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DHS Extends Temporary Protected Status and Employment Benefits for Syrians

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it has extended and re-designated Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and extended employment benefits to Syrian nationals in the United States on F-1 Student Visas.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano originally designated Syria for TPS protection on March 29, 2012. At that time, Syrian nationals who were in the U.S. with or without lawful status could apply for TPS protection if they met certain other criteria including having little or no criminal record.

TPS is a benefit afforded to citizens and nationals of certain countries when their home country is suffering from an on-going armed conflict, environmental disaster or other extraordinary and temporary disaster.

In the past 20 years, the U.S. Government has provided TPS protection to many countries, including Haiti (earthquake), El Salvador, Nicaragua & Honduras (hurricanes), Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone (ebola), Sudan and South Sudan (civil war).

With this extension and re-designation of TPS for Syria, Syrian citizens and nationals who did not previously qualify for TPS because they entered the U.S. after 2012 may now qualify for TPS. If you are Syrian and have been in the United States since at least January 5, 2015 and have little or no criminal record, you may qualify for a work permit and protection against deportation.

In addition to the TPS benefit, the DHS has expanded employment authorization for Syrians in the U.S. on F-1 Student Visas. Normally, a non-U.S. citizen who is an F-1 student has very limited opportunity to work legally in the U.S. and not during their first year on the student visa. This expansion of Syrian students’ ability to work is an added benefit to help Syrians economically effected by the civil war in Syria.

The experienced immigration attorneys at Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon can help you apply for TPS or work authorization if you are a Syrian citizen or national. If you have any questions about TPS or any other immigration issue, call us today.