DHS Extends and Redesignates Yemen for Temporary Protected Status; Expands Employment Options for Yemeni F-1 Students
- The Department of Homeland Security has extended and redesignated Yemen for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), from September 4, 2021, through March 3, 2023.
- The registration period for new TPS applicants will run from July 9, 2021 to March 3, 2023. Eligible individuals will also be able to apply for TPS-related employment authorization documents (EADs) and travel permission during this time.
- Current Yemeni TPS beneficiaries who wish to extend their benefits will be required to re-register by September 7, 2021. Those whose EADs expire on September 3, 2021 will receive an automatic extension through March 2, 2022.
- DHS has also announced that it will suspend certain employment authorization rules for Yemeni students in F-1 status who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the crisis in Yemen.
Redesignation and Extension of Yemen for TPS
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended and redesignated Yemen for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from September 4, 2021 through March 3, 2023, according to a notice scheduled for publication in the Federal Register. Current Yemeni TPS beneficiaries will have 60 days, from July 9, 2021 through September 7, 2021, to request an 18-month extension of status and work authorization. New applicants will have the full length of the redesignation period, from July 9, 2021 through March 3, 2023, to file for TPS status and for related employment authorization documents (EADs) and travel permission.
DHS has determined that conditions in Yemen warrant continued and renewed Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the country’s citizens in the United States. The ongoing armed conflict and other extraordinary and temporary conditions that prompted Yemen’s initial TPS designation continue to pose a serious threat to the personal safety of its nationals should they be required to return to Yemen.
Relatedly, DHS is also suspending certain employment authorization rules for Yemeni citizens in F-1 status who are experiencing severe economic hardship due to the current crisis in Yemen.
TPS eligibility and application process for new applicants
Yemeni nationals can apply for this designation if they can demonstrate that they have had continuous residence in the United States since July 5, 2021, and that they have been continuously physically present in the United States since September 4, 2021. Applicants must file a Form I-821 application with appropriate fee(s) (or request for fee waiver) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the redesignation period from July 9, 2021 through March 3, 2023. Applicants may also apply for EADs and for travel authorization during this time, by submitting the corresponding forms and fee(s) or fee waiver request. TPS and its related work authorization will be approved with a March 3, 2023 expiration date.
All individuals applying for TPS undergo security and background checks as part of determining eligibility. Biometrics collection (fingerprints) is generally required for applicants ages 14 and older.
Re-registration process for current TPS holders
Current Yemeni TPS beneficiaries can continue to extend their status and work authorization provided that they previously registered for TPS under the designation of Yemen 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 Yemen.
- When to register: Current Yemeni TPS beneficiaries must submit Form I-821 to USCIS by September 7, 2021.
- 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 180-day extension, through March 2, 2022, for EADs bearing an expiration date of September 3, 2021 (for those who applied for a new EAD during the last re-registration period but have not yet received the new EAD) 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 March 3, 2023. There is no need for a foreign national to file either application again in order to benefit from the extension.
I-9 eligibility verification EAD renewals
For Form I-9 employment eligibility verification purposes, through March 2, 2022, employers may accept a TPS-related EAD with an expiration date of September 3, 2021, along with a copy of the July 9, 2021 Federal Register notice or a USCIS Form I-797C receipt notice indicating that the TPS-related EAD is automatically extended through March 2, 2022.
Relaxed employment authorization rules for certain Yemeni students in F-1 status
Separately, Yemeni citizens in lawful F-1 student status will benefit from relaxed employment authorization rules if they are experiencing severe economic hardship due to the Yemeni crisis. 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 Yemen;
- Are lawfully present in the United States in F-1 status on September 4, 2021;
- Are enrolled in an academic institution that is Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified;
- Are currently maintaining F-1 status; and
- Are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the current crisis in Yemen.
F-1 students who receive authorization from their Designated Service Officer (DSO) to work off-campus must apply for an EAD by submitting the required application form and corresponding fee. 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 Yemen means that beneficiaries who submit a timely application and receive an approval may continue to work and remain in the United States through March 3, 2023. Prior to the conclusion of the 18-month extension, the DHS Secretary will review conditions to determine whether Yemen’s TPS designation should be extended again. Yemeni 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.