DHS extends temporary protected status for Somalians

Corbin Smith
Editorial Assistant


Somalian refugees residing in the Historic Northeast will be able to continue living in the United States after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently extended and redesignated Somalia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).


In a news release from July 21, the DHS detailed changes made to Somali’s TPS requirements and timeframes. After consulting with interagency partners, Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas published a Federal Register notice which detailed the extension of the status window to last from Sep. 18, 2021 to March 17, 2023.


According to the United States Citizen and Immigration Services website, the secretary of the DHS may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.


During the new period, TPS beneficiaries who are preliminarily eligible cannot be removed from the United States or detained on the basis of their immigration status, can obtain an employment authorization document, and may be authorized to travel.


In order to receive TPS benefits, USCIS has a list of requirements individuals need to meet. The individual must:


Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;


File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation;


Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country;

and Have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country. The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When you apply or re-register for TPS, you must inform USCIS of all absences from the United States since the CPP and CR dates. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.


The TPS for Somalia will allow approximately 447 current beneficiaries to retain TPS as long as refugees meet the eligibility requirements. The redesignation will also allow for an estimated 100 additional Somali nationals who have been continuously residing in the U.S. Current beneficiaries will need to re-register under the extension during the 60-day period from July 22 to September 20. Information on how to re-register or submit an initial application can be found at federalregister.gov.

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