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News Release Template Image

September 12, 2001

INS Extends and Re-designates Temporary Protected Status
For Nationals of Somalia

WASHINGTON – The Immigration and Naturalization Service announced today the extension and re-designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Somalia for an additional year.  The extension of TPS is effective September 17, 2001, and will remain in effect until September 17, 2002.  The re-designation of TPS is effective immediately and will be in effect until September 17, 2002.

To maintain TPS and work authorization, nationals of Somalia who are currently registered under the TPS program must re-register during the 90-day period from September 4, 2001, until December 3, 2001. 

Under the re-designation, TPS eligibility includes nationals of Somalia (and aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia) who either failed to register during the initial designation period or arrived in the United States after the September 16, 1991, effective date of the initial designation.  That is, the re-designation of Somalia expands TPS eligibility to include those who, among other requirements, have been “continuously physically present in the United States” and who have “continuously resided in the United States” since September 4, 2001.  

Applicants for extension and re-designation can begin applying immediately.  The extension of TPS will affect approximately 323 nationals of Somalia while the re-designation will affect approximately 7,000 nationals.

Section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes the Attorney General to grant TPS to aliens in the United States who are nationals of countries that are subject to armed conflict, environmental disaster or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.  In the case of Somalia, there is an ongoing armed conflict and, due to such conflict, requiring nationals of Somalia to return home would pose a serious threat to their personal safety.

To re-register for the extension, a TPS applicant must submit Form I-821 and Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization), as well as two identification photographs to the local INS district office.  Both forms must be submitted for re-registration.  If the applicant is only seeking to re-register for TPS and not seeking employment authorization, there is no filing fee.  However, all applicants seeking an extension of employment authorization until September 17, 2002 must submit a $100 filing fee with Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization). 

The applicant may request a fee waiver in accordance with the regulations.  Applicants for an extension of TPS benefits do not need to submit new fingerprints and therefore do not need to submit a $25 fee.  Children who are beneficiaries of TPS and who have reached the age of 14, but who were not previously fingerprinted, must pay the $25 fingerprint fee with their application for extension.  The forms are available from the toll-free INS Forms line, 1-800-870-3676, or from the INS Web site,

Under the re-designation, first-time applicants must pay a fee of $50 with Form I-821 and $100 with Form I-765, unless the applicant does not want authorization to work in the United States in which case the applicant should not submit the $100 fee, but still must submit the Form I-765.  Every applicant who is 14 years or older must submit a $25 fingerprinting fee.  Additionally, applicants must include evidence of identity, nationality and residence in the United States, as well as two identification photographs. 

TPS registrants who need to travel outside the United States during the coming year must receive “Advance Parole” from their local INS office prior to departing the United States.  Failure to do so may jeopardize their ability to return to the United States.  Advance parole allows an individual to travel abroad and return to the United States and is issued on a case-by-case basis.  Individuals who are granted TPS may apply for advance parole by filing Form I-131 at their local INS district office.  If you are living illegally in the United States, the mere filing of a visa petition or application for a labor certification has no effect on your current immigration status or unlawful presence in the United States.  If you leave the United States, you will have no authorization to re-enter the country. 

If you have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence, you should not travel abroad because of a mandatory bar from admission to the United States for either three years or 10 years, even if you were granted advance parole. 

An application for TPS does not preclude or adversely affect an application for asylum or any other immigration benefit.

- INS -