[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 198 (Thursday, October 13, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63629-63635]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-26537]



[[Page 63629]]

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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2513-11; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2011-0012]
RIN 1615-ZB08


Designation of Republic of South Sudan for Temporary Protected 
Status

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of 
Homeland Security.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This Notice announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security 
(Secretary) has designated the Republic of South Sudan (South Sudan) 
for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a period of 18 months, 
effective November 3, 2011 through May 2, 2013. Under section 244(b)(1) 
of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the Secretary is 
authorized to grant TPS to eligible nationals of designated foreign 
states or parts of such states (or to eligible aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in such states) upon finding 
that such states are experiencing ongoing armed conflict, environmental 
disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent 
nationals from returning safely.
    This designation allows eligible South Sudan nationals (and aliens 
having no nationality who last habitually resided in the region that is 
now South Sudan) who have continuously resided in the United States 
since October 7, 2004 to obtain TPS. In addition to demonstrating 
continuous residence in the United States since October 7, 2004, 
applicants for TPS under this designation must demonstrate that they 
have been continuously physically present in the United States since 
November 3, 2011, the effective date of the designation of South Sudan. 
The Secretary has established November 3, 2011, as the effective date 
so that the 18-month designation of South Sudan will coincide with the 
18-month extension period of TPS for Sudan, which is also being 
announced today. Although November 3, 2011, is a future date, 
applicants may begin applying for TPS immediately.
    This designation is unique because on July 9, 2011, South Sudan 
became a new nation and independent from the Republic of Sudan, which 
has been designated for TPS since 1997. Some individuals who are TPS 
beneficiaries under the current designation of Sudan may now be 
nationals of South Sudan, calling into question their continued 
eligibility for TPS under the Sudan designation. These individuals may, 
however, now qualify for TPS under the South Sudan designation. This 
Notice sets forth regular procedures and special procedures necessary 
for nationals of South Sudan (or aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in the region that is now South Sudan) to register 
and to apply for TPS and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) with 
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
    Given the timeframes involved with processing TPS applications, the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognizes that individuals who 
have EADs under Sudan TPS that expire November 2, 2011 may not receive 
new EADs under South Sudan TPS until after their current EADs expire. 
Accordingly, the validity of EADs issued under the TPS designation of 
Sudan has been automatically extended for 6 months, through May 2, 
2012. This automatic extension includes individuals who are now 
applying for TPS under the designation of South Sudan but were granted 
TPS and were issued an EAD under the Sudan designation. This Notice 
explains how TPS beneficiaries and their employers may determine which 
EADs are automatically extended and how the extension affects 
employment eligibility verification (Form I-9 and E-Verify) processes. 
This Notice also describes examples of acceptable evidence of South 
Sudanese nationality required for TPS registration under the South 
Sudan designation.

DATES: This designation of South Sudan for TPS is effective on November 
3, 2011 and will remain in effect through May 2, 2013. The 180-day 
registration period for eligible individuals to submit initial TPS 
applications begins October 13, 2011, and will remain in effect until 
April 10, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
     For further information on TPS, including guidance on the 
application process and additional information on eligibility, please 
visit the TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. You can find 
specific information about this designation and about TPS for South 
Sudan by selecting ``TPS Designated Country--Republic of South Sudan'' 
from the menu on the left of the TPS Web page. From the South Sudan 
page, you can select the ``South Sudan TPS Questions & Answers'' 
section from the menu on the right for further information.
     You can also contact the TPS Operations Program Manager by 
mail at the Status and Family Branch, Service Center Operations 
Directorate, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of 
Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20529-
2060 or by phone at (202) 272-1533 (this is not a toll-free number). 
Note: The phone number provided here is solely for questions regarding 
this TPS notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries.
     Applicants seeking information about the status of their 
individual cases can check Case Status Online available at the USCIS 
Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer 
Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).
     Further information will also be available at local USCIS 
offices upon publication of this Notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Abbreviations and Terms Used in This Document

ASC--USCIS Application Support Center.
CPA--Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
DHS--Department of Homeland Security.
DOS--Department of State.
EAD--Employment Authorization Document.
Government--U.S. Government.
GSS--Government of South Sudan.
IDP--Internally Displaced Person.
INA--Immigration and Nationality Act.
LRA--Lord's Resistance Army.
OCHA--United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian 
Affairs.
OSC--U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for 
Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.
SAF--Sudan Armed Forces.
Secretary--Secretary of Homeland Security.
South Sudan--Republic of South Sudan.
SPLA--Sudan People's Liberation Army.
SPLM/A--Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army.
TPS--Temporary Protected Status.
UN--United Nations.
UNHCR--Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
UNMISS--United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan.
USAID--U.S. Agency for International Development.
USCIS--U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

     TPS is an immigration status granted to eligible nationals 
(or to persons without nationality who last habitually resided in the 
designated country) of a country designated for TPS under the 
Immigration and Nationality Act (Act).
     During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are 
eligible to remain in the United States and may obtain employment 
authorization, so long as they continue to meet the requirements of 
TPS.

[[Page 63630]]

     The granting of TPS does not lead to permanent resident 
status.
     When the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) 
terminates a country's TPS designation, beneficiaries return to the 
same immigration status they maintained before TPS (unless that status 
has since expired or been terminated) or to any other lawfully obtained 
immigration status that they received while registered for TPS.

What authority does the Secretary of Homeland Security have to 
designate South Sudan for TPS?

    Section 244(b)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1), authorizes the 
Secretary, after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, to 
designate a foreign state (or part thereof) for TPS.\1\ The Secretary 
can designate a foreign state for TPS based on one of three 
circumstances. One circumstance is if ``there is an ongoing armed 
conflict within the state and, due to such conflict, requiring the 
return of aliens who are nationals of that state to that state (or to 
the part of the state) would pose a serious threat to their personal 
safety.'' INA sec. 244(b)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A). The Secretary 
can also designate a foreign state for TPS if ``there exist 
extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state that 
prevent aliens who are nationals of the state from returning to the 
state in safety, unless the [Secretary] finds that permitting the 
aliens to remain temporarily in the United States is contrary to the 
national interest of the United States.'' INA sec. 244(b)(1)(C), 8 
U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
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    \1\ As of March 1, 2003, in accordance with section 1517 of 
title XV of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA), Public Law 107-
296, 116 Stat. 2135, any reference to the Attorney General in a 
provision of the INA describing functions transferred under the HSA 
from the Department of Justice to DHS ``shall be deemed to refer to 
the Secretary [of Homeland Security].'' See 6 U.S.C. 557 (codifying 
HSA, tit. XV, 1517).
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    Following the designation of a foreign state for TPS, the Secretary 
may grant TPS to eligible nationals of that foreign state (or aliens 
having no nationality who last habitually resided in that state). 
Applicants must demonstrate, among other things, that they have been 
both ``continually physically present'' in the United States since the 
effective date of the designation, which is either the date of the 
Federal Register notice announcing the designation or such later date 
as the Secretary may determine, and that they have ``continuously 
resided'' in the United States since such date as the Secretary may 
designate. INA secs. 244(a)(1)(A), (b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i-ii); 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(a)(1)(A), (b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i-ii).

Why is the Secretary designating South Sudan for TPS through May 2, 
2013?

    The Secretary has determined, after consultation with appropriate 
Government agencies, that there is an ongoing armed conflict in the 
Republic of South Sudan and that requiring the return of South Sudanese 
nationals to South Sudan would pose a serious threat to their personal 
safety. Furthermore, there exist extraordinary and temporary conditions 
in South Sudan that prevent nationals of South Sudan from returning in 
safety, and the Secretary does not find that permitting the aliens to 
remain temporarily in the United States is contrary to the national 
interest of the United States.
    On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became the world's newest nation. 
Formal independence for South Sudan concluded the interim period of the 
January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended more than 
two decades of civil war between the Government of Sudan in Khartoum 
and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). These groups 
had been fighting for the autonomy of South Sudan. While some 
provisions of the CPA were upheld, many contentious issues remain 
unresolved and present potential for further conflict.
    The April 2010 nationwide elections in Sudan did not meet 
international standards. Reported abuses in South Sudan included 
security force restrictions on and harassment of the opposition, 
including widespread human rights abuses. The January 2011 referendum 
itself, in which an overwhelming majority of registered South Sudanese 
voters chose independence, was largely peaceful. The CPA-mandated 
ceasefire between Sudan government forces and the SPLM/A was largely 
upheld (though outbreaks of violence did occur) until conflicts along 
the North-South border between Sudan and South Sudan erupted starting 
in May 2011.
    During the past two years, South Sudan has experienced increasing 
violence related to intercommunal conflict, conflict between the SPLM/A 
and irregular armed forces, and targeted attacks on civilians by the 
Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The transitional areas along the North-
South border (Abyei, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan) continued to 
suffer from inter-tribal tensions, and are flashpoints for violence 
involving government troops of both sides as well as irregular armed 
groups.
    According to an early 2011 report by the Office of the United 
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), during the past two 
years South Sudan has experienced increasing violence, mostly related 
to armed militia groups, including LRA and inter-tribal clashes. There 
are also reports of human rights abuses by southern security forces, 
including the police and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). 
These reported abuses range from arbitrary detention to the killing of 
civilians. The SPLA also continues to have child soldiers within its 
ranks. The United Nations (UN) Security Council established the United 
Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) to assist with 
``functions relating to humanitarian assistance, and protection and 
promotion of human rights.'' As of May 31, 2011, UNMISS had 9,264 
troops out of an authorized 10,000 total military personnel. UNMISS 
troops have sustained 60 fatalities since the mission deployed.
    In January 2011, UNHCR reported that LRA violence displaced some 
600,000 additional people in the previous 18 months and has brought ``a 
radical shift in patterns of violence [that] points to a clear 
targeting of women and children.'' LRA attacks in the western part of 
South Sudan were reported on a monthly basis throughout 2010. In most 
cases, these attacks were on vulnerable, isolated communities, with 
indiscriminate killing, abduction, rape, mutilation, looting, and 
destruction of property.
    According to Human Rights Watch, throughout 2010 ``[p]atterns of 
intercommunal violence stemming from cattle-rustling and other 
localized disputes across Southern Sudan continued to put civilians at 
risk of physical violence and killings.'' In addition to the upsurge in 
LRA and intercommunal violence, new conflicts have developed between 
government armed forces, and the ensuing violence has had a 
significant, negative humanitarian impact.
    The transitional areas of Abyei, Blue Nile State, and Southern 
Kordofan/Nuba Mountains remain potential flashpoints because of their 
position along the North-South border, much of which remains 
undemarcated. As part of the CPA, the area of Abyei was to be jointly 
administered until local residents determined whether they would join 
the North or South, but the referendum has yet to be held. Reports 
indicate that in the months leading up to South Sudan's independence, 
both the Northern and Southern armies reinforced their positions near 
Abyei. On May 19, 2011, in a move condemned by the UN as a breach of 
the CPA, Sudanese troops attacked and took control of Abyei. On June 
20, 2011, Sudan and South Sudan

[[Page 63631]]

reached an agreement on temporary administration measures and 
demilitarization of the area. As part of that agreement, the UN 
Security Council ordered a 4,200-strong Ethiopian peacekeeping force 
into the region to monitor the troops' withdrawal.
    Violence has increased in South Kordofan. In June 2011, fighting 
between the Khartoum-based Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the SPLA 
erupted in the state capital of Kadugli. On June 25, 2011, the UN 
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported 
that the SAF was conducting airstrikes and artillery shelling in the 
eastern and southern parts of the Nuba Mountains. Eyewitnesses stated 
that SAF forces killed people in the streets of Kadugli for looking 
``too black,'' with no regard for whether they supported the Southern 
army. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, satellite 
imagery has located mass graves in Kordofan. The SAF actions further 
threaten the fragile peace between the North and South, as SAF bombing 
raids in Sudan's South Kordofan State have spilled across the border 
into South Sudan's Unity State.
    In addition to the recent violence in Abyei and South Kordofan, 
there have been other indications that the peace treaty remains 
fragile. In January and February 2011, factions of the SAF stationed in 
South Sudan's Upper Nile State engaged in violent clashes. Reports 
indicated that the soldiers were fighting over weapons and whether they 
will relocate to the North as ordered after the results of the 
referendum favored independence. By extension, the failure to 
demobilize the 180,000 soldiers from both Sudan and South Sudan as 
required by the CPA is of further concern.
    According to information on the UN Web page, ``About South Sudan,'' 
35.7 percent of the population in South Sudan is food-insecure and 
requires assistance, and 50 percent of the population does not have 
access to drinking water. South Sudan census results indicate that more 
than 50 percent of the population lives below the poverty line on less 
than one dollar a day, and 80 percent lack adequate sanitation. In 
January 2011, the World Food Programme warned of growing signs of 
drought in the Horn of Africa. As of July 21, 2011, OCHA reported that 
although the drought has not yet affected South Sudan directly, food 
security is fragile and the living situation remains uncertain as close 
to one million people are currently receiving food assistance and at 
least an additional 400,000 are expected to need assistance during this 
season. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development 
(USAID), mass population displacement caused by conflict in South Sudan 
since early 2011 caused the loss of lean season food stocks. As a 
result, most of the displaced are now in crisis and are relying on food 
assistance. USAID projects that ongoing conflict will likely impact 
crop cultivation and harvests and that the situation could worsen 
significantly because of the compounding impacts of insecurity, 
displacement, high food prices, and returnees from Sudan who increase 
competition for scarce resources.
    Insecurity due to ongoing fighting, and the targeting of civilians 
for serious human rights abuses, has led to continued displacement of 
the South Sudanese population. Displacement and factors related to food 
insecurity--including drought, flooding, and rising food prices--are at 
the root of the ongoing humanitarian crisis. South Sudan is already 
considered one of the poorest, least-developed places in the world. The 
mass influx of South Sudanese returning from Sudan continues to strain 
limited resources, and high levels of humanitarian needs are reported 
in areas that have a high concentration of returnees.
    According to the UN, approximately two million internally displaced 
persons (IDPs) and 350,000 refugees have returned to South Sudan since 
2005. In late October 2010, the South Sudanese government began an 
accelerated return program. The number of returnees significantly 
increased, with an estimated 143,000 persons returning during October 
to December 2010. The South Sudanese government has been under 
significant strain trying to reintegrate and provide a safe environment 
for the existing returnees. Furthermore, there are still an estimated 
one million South Sudanese in Sudan. The estimated number of civilians 
killed in South Sudan during 2010 is 980. Between January and July 
2011, more than 2,300 civilians were killed. An estimated 215,000 to 
220,000 South Sudanese civilians became IDPs in 2010. Between January 
and July 2011, approximately 264,143 became IDPs.
    There are multiple factors impeding delivery of humanitarian aid. 
It is estimated that there are fewer than 100 km of paved roads in 
South Sudan, and the accessibility of those roads is compromised during 
the rainy season. The ability of aid workers to provide much-needed 
humanitarian assistance is further compromised by dangers to aid 
workers but also by government prohibitions on operations and access to 
certain areas where large populations of persons in need of assistance 
are located. UNHCR and USAID report that insecurity and logistical 
concerns as well as weather conditions are likely to continue hindering 
access to areas of South Sudan.
    Based on this review, and after consultation with the appropriate 
Government agencies, the Secretary has determined that:
     Requiring the return of South Sudanese nationals to South 
Sudan poses a serious threat to their personal safety due to an ongoing 
armed conflict. See INA sec. 244(b)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A).
     Nationals of South Sudan cannot return to South Sudan in 
safety due to extraordinary and temporary conditions. See INA sec. 
244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
     It is not contrary to the national interest of the United 
States to permit South Sudanese nationals (and persons without 
nationality who last habitually resided in the region that is now South 
Sudan) who meet the eligibility requirements of TPS to remain in the 
United States temporarily. See INA sec. 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(1)(C).
     The designation of South Sudan for TPS should be for an 
18-month period. See INA sec. 244(b)(2), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(2).
     The date by which South Sudan TPS applicants must 
demonstrate that they have continuously resided in the United States is 
established as October 7, 2004, which is the same date that must be met 
by re-registering TPS applicants under the extension of TPS for Sudan. 
See INA sec. 244(c)(1)(A)(ii), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii).
     The date by which South Sudan TPS applicants must 
demonstrate that they have been continuously physically present in the 
United States is November 3, 2011, the effective date of this TPS 
designation of South Sudan. See INA secs. 244(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i); 8 
U.S.C. 1254a(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i).
     There are approximately 340 individuals who currently have 
TPS under the designation of Sudan. DHS estimates that the combined 
total of Sudanese and South Sudanese who will be eligible for TPS under 
this designation and the extension of TPS for Sudan is approximately 
340. DHS recognizes that the actual number of registering South 
Sudanese applicants may be lower than 340, because some of those 340 
individuals may re-register for Sudan TPS, while others may qualify to 
change their registration from TPS for Sudan to TPS for South Sudan.

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Notice of the Designation of South Sudan for TPS

    By the authority vested in me as Secretary of Homeland Security 
under section 244 of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a, after consultation with 
the appropriate Government agencies, I designate the Republic of South 
Sudan for temporary protected status (TPS) under sections 244(b)(1)(A) 
and (C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A) 
and (C), for a period of 18 months from November 3, 2011 through May 2, 
2013.

Janet Napolitano,
Secretary.

Required Application Forms and Application Fees to Register for TPS

    To register for TPS, an applicant must submit:
    1. Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status,
     If you are not a TPS beneficiary under the Sudan 
designation (or have a pending TPS application under TPS Sudan), you 
must pay the Form I-821 application fee which is $50. If you are unable 
to pay the fee, you may submit a fee waiver request with appropriate 
documentation.
     If you are currently a TPS beneficiary under the Sudan 
designation (or you have a pending TPS Sudan application) but you are 
now a South Sudan national, you should file an initial application for 
South Sudan TPS. You do not, however, have to pay the Form I-821 $50 
application fee again since you are currently a TPS beneficiary under 
Sudan (or have a pending TPS application under Sudan) and you have 
already paid the application fee (or been granted a fee waiver); and
    2. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
     You must pay the Form I-765 application fee if you want an 
employment authorization document (EAD), Form I-766, or submit a fee 
waiver request.
     If you have a pending Form I-765 that you previously 
submitted with your request for TPS Sudan and you have not yet received 
your EAD with either a C-19 or A-12 notation, then you do not need to 
re-pay the I-765 application fee. You should submit a copy of your most 
recent USCIS fee receipt notice for the Form I-765, or your fee waiver 
grant notice, with your new I-765 application. Your fee (or fee waiver 
grant) will be applied to your application for an EAD under the South 
Sudan designation if your EAD has not been mailed to you yet.
     You do not pay the Form I-765 fee if you are under the age 
of 14 or over the age of 65 and you want an EAD since this is an 
initial registration.
     You do not pay the Form I-765 fee if you are not 
requesting an EAD.
    You must submit both completed application forms together. If you 
are unable to pay, you may apply for application and/or biometrics fee 
waivers by completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or 
submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and providing 
satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information on the 
application forms and application fees for TPS, please visit the USCIS 
TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps and click on ``Temporary 
Protected Status for South Sudan.'' Fees for Form I-821, Form I-765, 
and biometric services are also listed in 8 CFR 103.7(b).

Biometric Services Fee

    Biometrics (such as fingerprints) are required for all applicants 
14 years of age or older. Those applicants must submit a biometric 
services fee. As previously stated, if you are unable to pay, you may 
apply for a biometrics services fee waiver by completing a Form I-912, 
or a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and providing 
satisfactory supporting documentation. If you have a pending TPS 
application under the Sudan designation and you paid the biometrics 
fee, or received a fee waiver grant for that pending application, then 
you do not need to re-pay the biometrics fee. You should submit your 
USCIS fee receipt notice showing that you paid the fee, or notice of 
fee waiver, with your Form I-821 when applying under the designation 
for South Sudan. For more information on the biometric services fee, 
please visit the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov. You may be 
required to visit an Application Support Center to have your biometrics 
captured.

Refiling of TPS Application Packet After Receiving a Fee Waiver Denial

    If you request a fee waiver when filing your TPS and EAD 
application forms and your request is denied, you may refile your 
application packet with the correct fees before the filing deadline 
April 10, 2012. If you receive the USCIS fee waiver denial and there 
are fewer than 45 days before the filing deadline, or the deadline has 
passed, you may still refile your application packet, with the correct 
fees, within the 45-day period after the date on the USCIS fee waiver 
denial notice. Your application packet and fees will not be rejected 
even if the deadline has passed, provided they are mailed within those 
45 days and all other required information for the applications is 
included.

Mailing Information

    Mail your application for TPS to the proper address in Table 1:

                       Table 1--Mailing Addresses
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                If . . .                          Mail to . . .
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You are applying through the U.S.        USCIS, P.O. Box 8677, Chicago,
 Postal Service.                          IL 60680-8677.
You are using a Non-U.S. Postal Service  USCIS, Attn: South Sudan TPS,
 delivery service.                        131 S. Dearborn 3rd Floor,
                                          Chicago, IL 60603-5517.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

E-Filing

    You cannot electronically file your application when applying for 
initial registration for TPS. Please mail your application to the 
mailing address listed in Table 1 above.

Supporting Documents

What type of basic supporting documentation must I submit?

    To meet the basic eligibility requirements for TPS, you must submit 
evidence that you:
     Are a national of South Sudan or an alien of no 
nationality who last habitually resided in the region that is now South 
Sudan. Such documents may include a copy of your passport if available, 
other documentation issued by the Government of South Sudan (GSS) 
showing your nationality (e.g., national identity card, official travel 
documentation issued by the GSS), and/or your birth certificate with 
English translation accompanied by photo identification. USCIS will 
also consider certain forms of secondary evidence

[[Page 63633]]

supporting your South Sudanese nationality, such as your voter 
registration documentation for the January 2011 referendum on South 
Sudan's independence. If the evidence presented is insufficient for 
USCIS to make a determination as to your nationality, USCIS may request 
you to provide additional evidence. DHS recognizes the unique situation 
regarding the availability of nationality documentation presented by 
the very recent creation of South Sudan. Therefore, if you do not 
possess primary evidence, such as a passport, of your South Sudanese 
citizenship, you should provide as much secondary evidence as you can 
with your TPS application to demonstrate your citizenship. If you have 
tried to obtain evidence of your South Sudanese nationality, but have 
been unsuccessful, you may also submit an affidavit showing proof of 
your unsuccessful efforts to obtain such documents and affirming that 
you are a national of South Sudan. However, please be aware that an 
interview with an immigration officer is required if you do not present 
any documentary proof of identity or nationality. (See 8 CFR 
244.9(a)(1));
     Have continually resided in the United States since 
October 7, 2004 (see 8 CFR 244.9(a)(2));
     Have been continually physically present in the United 
States since November 3, 2011, the effective date of the designation of 
South Sudan; and
     Two color passport-style photographs of yourself.
    The filing instructions on Form I-821, Application for Temporary 
Protected Status, list all the documents needed to establish basic 
eligibility for TPS. You may also see information on the acceptable 
documentation and other requirements for applying for TPS on the USCIS 
Web site at http://www.uscis.gov under ``Temporary Protected Status for 
South Sudan.''

Do I need to submit additional supporting documentation?

    If one or more of the questions listed in Part 4, Question 2 of the 
Form I-821 applies to you, then you must submit an explanation on a 
separate sheet(s) of paper and/or additional documentation. Depending 
on the nature of the question(s) you are addressing, additional 
documentation alone may suffice, but usually a written explanation will 
also be needed.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (Form I-766)

May I request an interim EAD at my local USCIS office?

    No. USCIS will not issue interim EADs to TPS applicants at USCIS 
local offices.

Am I eligible to receive an automatic 6-month extension if I have a 
current EAD under Sudan TPS that expires November 2, 2011?

    You will receive an automatic 6-month extension from November 2, 
2011 through May 2, 2012, of your EAD if you:
     Received an EAD under the last extension of TPS for Sudan, 
and
     Have not had TPS withdrawn or denied.
    This automatic extension is limited to EADs with an expiration date 
of November 2, 2011. These EADs must also bear the notation ``A-12'' or 
``C-19'' on the face of the card under ``Category.''

When hired, what documentation may I show to my employer as proof of 
employment authorization and identity when completing employment 
eligibility verification, Form I-9?

    You can find a list of acceptable document choices on page 5 of the 
Employment Eligibility Verification form, Form I-9. Employers are 
required to verify the identity and employment authorization of all new 
employees by using Form I-9. Within three days of hire, an employee 
must present proof of identity and employment authorization to his or 
her employer.
    You may present any document from List A (reflecting both your 
identity and employment authorization), or one document from List B 
(reflecting identity) together with one document from List C 
(reflecting employment authorization). An EAD is an acceptable document 
under ``List A.''
    If you received a 6-month automatic extension of your EAD issued 
under Sudan TPS as described in this Federal Register notice, you may 
choose to present your automatically extended EAD, as described above, 
to your employer as proof of identity and employment authorization for 
Form I-9 through May 2, 2012 (see the subsection below titled ``How do 
I and my employer complete Form I-9 (i.e., verification) using an 
automatically extended EAD for a new job'' for further information). To 
minimize confusion over this extension at the time of hire, you may 
also show a copy of this Federal Register notice regarding the 
automatic extension of employment authorization through May 2, 2012 to 
your employer. As an alternative to presenting your automatically 
extended EAD, you may choose to present any other acceptable document 
from List A, or List B plus List C.

What documentation may I show my employer if I am already employed but 
my current TPS-related EAD is set to expire?

    You must present any document from List A or any document from List 
C on Form I-9 to reverify employment authorization. Employers are 
required to reverify on Form I-9 the employment authorization of 
current employees upon the expiration of a TPS-related EAD.
    If you received a 6-month automatic extension of your EAD as 
described in this Federal Register notice, your employer does not need 
to reverify until after May 2, 2012. However, you and your employer do 
need to make corrections to the employment authorization expiration 
dates in Section 1 and Section 2 of the Form I-9 (see the subsection 
below titled ``What corrections should my employer at my current job 
and I make to Form I-9 if my EAD has been automatically extended?'' for 
further information). In addition, you may also show this Federal 
Register notice to your employer to avoid confusion about whether or 
not your expired TPS-related document is acceptable. After May 2, 2012, 
when the automatic extension expires, your employer must reverify your 
employment authorization. You may show any document from List A or List 
C on Form I-9 to satisfy this reverification requirement.

What happens after May 2, 2012 for purposes of employment 
authorization?

    After May 2, 2012, employers may not accept the EADs that were 
automatically extended as described in this Federal Register notice. 
However, USCIS will issue new EADs to TPS re-registrants. These EADs 
will have an expiration date of May 2, 2013 and can be presented to 
your employer as proof of employment authorization and identity. The 
EAD will bear the notation ``A-12'' or ``C-19'' on the face of the card 
under ``Category.'' Alternatively, you may choose to present any other 
legally acceptable document or combination of documents listed on the 
Form I-9 to prove identity and employment authorization.

[[Page 63634]]

How do my employer and I complete Form I-9 (i.e., verification) using 
an automatically extended EAD for a new job?

    When using an automatically extended EAD to fill out Form I-9 for a 
new job prior to May 2, 2012, you and your employer should do the 
following:
    (1) For Section 1, you should:
    a. Check ``An alien authorized to work;''
    b. Write your alien number (A-number) in the first space (your EAD 
or other document from DHS will have your A-number printed on it); and
    c. Write the automatic extension date in the second space.
    (2) For Section 2, employers should:
    a. Record the document title;
    b. Record the document number; and
    c. Record the automatically extended EAD expiration date.
    After May 2, 2012, employers must reverify the employee's 
employment authorization in Section 3 of Form I-9.

What corrections should my employer at my current job and I make to 
Form I-9 if my EAD has been automatically extended?

    If you are an existing employee who presented a TPS EAD that was 
valid when you first started your job, but that EAD has now been 
automatically extended, you and your employer should correct your 
previously completed Form I-9 as follows:
    (1) For Section 1, you should:
    a. Draw a line through the expiration date in the second space;
    b. Write ``May 2, 2012'' above the previous date;
    c. Write ``TPS Ext.'' in the margin of Section 1; and
    a. Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 1.
    (2) For Section 2, employers should:
    a. Draw a line through the expiration date written in Section 2;
    b. Write ``May 2, 2012'' above the previous date;
    c. Write ``TPS Ext.'' in the margin of Section 2; and
    d. Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 2.
    After May 2, 2012, when the automatic extension of EADs expires, 
employers must reverify the employee's employment authorization in 
Section 3.

If I am an employer enrolled in E-Verify, what do I do when I receive a 
``Work Authorization Documents Expiring'' alert for an automatically 
extended EAD?

    If you are an employer who participates in E-Verify, you will 
receive a ``Work Authorization Documents Expiring'' case alert when a 
TPS beneficiary's EAD is about to expire. Usually, this message is an 
alert to complete Section 3 of Form I-9 to reverify an employee's 
employment authorization. For existing employees with TPS EADs that 
have been automatically extended, employers should disregard the E-
Verify case alert and follow the instructions above explaining how to 
correct Form I-9. After May 2, 2012, employment authorization needs to 
be reverified in Section 3. You should never use E-Verify for 
reverification.

Can my employer require that I produce any other documentation to prove 
my status, such as proof of my South Sudanese citizenship?

    No. When completing the Form I-9, employers must accept any 
documentation that appears on the lists of acceptable documentation, 
and that reasonably appears to be genuine and that relates to you. 
Employers may not request documentation that does not appear on the 
Form I-9. Therefore, employers may not request proof of South Sudanese 
citizenship when completing Form I-9. If presented with EADs that are 
unexpired on their face, employers should accept such EADs as valid 
``List A'' documents so long as the EADs reasonably appear to be 
genuine and to relate to the employee. See below for important 
information about your rights if your employer rejects lawful 
documentation, requires additional documentation, or otherwise 
discriminates against you because of your citizenship or immigration 
status, or national origin.

Note to Employers

    Employers are reminded that the laws requiring employment 
eligibility verification and prohibiting unfair immigration-related 
employment practices remain in full force. This notice does not 
supersede or in any way limit applicable employment verification rules 
and policy guidance, including those rules setting forth reverification 
requirements. For questions, employers may call the USCIS Customer 
Assistance Office at 1-800-357-2099. The USCIS Customer Assistance 
Office accepts calls in English and Spanish only. Employers may also 
call the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Special Counsel for 
Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer Hotline 
at 1-800-255-8155.

Note to Employees

    Employees or applicants may call the DOJ OSC Worker Information 
Hotline at 1-800-255-7688 for information regarding employment 
discrimination based upon citizenship or immigration status, or 
national origin, unfair documentary practices related to the Form I-9, 
or discriminatory practices related to E-Verify. Employers must accept 
any document or combination of documents acceptable for Form I-9 
completion if the documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and to 
relate to the employee. Employers may not require extra or additional 
documentation beyond what is required for Form I-9 completion. Further, 
employees who receive an initial mismatch via E-Verify must be given an 
opportunity to challenge the mismatch, and employers are prohibited 
from taking adverse action against such employees based on the initial 
mismatch unless and until E-Verify returns a final nonconfirmation. The 
Hotline accepts calls in multiple languages. Additional information is 
available on the OSC Web site at http://www.justice.gov/crt/osc/.

Note Regarding Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (Such as 
Departments of Motor Vehicles)

    State and local government agencies are permitted to create their 
own guidelines when granting certain benefits, such as a driver's 
license or an identification card. Each state may have different laws, 
requirements, and determinations about what documents you need to 
provide to prove eligibility for certain benefits. If you are applying 
for a state or local government benefit, you may need to provide the 
state or local government agency with documents that show you are a TPS 
beneficiary and/or show you are authorized to work based on TPS. 
Examples are:
    (1) Your expired EAD that has been automatically extended, or your 
EAD that has a valid expiration date;
    (2) A copy of this Federal Register notice if you have an 
automatically extended EAD;
    (3) A copy of your Application for Temporary Protected Status, Form 
I-821 Receipt Notice (Form I-797) only if you have an automatically 
extended EAD;
    (4) A copy of your Form I-821 Approval Notice (Form I-797) for this 
designation; and
    (5) If there is an automatic extension of work authorization, a 
copy of the fact sheet from the USCIS TPS Web site that provides 
information on the automatic extension.
    Check with the state or local agency regarding which document(s) 
the agency will accept.

[[Page 63635]]

    Some benefit-granting agencies use the USCIS Systematic Alien 
Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE) to verify the current 
immigration status of applicants for public benefits. If such an agency 
has denied your application based solely or in part on a SAVE response 
following completion of all required SAVE verification steps, the 
agency must offer you the opportunity to appeal the decision in 
accordance with the agency's procedures. If the agency has completed 
all SAVE verification and you do not believe the response is correct, 
you may make an Info Pass appointment for an in-person interview at a 
local USCIS office. Detailed information on how to make corrections, 
make an appointment, or submit a written request can be found at the 
SAVE Web site at http://www.uscis.gov/save, then by choosing ``How to 
Correct Your Records'' from the menu on the right.

[FR Doc. 2011-26537 Filed 10-12-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-97-P