The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended and re-designated Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), from April 1, 2024 through September 30, 2025. The registration period for new TPS applicants will run from January 29, 2024 to September 30, 2025. Eligible individuals will also be able to apply for TPS-related employment authorization documents (EADs) and travel permission during this time. Current Syrian TPS beneficiaries who wish to extend their benefits will be required to re-register between January 29, 2024 and March 29, 2024. Those whose current EADs will expire before receiving a new one will receive an automatic extension through March 31, 2025. DHS is also extending the relaxation of certain employment authorization rules for Syrian students in F-1 status who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the current armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in Syria.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended and re-designated Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from April 1, 2024 through September 30, 2025. Current Syrian TPS beneficiaries will have 60 days, from January 29, 2024 to March 29, 2024, to request an 18-month extension of status and work authorization. New applicants will have from January 29, 2024 to September 30, 2025, to file for TPS status and for related employment authorization documents (EADs) and travel permission.
DHS has determined that conditions in Syria 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 Syrian nationals from returning to Syria safely.
Relatedly, DHS is also extending the relaxation of certain employment authorization rules for Syrian citizens in F-1 status who are experiencing severe economic hardship due to the current armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in Syria.
TPS eligibility and application process for new applicants
Syrian nationals can apply for this designation if they have continuously resided in the United States since January 25, 2024, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since April 1, 2024. 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 April 1, 2024 to September 30, 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 Syrian TPS beneficiaries can continue to extend their status and work authorization provided that they previously registered for TPS under the designation of Syria 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 Syria.
- When to re-register: Current Syrian TPS beneficiaries must submit Form I-821 to USCIS between January 29, 2024 and March 29, 2024.
- 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 March 31, 2025, for EADs bearing an expiration date of March 31, 2024, September 30, 2022, or March 31, 2021, and an A-12 or C-19 category. The Federal Register notice provides specific instructions on proper completion of an I-9 form to reflect an automatically extended TPS EAD.
- Pending TPS and/or EAD applications from prior registration period: There is no need for a foreign national with a pending TPS and/or EAD application to file a second application in order to benefit from the extension. For applications that are pending when the re-registration period begins on January 29, 2024, approval notices and document expiration dates will reflect the latest expiration date of September 30, 2025.
Relaxed employment authorization rules for certain Syrian students in F-1 status
Separately, Syrian 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 Syrian. 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 Syria (or have no nationality and last habitually resided in Syria);
- Are lawfully present in the United States in F-1 status on January 29, 2024;
- 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 Syria.
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 re-designation of TPS for Syria means that beneficiaries who submit a timely application and receive an approval may continue to work and remain in the United States through September 30, 2025. Prior to the conclusion of the 18-month extension, the DHS Secretary will review conditions to determine whether Syria’s TPS designation should be extended again. Syrian 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.