USCIS Issues Reminder About May 21 Termination of TPS Designations For Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone

On April 19, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a news alert titled “USCIS Reminds Beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone of May 21 Termination” [link].

TPS beneficiary

Termination of Designations of TPS for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone on May 21, 2017

On May 21, 2017, designations of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will terminate.

On September 22, 2016, the USCIS provided a notice of the impending termination of the designations of TPS for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone [link]. At that time, the USCIS encouraged TPS beneficiaries from the affected countries who did not have any other legal status in the United States to either seek a different legal immigration status or to prepare for departure from the United States on May 21, 2017.

TPS benefits for individuals from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will no longer be in effect starting on May 21, 2017. TPS-beneficiaries from these three countries who hold another lawful immigration status, which they have maintained or acquired while on TPS, may continue to hold such status upon the termination of TPS. However, TPS beneficiaries from the three countries who hold no other lawful immigration status will no longer be protected from removal or eligible for employment authorization based on TPS beginning on May 21, 2017.

TPS-related Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) issued under the Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone designations will expire on May 20, 2017. They will not be eligible for renewal or extension.

Why the Countries Will No Longer be Designated for TPS

The TPS designations for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were based in large part on the widespread transmission of the Ebola virus. The then-Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, determined that the conditions in these three countries would no longer supported their designations for TPS.

Conclusion

TPS beneficiaries from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will be able to maintain any currently held other lawful immigration statuses when their TPS expires. However, current TPS-beneficiaries from these countries with no other lawful status will not be able to remain legally in the United States, and should already be making plans to depart.

A TPS beneficiary from Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone with questions about his or her immigration situation or who is in the process of seeking a different immigration status should consult with an experienced immigration attorney immediately.

Please see our full selection of TPS articles to learn about a variety of issues related to TPS [see category].