Due to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has announced his decision to designate Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. As a result, eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Federal Register notices provide details and procedures for applying for TPS and are available at www.uscis.gov/tps.
The TPS designations for the three countries are effective Nov. 21, 2014 and
will be in effect for 18 months. The designations mean that eligible nationals
of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last
habitually resided in one of those three countries) will not be removed from
the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment
Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins Nov.
21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015.
To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all
eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously residing” in
the United States since Nov. 20, 2014 and “continuously physically present in”
the United States since Nov. 21, 2014. Applicants also undergo thorough
security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a
threat to national security are not eligible for TPS. The eligibility
requirements are fully described in the Federal Register notices and on the TPS
Web page at www.uscis.gov/tps
Liberians currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred
Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum
may apply for TPS. If they do not apply for TPS within the initial 180-day
registration period, they risk being ineligible for TPS because they will have
missed the initial registration period. Liberians covered by DED who already
possess or have applied for an EAD do not need to also apply for one related to
this TPS designation. However, such individuals who are granted TPS may request
a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia
remains in effect.
Applicants may request that USCIS waive any or all fees based on
demonstrated inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or
by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by
supporting documentation. USCIS will reject any TPS application that does not
include the required filing fee or a properly documented fee-waiver request.
All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download
these forms from the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/forms
or request them by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676