Washington (Caasimada Online) – United States Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has announced an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalia, from March 18, 2023, through September 17, 2024.
Somalia has also been redesignated for TPS, allowing Somali nationals residing in the US as of January 11, 2023, to apply for TPS if they meet eligibility requirements.
The TPS extension and redesignation for Somalia are the results of ongoing armed conflict and temporary conditions that prevent Somali nationals from safely returning to their home country.
Somalia has been affected by longstanding conflict, natural disasters, disease outbreaks, terrorism, violent crime, civil unrest, and fighting among clan militias, which has exacerbated the already severe humanitarian crisis.
“Through the extension and redesignation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status, the United States will be able to offer safety and protection to Somalis who may not be able to return to their country due to ongoing conflict and the continuing humanitarian crisis,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
“We will continue to offer our support to Somali nationals through this temporary form of humanitarian relief.”
Secretary Mayorkas made the decision to extend and redesignate Somalia for TPS after consulting with interagency partners and carefully considering the ongoing conditions in Somalia. He determined that permitting eligible individuals to remain in the United States under a TPS designation for Somalia was not contrary to the interests of the United States.
The extension of TPS for Somalia allows approximately 430 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through September 17, 2024, if they continue to meet TPS eligibility requirements. These beneficiaries include individuals who were already in the US when TPS was first designated for Somalia in 1991 and those who have entered the US since then.
The redesignation of Somalia for TPS allows an estimated 2,200 additional Somali nationals (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia) who have been continuously residing in the United States since January 11, 2023, to file initial applications to obtain TPS if they are otherwise eligible.
The TPS program provides temporary humanitarian relief to foreign nationals in the US who are unable to return to their home countries due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. TPS beneficiaries are eligible to obtain work authorization and may also be able to apply for a travel document.
A soon-to-be-published Federal Register notice will explain the eligibility criteria, timelines, and procedures necessary for current beneficiaries to re-register and renew Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and for new applicants to submit an initial application under the redesignation and apply for an EAD. The notice will also provide additional information about the documentation required to demonstrate eligibility for TPS.