Massachusetts Legal Blog

Syria Designated for TPS through March 31, 2018 – Renewals AND New Applications Accepted!

Immigration has announced that nationals of Syria will be eligible to renew their Temporary Protected Status starting immediately through September 30, 2016, or apply for the first time through January 30, 2017.

Temporary Protected Status (also known as TPS) is a measure taken by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Immigration) there is a significant concern for the safety of a country’s citizens and nationals. For example, when a devastating earthquake struck in Haiti in 2010, Immigration quickly recognized that it would be unsafe for Haitians in the United States to return to Haiti; action was quickly taken to create a TPS designation for Haiti, which is still in place today. TPS is a form of immigration status where citizens and nationals of a country can remain in the United States, even obtaining employment authorization (work permits) and social security cards. TPS is typically granted for 12 – 18 months at a time, but applications are typically only accepted for a very short period of time. Once that time period has passed, it becomes incredibly difficult to obtain TPS.

Immigration recently made the decision to extend TPS status to nationals of Syria (or persons without nationality who were regularly living in Syria) based on the ongoing armed conflict in the country. Applicants only have a 180-day period in which to file their applications: from August 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016. At a minimum, you must be a national of Syria (or have no other citizenship and last resided in Syria); you must also have been physically present in the United States since August 1, 2016. Even applicants with some criminal issues in their past may still be eligible for TPS.

Right now, it does NOT matter if you already have TPS – anyone from Syria is eligible! But for people whose TPS is expiring soon, they only have a short period to extend (through September 30, 2016).

If you feel you may be eligible for TPS status from Syria, please contact the Immigration Division of Shapiro Law Group, PC as soon as possible. Don’t miss your chance to obtain temporary status in the United States.

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