1,000 nationals of the 
Kosovo Province (and aliens having no nationality who last habitually 
resided in the Kosovo Province) who have been previously granted TPS.
    (3) Information concerning the termination of the TPS program for 
nationals of the Kosovo Province (and aliens having no nationality who 
last habitually resided in the Kosovo Province) will be available at 
local Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) offices upon 
publication of this notice or at the INS website, http://
www.ins.usdoj.gov.

    Dated: May 16, 2000.
Janet Reno,
Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 00-12856 Filed 5-22-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-M



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