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This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending and redesignating Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

DHS also announced Special Student Relief for F-1 nonimmigrant students from Syria. DHS said this will enable eligible students to request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course loads while continuing to maintain F-1 status through the TPS designation period.

Below are highlights of the extension and redesignation.

Extension. TPS will be extended for Syria for 18 months, beginning on April 1, 2024, and ending on September 30, 2025. DHS said this extension allows existing TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through September 30, 2025, if they otherwise continue to meet the eligibility requirements for TPS. Existing TPS beneficiaries who wish to extend their status through September 30, 2025, must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period, which will begin on the date the notice is published in the Federal Register (expected to be January 29, 2024), and run for 60 days.

Redesignation. DHS is also redesignating Syria for TPS. The agency explained that the redesignation allows additional Syrian nationals (and individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) who have been continuously residing in the United States since January 25, 2024, to apply for TPS for the first time during the initial registration period, which will begin on the date the notice is published in the Federal Register (expected to be January 29, 2024), and will remain in effect through September 30, 2025. In addition to demonstrating continuous residence in the United States since January 25, 2024, and meeting other eligibility criteria, initial applicants for TPS under this designation must demonstrate that they have been continuously physically present in the United States since April 1, 2024.

DHS said, “It is important for re-registrants to timely re-register during the re-registration period and not to wait until their Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) expire, as delaying re-registration could result in gaps in their employment authorization documentation.”

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