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Extension/Redesignation of Afghanistan and Cameroon for TPS

DHS announced the extension and redesignation of Afghanistan (announced in September 2023) and Cameroon (announced in October 2023) for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. This is due to the extraordinary and temporary conditions of Afghanistan and Cameroon that prevent individuals from safely returning to these countries.

What is TPS?

TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a designated foreign state. USCIS also grants TPS to eligible individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated foreign state.

During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are eligible to remain in the United States, may not be removed, and may obtain work authorization (EADs) if they continue to meet the TPS’ requirements. TPS beneficiaries may also apply for and obtain travel authorization based on DHS’ discretion.

1. Afghanistan

Extension of Designation of Afghanistan for TPS

The extension of designation of Afghanistan for TPS begins on November 21, 2023, and ends on May 20, 2025. The extension allows existing TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through May 20, 2025. To retain TPS, they must continue to meet the eligibility requirements for TPS.

Existing beneficiaries who wish to extend their status through May 20, 2025, must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period. This re-registration period begins on September 25, 2023, and ends on November 24, 2023. If existing beneficiaries do not re-register properly within the re-registration period, USCIS may withdraw their TPS following appropriate procedures.

Existing beneficiaries who re-register may also apply to renew their EADs. Those who want to obtain EADs must file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and pay the Form I-765 fee. If eligible, those beneficiaries may also request a fee waiver by filing a Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver.

USCIS will issue new EADs with a May 20, 2025, expiration date to eligible TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. For beneficiaries who do not receive a new EAD before their current EAD expires, DHS also automatically extends through November 20, 2024, the validity of certain EADs previously issued under the TPS designation of Afghanistan.

Redesignation of Afghanistan for TPS

In addition to the extension of the existing designation of TPS, DHS also redesignated Afghanistan for TPS for 18 months. The 18-month TPS redesignation of Afghanistan begins on November 21, 2023, and ends on May 20, 2025. Eligible individuals who do not currently have TPS may submit a Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status during the initial registration period.

This redesignation allows additional Afghanistan nationals (and individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Afghanistan) to apply for TPS for the first time if they satisfy the following conditions:

  • Have been continuously residing in the United States since September 20, 2023;
  • Have been continuously physically present in the United States since November 21, 2023; and
  • Meet other eligible criteria.

The initial registration period begins on September 25, 2023, and ends on May 20, 2025. Such individuals may also apply for EADs by submitting a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and paying the Form I-765 fee. If eligible, those beneficiaries may also request a fee waiver by filing a Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver.

Do I Need to File TPS/Work Authorization Application Again If I Already Filed Them under the Original TPS Designation?

DHS states that USCIS will continue to process pending applications filed under the previous TPS designation for Afghanistan. Accordingly, individuals who have a pending Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status or a related Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as of September 25, 2023, do not need to refile either application. If USCIS approves the TPS application, USCIS will grant the individual TPS through May 20, 2025. If USCIS also approves the Form I-765 application, USCIS will issue an EAD valid through May 20, 2025, as well.

DHS states that, under Afghanistan’s existing TPS designation, there are currently approximately 3,100 TPS beneficiaries. DHS estimates that, under the TPS redesignation of Afghanistan, approximately 14,600 individuals may become newly eligible for TPS.

2. Cameroon

Extension of Designation of Cameroon for TPS

The extension of designation of Cameroon for TPS begins on December 8, 2023, and ends on June 7, 2025. The extension allows existing TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through June 7, 2025. To retain TPS, they must continue to meet the eligibility requirements for TPS.

Existing beneficiaries who wish to extend their status through June 7, 2025, must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period. This re-registration period begins on October 10, 2023, and ends on December 11, 2023. If existing beneficiaries do not re-register properly within the re-registration period, USCIS may withdraw their TPS following appropriate procedures.

Existing beneficiaries who re-register may also apply to renew their EADs. Those who want to obtain EADs must file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and pay the Form I-765 fee. If eligible, those beneficiaries may also request a fee waiver by filing a Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver.

USCIS will issue new EADs with a June 7, 2025, expiration date to eligible TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. For beneficiaries who do not receive a new EAD before their current EAD expires, DHS also automatically extends through December 7, 2024, the validity of certain EADs previously issued under the TPS designation of Cameroon.

Redesignation of Cameroon for TPS

In addition to the extension of existing designation of TPS, DHS also redesignated Cameroon for TPS for 18 months. The 18-month TPS redesignation of Cameroon begins on December 8, 2023, and ends on June 7, 2025. Eligible individuals who do not currently have TPS may submit a Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status during the initial registration period.

This redesignation allows additional Cameroon nationals (and individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Cameroon) to apply for TPS for the first time if they satisfy the following conditions:

  • Have been continuously residing in the United States since October 5, 2023;
  • Have been continuously physically present in the United States since December 8, 2023; and
  • Meet other eligible criteria.

The initial registration period begins on October 10, 2023, and ends on June 7, 2025. Such individuals may also apply for EADs by submitting a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and paying the Form I-765 fee. If eligible, those beneficiaries may also request a fee waiver by filing a Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver.

Do I Need to File TPS/Work Authorization Application Again If I Already Filed Them under the Original TPS Designation?

DHS states that USCIS will continue to process pending applications filed under the previous TPS designation for Cameroon. Accordingly, individuals who have a pending Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status or a related Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as of October 10, 2023, do not need to refile either application. If USCIS approves the TPS application, USCIS will grant the individual TPS through June 7, 2025. If USCIS also approves the related Form I-765 application, USCIS will issue an EAD valid through June 7, 2025, as well.

DHS states that, under Cameroon’s existing TPS designation, there are currently approximately 2,090 TPS beneficiaries. DHS estimates that, under the TPS redesignation of Cameroon, approximately 7,900 individuals may become newly eligible for TPS.

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