The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended and redesignated Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), from December 8, 2023 through June 7, 2025. The registration period for new TPS applicants will run from October 10, 2023 to June 7, 2025. Eligible individuals will also be able to apply for TPS-related employment authorization documents (EADs) and travel permission during this time. Current Cameroonian TPS beneficiaries who wish to extend their benefits will be required to re-register between October 10, 2023 and December 11, 2023. Those whose current EADs will expire before receiving a new one will receive an automatic extension through December 7, 2024. DHS is also extending the relaxation of certain employment authorization rules for Cameroonian students in F-1 status who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the current armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in Cameroon.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended and redesignated Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from December 8, 2023 through June 7, 2025. Current Cameroonian TPS beneficiaries will have 60 days, from October 10, 2023 to December 11, 2023, to request an 18-month extension of status and work authorization. New applicants will have from October 10, 2023 to June 7, 2025, to file for TPS status and for related employment authorization documents (EADs) and travel permission.
DHS has determined that conditions in Cameroon warrant continued and renewed Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to the ongoing armed conflict in the country. The agency has determined that current conditions prevent Cameroonian nationals from returning to Cameroon safely.
Relatedly, DHS is also extending the relaxation of certain employment authorization rules for Cameroonian citizens in F-1 status who are experiencing severe economic hardship due to the current armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in Cameroon.
TPS eligibility and application process for new applicants
Cameroonian nationals can apply for this designation if they have continuously resided in the United States since October 5, 2023, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since December 8, 2023. Applicants must file a Form I-821 application with appropriate fees (or request for fee waiver) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the redesignation period from October 10, 2023 to June 7, 2025. Applicants may also apply for EADs and for travel authorization during this time, by submitting the corresponding forms and fees or fee waiver request.
All individuals applying for TPS undergo security and background checks as part of determining eligibility. Biometrics collection (fingerprinting) is generally required for applicants ages 14 and older.
Re-registration process for current TPS holders
Current Cameroonian TPS beneficiaries can continue to extend their status and work authorization provided that they previously registered for TPS under the designation of Cameroon and their application was granted.
- Who may re-register: Re-registration is limited to those who previously registered for and were granted TPS under the designation for Cameroon.
- When to re-register: Current Cameroonian TPS beneficiaries must submit Form I-821 to USCIS between October 10, 2023 and December 11, 2023.
- Extending employment authorization: Beneficiaries who wish to extend their employment authorization for 18 months must also submit a timely Form I-765 application for an employment authorization document (EAD) and the applicable fees (or a fee waiver application).
- Automatic EAD extensions: DHS is providing an automatic extension, through December 7, 2024, for EADs bearing an expiration date of December 7, 2023 and an A-12 or C-19 category.
- Pending TPS and/or EAD applications from prior registration period: If a previously filed application is approved, approval notices and document expiration dates will reflect the latest expiration date of June 7, 2025. There is no need for a foreign national to file either application again in order to benefit from the extension. The Federal Register notice provides specific instructions on proper completion of an I-9 form to reflect an automatically extended TPS EAD.
Relaxed employment authorization rules for certain Cameroonian students in F-1 status
Separately, Cameroonian citizens in lawful F-1 student status will continue to benefit from relaxed employment authorization rules if they are experiencing severe economic hardship due to the current armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in Cameroon. Eligible students can request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain a “full course of study” designation. To qualify, F-1 students must establish that they:
- Are citizens of Cameroon (or have no nationality and last habitually resided in Cameroon);
- Are lawfully present in the United States in F-1 status on October 10, 2023;
- Are enrolled in an academic institution that is Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified for F-1 students;
- Are currently maintaining F-1 status; and
- Are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the current armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in Cameroon.
F-1 students who receive authorization from their Designated School Official (DSO) to work off-campus must apply for an EAD by submitting the required application form and corresponding fee (or fee waiver request). F-1 students who will be working on-campus do not need to file for an EAD, but do require DSO authorization.
The extension and redesignation of TPS for Cameroon means that beneficiaries who submit a timely application and receive an approval may continue to work and remain in the United States through June 7, 2025. Prior to the conclusion of the 18-month extension, the DHS Secretary will review conditions to determine whether Cameroon’s TPS designation should be extended again. Cameroonian citizens in F-1 status should reach out to their school’s DSO to determine whether they can avail themselves of the relaxed employment authorization standards.