On January 31, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that temporary protected status (TPS) for Syrian nationals will be extended to September 30, 2019. Syrian nationals will be required to re-register to extend their benefits, USCIS has not yet released re-registration information or time. This means the 7,000 or so Syrians who came to the United States under TPS when President Obama designated the country for protection due to its horrifying civil war in 2012 can legally stay and work in the country for another year and half. However, this extension is only for Syrians who came to the U.S. before August 1, 2016, any Syrians who arrived afterwards will be forced to leave after their current visas expire.
In a surprising acknowledgement that Syria continues to be rattled by conflict, this decision comes after announcements to terminate TPS for El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan nationals, decisions that will collectively expose more than 326,000 people to deportation. 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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