The Department of Homeland Security has announced that current Somalia Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries will have until October 26, 2018 to re-register in order to maintain status through the program’s extended date of March 17, 2020. Employment authorization documents that will expire on September 17, 2018 will be automatically extended through to March 16, 2019. TPS is granted to certain groups of people in the wake of natural disasters, wars, outbreaks of disease, and other catastrophes that would make it difficult for them to return safely to their home countries. Government officials periodically review the program to decide whether to extend it, and most groups have received regular extensions in the past.

This means the 500 or so Somalian nationals who came to the United States under TPS when President Obama designated the country for protection to escape terrorism in 2012 can legally stay and work in the country for another 18 months. To be eligible for an extension of TPS under Somalia’s current designation, individuals must have continuously resided in the United States since May 1, 2012 and been continuously physically present in the United States since September 18, 2012, among other requirements.

In an acknowledgement that Somalia continues to be rattled by conflict, this decision comes after announcements to terminate TPS for Nepal, Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Sudan nationals, ending protected status for more than 425,000 people and leaving less than 80,000 people in the program. TPS is granted to certain groups of people in the wake of natural disasters, wars, outbreaks of disease, and other catastrophes that would make it difficult for them to return safely to their home countries. Government officials periodically review the program to decide whether to extend it, and most groups have received regular extensions in the past. To learn more about TPS, please click here.

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