The Department of Homeland Security recently announced a re-designation and a new designation to the list of nationals eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) — Somalia and Syria, respectively. The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. In the instant cases, TPS was granted due to the ongoing armed conflict.
From an employment perspective this means that if a Somali or Syrian national residing in the United States qualifies for TPS they may be granted work authorization. In some instances, TPS beneficiaries may continue to work despite having an expired work permit as long as the Federal Register announcement allows for an automatic extension of time with respect to their work permit. In all instances, in order to qualify for TPS individuals must apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).