Earlier this month, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced his re-designation and 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemen. DHS originally designated Yemen for TPS in September, 2015, on the basis that the ongoing armed conflict occurring within the country posed a threat to persons returning there. In re-designating the country for TPS, Secretary Johnson has recognized that threat to persist. The extension takes effect on March 4, 2017, and will last through September 3, 2018.
To extend TPS coverage, current beneficiaries must re-register during the 60-day period that runs from January 4, 2017, through March 6, 2017. Re-registrants are also able to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) during this period, and the validity of all current TPS Yemen EADs with an expiration date of March 3, 2017, will be extended through September 3, 2018. Yemeni nationals (and persons without nationality who last resided in Yemen) who do not currently have TPS may apply during the 180-day registration period that runs from January 4, 2017, through July 3, 2017.
DHS has also extended TPS for Somalia, thereby allowing eligible Somali nationals (and persons without nationality who last resided in Somalia) to retain an additional 18 months of protected status, so long as they otherwise remain eligible. The extension will take effect on March 18, 2017, and will expire September 17, 2018. Individuals who have already been granted TPS under a previous designation may re-register during the 60-day period which runs from January 17, 2018, through March 20, 2017, and may also apply for a new EAD. Current EADs with an expiration date of March 17, 2017, will now remain valid through September 17, 2017.
Somalia was initially designated for TPS in 1991, on the basis of “extraordinary and temporary conditions” preventing Somali nationals from returning to Somalia safely. In re-designating the country for TPS, DHS stated that though the Somali government “has made some progress,” instability and armed conflict persist such that the conditions for TPS continue to be met. This instance marks the tenth time that Somalia has been re-designated for TPS.