Wednesday, May 20, 2015, is the deadline for eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) to register for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The TPS designation runs from Nov. 21, 2014, through May 21, 2016.
To be eligible for TPS, you must demonstrate that you meet all eligibility criteria, including that you have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014, and “continuously physically present in” the United States since Nov. 21, 2014. You must also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS.
Additionally, you may apply for TPS even if you are a Liberian national currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum. If you are a DED-covered Liberian national and your have an EAD or have applied for an EAD, you do not need to apply for another EAD related to this TPS designation. However, if you are granted TPS, you may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.
To register, you must submit:
1. Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status.
2. The biometrics services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if you are 14 years old or older.
3. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether you want an EAD.
The Form I-765 application fee or a fee-waiver request, but only if you want an EAD. If you do not want an EAD, no application fee is required. There is no I-765 fee for initial applicants under the age of 14, or 66 and over; these applicants may receive their initial EAD cards for free.
Fees and Fee Waivers
If you cannot pay the fee, you may request that we waive the Form I-765 application fee or biometrics fee. However, you must file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or submit a written request. You must also send in supporting documentation with your fee-waiver request. We will reject your TPS application if you do not submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver request.
Additional information about TPS for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone —including guidance on eligibility, the application process and where to file—is available at uscis.gov/tps.
This Web alert is also available in French.
See here for a link to the forms mentioned in this post.
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.