Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Secretary Mayorkas Extends and Redesignates Temporary Protected Status for South Sudan

Redesignation Allows Additional Eligible South Sudanese Nationals to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization Documents

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today announced the extension and redesignation of South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months, from November 4, 2023, through May 3, 2025, due to ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in South Sudan that prevent individuals from safely returning. The corresponding Federal Register notice provides information about how to register as a new or current beneficiary for TPS under South Sudan's extension and redesignation. Accompanying this announcement is a Special Student Relief notice for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is South Sudan so the students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain F-1 status through the TPS designation period.

After consultation with interagency partners, Secretary Mayorkas determined that an 18-month TPS extension and redesignation is warranted because conditions that support South Sudan's TPS designation are ongoing. This designation is based on violence and human rights abuses affecting civilians, as well as environmental, health, and food security concerns.

"Through the extension and redesignation of South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status, the United States will continue to offer safety and protection to South Sudanese nationals who may not be able to return to their country due to the ongoing armed conflict and humanitarian crisis," said Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. "We will continue to offer our support to South Sudanese nationals through this temporary form of humanitarian relief."

The extension of TPS for South Sudan allows approximately 133 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through May 3, 2025, if they continue to meet TPS eligibility requirements. The redesignation of South Sudan for TPS allows an estimated 140 additional South Sudanese nationals (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan) who have been continuously residing in the United States since September 4, 2023 and continuously physically present in the United States since November 4, 2023, to file initial applications to obtain TPS, if they are otherwise eligible.

Re-registration is limited to individuals who previously registered for and were granted TPS under South Sudan's prior designation. Current beneficiaries under TPS for South Sudan must re-register in a timely manner during the 60-day re-registration period from September 5, 2023 through November 4, 2023, to ensure they keep their TPS and employment authorization.

DHS recognizes that not all re-registrants may receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before their current EAD expires and is automatically extending through November 3, 2024, the validity of EADs previously issued under South Sudan's TPS designation. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to process pending applications filed under previous TPS designations for South Sudan. Individuals with a pending Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, or a related Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as of September 5, 2023 do not need to file either application again. If USCIS approves a pending Form I-821 or Form I-765 filed under the previous designation of TPS for South Sudan, USCIS will grant the individual TPS through May 3, 2025, and issue an EAD valid through the same date.

Under the redesignation of South Sudan, 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 September 5, 2023 through May 3, 2025. Applicants also may apply for TPS-related EADs and for travel authorization. Applicants can request an EAD by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with their Form I-821, or separately later.

The Federal Register notice explains eligibility criteria, timelines, and procedures necessary for current beneficiaries to re-register and renew EADs, and for new applicants to submit an initial application under the redesignation and apply for an EAD.

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