On September 21, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice in the Federal Register (FR) extending the designation of South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a period of 18 months [see 82 FR 44205]. The extension will be effective from November 3, 2017 to May 2, 2019. In this article, we will examine in detail the FR notice on re-registering for South Sudan TPS.
In order to re-register for South Sudan TPS or make a late initial registration for South Sudan TPS, an applicant must file during the 60-day re-registration period. The period began on September 21, 2017 and runs through November 20, 2017. The DHS explains that it is important for re-registrants for South Sudan TPS to re-register during this 60-day window. South Sudan TPS beneficiaries are encouraged to re-register as soon as possible.
Whether an individual is re-registering for South Sudan TPS or making a late initial registration, the applicant must file the Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Re-registrants do not need to pay the filing fee for the Form I-821. However, those making a late initial filing for South Sudan TPS must either pay the filing fee for the Form I-821 or request a fee waiver.
Both late initial filers and re-registrants must file the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with their Form I-765. If the applicant does not want a TPS-related Employment Authorization Document (EAD), he or she does not need to pay the filing fee for the Form I-765. If the applicant is requesting a TPS-related EAD, he or she must either pay the filing fee or request a fee waiver. It is important to remember that, regardless of whether the applicant is requesting a TPS-related EAD, he or she must still file the Form I-765. Late initial filers for South Sudan TPS who are under the age of 14 or over the age 66 do not need to pay the filing fee with the Form I-765 in order to request an EAD. However, this age-based exemption does not apply for re-registrants seeking an EAD.
Finally, all applicants who are over the age of 14 must either pay the biometric services fee or request a fee waiver.
To learn about the rules for eligibility for a fee waiver and the application process, please see our full article on the subject [see article]. Those who intend to apply for fee waivers are encouraged to file as soon as possible so that, if the fee waiver is denied, the applicant will have time to re-file with the requisite fee prior to the November 20 deadline. However, in some cases, the USCIS will permit an applicant in this situation to re-file shortly after the deadline provided that he or she establishes good cause for the late filing. In general, the DHS encourages applicants to file within 45 days from the date of the fee waiver denial notice.
The DHS will automatically extend the expiring EADs of South Sudan TPS re-registrants who properly request new EADs for 180 days, which runs through May 1, 2018. Previously issued TPS-related EADs for South Sudan TPS expire on November 2, 2017. The DHS encourages re-registrants who are applying for new TPS-related EADs to file as soon as possible in order to avoid any temporary lapses in employment authorization. South Sudan TPS re-registrants may use the Form I-797C, Notice of Action, to establish eligibility for employment authorization through May 1, 2018. In addition to presenting an employer with a copy of the TPS-related EAD that expired on November 2, 2017, and the Form I-797, South Sudan TPS re-registrants may also provide the employer with a copy of the Federal Register notice explaining the automatic extension.
South Sudan TPS beneficiaries should ensure that they re-register for TPS in advance of the deadline. An experienced immigration attorney may provide assistance with TPS applications and TPS-related issues. A TPS beneficiary may also wish to consult with an attorney to learn if he or she has any avenues available for procuring a permanent immigration status in the United States. Please see the TPS category on our website to learn about more issues involving TPS [see category].