Temporary Protected Status extended for Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone; will end in May

23 Sep 16

UNITED STATES

The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that it will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone through May 20, 2017. The agency said TPS benefits for nationals of these countries will come to an end May 21, 2017.

Key points:

  • TPS beneficiaries will automatically retain their TPS and will not have to file a new application or pay a fee. They will have their current Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) extended through May 20, 2017.
  • DHS said it is extending TPS to “provide for an orderly transition,” but that the “widespread transmission of Ebola virus in the three countries that led to the designations has ended.”
  • Nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will retain any other immigration status they hold at the time TPS expires next spring.

Background: TPS designation is made in temporary and extraordinary circumstances and enables eligible nationals who have been continually present in the U.S. to obtain an EAD and avoid deportation. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone were originally designated for TPS in November 2014 at the height of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. DHS extended TPS for nationals of the three countries in March 2016, saying the countries continued to experience the effects of Ebola. DHS said Thursday that the situation has improved and urged “individuals who do not have another immigration status to use the time before the terminations become effective in May to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States or to apply for other immigration benefits for which they may be eligible.”

BAL Analysis: Employers should be aware of the automatic extension of EADs for nationals of the three countries for purposes of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact BerryApplemanLeiden@balglobal.com. Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP.

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