Mark A Ivener, A Law Corporation

USCIS Designates South Sudan for TPS, Extends Sudan Designation

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated the Republic of South Sudan for temporary protected status (TPS) for 18 months, effective November 3, 2011, through May 2, 2013. The 180-day registration period for eligible individuals to submit initial TPS applications began on October 13, 2011, and will remain in effect until April 10, 2012.

This designation allows eligible South Sudan nationals (and those having no nationality who last habitually resided in the region that is now South Sudan) who have continuously resided in the United States since October 7, 2004, to obtain TPS. In addition to demonstrating continuous residence in the United States since October 7, 2004, applicants must demonstrate that they have been continuously physically present in the United States since November 3, 2011.

DHS said this designation is unique because on July 9, 2011, South Sudan became a new nation and independent from the Republic of Sudan, which has been designated for TPS since 1997. Some individuals who are TPS beneficiaries under the current designation of Sudan may now be nationals of South Sudan, calling into question their continued eligibility for TPS under the Sudan designation. These individuals may, however, now qualify for TPS under the South Sudan designation. The 18-month designation of South Sudan coincides with the 18-month extension period of TPS for Sudan, which was also announced on October 13, 2011.

DHS said it recognizes that individuals who have employment authorization documents (EADs) under Sudan TPS that expire on November 2, 2011, may not receive new EADs under South Sudan TPS until after their current EADs expire. Accordingly, the validity of EADs issued under the TPS designation of Sudan has been automatically extended for six months, through May 2, 2012. This automatic extension includes individuals who are now applying for TPS under the designation of South Sudan but were granted TPS and were issued an EAD under the Sudan designation.

The notice designating the Republic of South Sudan is available as PDF. The notice announcing the extension of the designation of Sudan for TPS and automatic extension of EADs for Sudanese TPS beneficiaries is available as PDF.

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Mark A. Ivener, A Law Corporation, a nationally recognized law firm, has successfully assisted hundreds of clients in immigration matters.