The Department of Homeland Security is giving Syrian nationals currently present in the United States temporary protected status (TPS) as of March 29, 2012 by application. In a statement by the DHS Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, “[c]onditions in Syria have worsened to the point where Syrian nationals already in the United States would face serious threats to their personal safety if they were to return to their home country.”
Syrians, regardless of legal or illegal immigrant status, may obtain TPS by applying during the open registration period. TPS beneficiaries or those eligible for TPS are granted certain protections for a specific period of time designated by the DHS. TPS prevents removal from the U.S., allows for work authorization, and may grant travel authorization. The initial TPS designation is usually for 18 months.
To be eligible for TPS, a Syrian must prove he or she is a national of Syria, or Syria was the last place of residence, and continuous physical presence in the U.S. since the TPS designation date.
Syrian nationals are subject to full background checks through the TPS application process; however they are encouraged to apply. DHS has not yet begun accepting applications for Syrian TPS; further notice and guidelines for Syrian TPS applications will soon be furnished by the DHS. For more information on TPS for Syria or the TPS application process, please contact us.