[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 116 (Monday, June 17, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36223-36229]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-14101]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2535-13; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2013-0001]
RIN 1615-ZB22


Extension and Redesignation of Syria for Temporary Protected 
Status

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

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: Through this Notice, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) is 
extending the existing designation of Syria for Temporary Protected 
Status (TPS) for 18 months, from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 
2015, and redesignating Syria for TPS for 18 months, effective October 
1, 2013 through March 31, 2015.
    The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain 
TPS through March 31, 2015 so long as they otherwise continue to meet 
the terms and conditions of TPS status. The redesignation of Syria 
allows additional individuals who have been continuously residing in 
the United States since June 17, 2013 to obtain TPS, if otherwise 
eligible. The Secretary has determined that an extension and 
redesignation are warranted because the extraordinary and temporary 
conditions in Syria that prompted the 2012 TPS designation have not 
only persisted, but have deteriorated, and because there is now an on-
going armed conflict in Syria that would pose a serious threat to the 
personal safety of Syrian nationals if they were required to return to 
their country.
    Through this Notice, DHS also sets forth procedures necessary for 
nationals of Syria (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually 
resided in Syria) either to: (1) Re-register under the extension if 
they already have TPS and to apply for renewal of their Employment 
Authorization Documents (EADs) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration 
Services (USCIS); or (2) submit an initial registration application 
under the redesignation and apply for an EAD.
    For individuals who have already been granted TPS under the 
original Syria designation, the 60-day re-registration period runs from 
June 17, 2013 through August 16, 2013. USCIS will issue new EADs with a 
March 31, 2015 expiration date to eligible Syrian TPS beneficiaries who 
timely re-register

[[Page 36224]]

and apply for EADs under this extension.
    Under the redesignation, individuals who currently do not have TPS 
(or an initial TPS application pending) may submit an initial 
application during the 180-day initial registration period that runs 
from June 17, 2013 through December 16, 2013. In addition to 
demonstrating continuous residence in the United States since June 17, 
2013 and meeting other eligibility criteria, initial applicants for TPS 
under this redesignation must demonstrate that they have been 
continuously physically present in the United States since October 1, 
2013, the effective date of the redesignation of Syria, before USCIS 
can finally grant them TPS.
    TPS applications that were filed during the original Syria 
designation that opened on March 29, 2012, and remain pending on June 
17, 2013 will be treated as initial applications under the 
redesignation. Therefore, individuals who have a pending TPS 
application will not need to file a new Application for Temporary 
Protected Status (Form I-821). DHS provides additional instructions in 
this Notice for individuals whose TPS applications remain pending and 
who would like to obtain an EAD valid through March 31, 2015.

DATES: Extension of Designation of Syria for TPS: The 18-month 
extension of the TPS designation of Syria is effective October 1, 2013, 
and will remain in effect through March 31, 2015. The 60-day re-
registration period runs from June 17, 2013 through August 16, 2013.
    Redesignation of Syria for TPS: The redesignation of Syria for TPS 
is effective October 1, 2013, and will remain in effect through March 
31, 2015, a period of 18 months. The 180-day initial registration 
period for new applicants under the Syria TPS redesignation runs from 
June 17, 2013 through December 16, 2013.

Further Information

     For further information on TPS, including guidance on the 
application process and additional information on eligibility, please 
visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. You can find 
specific information about this extension and redesignation of Syria 
for TPS by selecting ``TPS Designated Country: Syria'' from the menu on 
the left of the TPS Web page.
     You can also contact the TPS Operations Program Manager at 
the Family and Status 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 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833). Service is available 
in English and Spanish.
     Further information will also be available at local USCIS 
offices upon publication of this Notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Abbreviations

BIA--Board of Immigration Appeals
DHS--Department of Homeland Security
DOS--Department of State
EAD--Employment Authorization Document
FSA--Free Syrian Army
Government--U.S. Government
IDP--Internally Displaced Persons
IJ--Immigration Judge
INA--Immigration and Nationality Act
OSC--U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for 
Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices
SARG--Syrian Arab Republic Government
SAVE--USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program
Secretary--Secretary of Homeland Security
Syria--Syrian Arab Republic
TPS--Temporary Protected Status
UN--United Nations
UNHCR--Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
USCIS--U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

     TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible 
nationals of a country designated for TPS under the Immigration and 
Nationality Act (INA), or to eligible persons without nationality who 
last habitually resided in the designated country.
     During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are 
eligible to remain in the United States and may obtain work 
authorization, so long as they continue to meet the requirements of TPS 
status.
     TPS beneficiaries may also be granted travel authorization 
as a matter of discretion.
     The granting of TPS does not lead to permanent resident 
status.
     When the Secretary terminates a country's TPS designation, 
beneficiaries return to the same immigration status they maintained 
before TPS, if any (unless that status has since expired or been 
terminated), or to any other lawfully obtained immigration status they 
received while registered for TPS.

When was Syria designated for TPS?

    On March 29, 2012, the Secretary designated Syria for TPS based on 
extraordinary and temporary conditions within that country that prevent 
Syrian nationals from returning to Syria in safety. See Designation of 
Syrian Arab Republic for Temporary Protected Status, 77 FR 19026 (Mar. 
29, 2012), and correction at 77 FR 20046 (Apr. 3, 2012); see also 
section 244(b)(1)(C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C). This 
announcement is the first extension and the first redesignation of TPS 
for Syria.

What authority does the Secretary have to extend the designation of 
Syria 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 
may then grant TPS to eligible nationals of that foreign state (or 
aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in that 
state). See section 244(a)(1)(A) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A).
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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 from the 
Department of Justice to the Department of Homeland Security ``shall 
be deemed to refer to the Secretary'' of Homeland Security. See 6 
U.S.C. 557 (codifying HSA, tit. XV, sec. 1517).
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    At least 60 days before the expiration of a country's TPS 
designation or extension, the Secretary, after consultation with 
appropriate Government agencies, must review the conditions in a 
foreign state designated for TPS to determine whether the conditions 
for the TPS designation continue to be met. See section 244(b)(3)(A) of 
the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). If the Secretary determines that a 
foreign state continues to meet the conditions for TPS designation, the 
designation is extended for an additional 6 months (or, in the 
Secretary's discretion, for 12 or 18 months). See section 244(b)(3)(C) 
of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C). If the Secretary determines that 
the foreign state no longer meets the conditions for TPS designation, 
the Secretary must terminate the designation. See section 244(b)(3)(B) 
of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(B).

[[Page 36225]]

What is the Secretary's authority to redesignate Syria for TPS?

    In addition to extending an existing TPS designation, the 
Secretary, after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, may 
redesignate a country (or part thereof) for TPS. See section 244(b)(1) 
of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1); see also section 244(c)(1)(A)(i) of 
the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(i) (requiring that ``the alien has 
been continuously physically present since the effective date of the 
most recent designation of the state'') (emphasis added). This is one 
of several instances in which the Secretary, and, prior to the 
establishment of DHS, the Attorney General, have simultaneously 
extended a country's TPS designation and redesignated the country for 
TPS. See, e.g., Extension and Redesignation of South Sudan for 
Temporary Protected Status, 78 FR 1866 (Jan. 9, 2013); Extension and 
Redesignation of Sudan for Temporary Protected Status, 78 FR 1872 (Jan. 
9, 2013); Extension and Redesignation of Haiti for Temporary Protected 
Status, 76 FR 29000 (May 19, 2011); Extension of Designation and 
Redesignation of Liberia Under Temporary Protected Status, 62 FR 16608 
(Apr. 7, 1997) (discussing legal authority for redesignation of a 
country for TPS).
    When the Secretary designates or redesignates a country for TPS, 
she also has the discretion to establish the date from which TPS 
applicants must demonstrate that they have been ``continuously 
resid[ing]'' in the United States. See section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii) of the 
INA, 8 U.S.C.S 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii). This discretion permits the 
Secretary to tailor the ``continuous residence'' date to offer TPS to 
the group of eligible individuals that the Secretary deems appropriate.
    The Secretary has determined that the ``continuous residence'' date 
for applicants for TPS under the redesignation of Syria shall be June 
17, 2013. Initial applicants for TPS under this redesignation must also 
show they have been ``continuously physically present'' in the United 
States since October 1, 2013, which is the effective date of the 
Secretary's redesignation of Syria. See section 244(c)(1)(A)(i) of the 
INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(i). For each initial TPS application filed 
under the redesignation, the final determination whether the applicant 
has met the ``continuous physical presence'' requirement cannot be made 
until October 1, 2013. USCIS, however, will issue EADs, as appropriate, 
during the registration period in accordance with 8 CFR 244.5(b).

Why is the Secretary extending the TPS designation for Syria and 
simultaneously redesignating Syria for TPS through March 31, 2015?

    Over the past year, DHS and the Department of State (DOS) have 
continued to review conditions in Syria. Based on this review and after 
consulting with DOS, the Secretary has determined that an 18-month 
extension is warranted because the extraordinary and temporary 
conditions preventing the safe return of Syrian nationals that prompted 
the March 29, 2012 designation continue to be met. In fact, those 
conditions have worsened significantly. The Secretary has also decided 
to redesignate Syria for TPS based not only on the continuing 
extraordinary and temporary conditions, but also on the ongoing armed 
conflict in Syria. Furthermore, the Secretary has decided the 
conditions warrant changing the ``continuous residence'' date so as to 
provide TPS protection to eligible Syrian nationals who arrived between 
March 29, 2012 and June 17, 2013. The ``continuous physical presence'' 
date must be the effective date of the redesignation, which the 
Secretary has established as October 1, 2013 so that individuals 
granted TPS under the redesignation will have TPS for the same 18-month 
period through March 31, 2015 as TPS beneficiaries re-registering under 
the extension. See section 244(c)(1)(A)(i) of the INA; 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(c)(1)(A)(i).
    Conditions in Syria are unstable, volatile and dangerous, and have 
worsened significantly since the prior designation took effect on March 
29, 2012. Acts of violence and human rights abuses have been reported 
in most major urban centers and have significantly increased over the 
last year, and access to humanitarian assistance for victims of the 
ongoing strife continues to be a serious challenge. By mid-July 2012, 
the International Committee of the Red Cross labeled the Syrian 
conflict a civil war. Economic sanctions continued to cripple the 
country, making basic goods like medicine difficult to obtain for 
civilians.
    President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Arab Republic Government 
(SARG) have continued to use indiscriminate and deadly force, including 
military assaults on cities and residential areas throughout the 
country. The military continues to fight the opposition, responding 
with air strikes and heavy artillery to kill and capture combatants, 
and harming tens of thousands of civilians in the process. With an 
unrelenting armed opposition, including jihadist elements, and a 
military-backed government fighting to remain in power, the number of 
people displaced by violence has continued to rise.
    Government-rebel clashes are ongoing throughout the country and, in 
addition to the ongoing attacks perpetrated by the Syrian government, 
rebel faction extremists, foreign fighters, and unidentified assailants 
have killed and abducted civilians, humanitarian workers, and United 
Nations (UN) personnel. International funding and support for the armed 
opposition continues to build, enhancing their communications, 
weaponry, and paramilitary capabilities.
    Indigenous and international jihadist groups have emerged among the 
armed opposition in the fight against the SARG, increasingly employing 
tactics, including suicide bombings, which have often resulted in 
civilian casualties. In addition to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and 
Syrian National Army, reports published in 2012 indicate that ``a 
radical Islamist dynamic has emerged within the opposition.'' The armed 
opposition has reportedly also been reinforced by foreign fighters.
    As of November 2012, the rebels reportedly controlled large areas 
around Aleppo, Idlib, Haffeh, Muhradeh, Rastan, al Qusayr, Tal Abyad, 
and Deir ez-Zor. The rebels also carried out sophisticated attacks and 
takeovers. Clashes between rebels and government forces frequently 
resulted in civilian deaths.
    As of April 2013, based on reports cited by U.N. officials, the 
estimated Syrian death toll for the duration of the conflict is 70,000, 
with approximately 15,000 of those deaths occurring in the early months 
of 2013. Civilians accounted for the majority of those killed. The 
provinces of Homs, Damascus, Idlib, Hama, Deraa, and Aleppo were 
reported to have suffered the most casualties. According to Amnesty 
International, the main cause of civilian deaths has been the armed 
forces' indiscriminate aerial bombardment and artillery shelling in 
heavily populated areas. The U.N. Human Rights Council, through the 
Independent International Commission of Inquiry, stated that scores of 
civilians have also been killed in explosions caused by suicide bombers 
and improvised explosive devices.
    Among the civilian casualties, 108 people, mostly women and 
children, died in the Houla massacre in May 2012. The Independent 
International Commission of Inquiry blamed the SARG for the killings; 
other sources reported that most were killed by

[[Page 36226]]

regime-affiliated death squads. Other notable massacres occurred, 
including an incident in Daraya where more than 500 people were killed 
in late August 2012. There were also reports that women have been 
subject to sexual and gender-based violence by SARG forces or pro-
government militias at road checkpoints and during house searches.
    Observers note that children have been placed at risk as well. In 
August 2012, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry 
reported that 125 children died in military offensives, sniper fire, 
attacks on protests, and massacres. Children have reportedly been used 
as human shields and placed at risk when combatants take posts at 
schools.
    The UN reports there are approximately 4.25 million internally 
displaced persons (IDPs) in Syria. As the SARG military is expected to 
continue to fight the armed opposition as well as the jihadist groups 
to retain power of the country, the number of people displaced by 
violence is only expected to rise. According to an Office of the UN 
High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) report from December 2012, at 
least 900,000 persons were displaced in 2012 due to fighting throughout 
the country.
    According to UNHCR estimates, the flow of refugees into Syria's 
four neighboring states has increased dramatically since May 2012, with 
approximately 576,000 Syrian refugees registered in neighboring states 
by the end of 2012 and 1.1 million by early March 2013. In April 2013, 
an additional 230,000 refugees fled to neighboring countries. UNHCR 
predicts these numbers could increase to four million refugees and 
eight million IDPs by the end of 2013.
    Based upon this review and after consultation with appropriate 
Government agencies, the Secretary finds that:
     The conditions that prompted the March 29, 2012 
designation of Syria for TPS continue to be met. See sections 
244(b)(3)(A) and (C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A) and (C).
     There continue to be extraordinary and temporary 
conditions in Syria that continue to prevent the safe return of Syrian 
nationals. See section 244(b)(1)(C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(1)(C).
     It is not contrary to the national interest of the United 
States to permit Syrian nationals (and persons who have no nationality 
who last habitually resided in Syria) who meet the eligibility 
requirements of TPS to remain in the United States temporarily. See 
section 244(b)(1)(C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
     There is an armed conflict in Syria and, due to such 
conflict, requiring the return of Syrian nationals to Syria would pose 
a serious threat to their personal safety. See section 244(b)(1)(A) of 
the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A).
     The designation of Syria for TPS should be extended for an 
additional 18-month period from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015. 
See section 244(b)(3)(C) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
     Based on current country conditions, Syria should be 
simultaneously redesignated for TPS effective October 1, 2013 through 
March 31, 2015. See sections 244(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2) of the 
INA; 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2).
     TPS applicants must demonstrate that they have 
continuously resided in the United States since June 17, 2013.
     The date by which TPS applicants must demonstrate that 
they have been continuously physically present in the United States is 
October 1, 2013, the effective date of the redesignation of Syria for 
TPS.
     There are approximately 2,600 current Syrian TPS 
beneficiaries who are expected to be eligible to re-register for TPS 
under the extension.
     It is estimated that 9,000 additional individuals may be 
eligible for TPS under the redesignation of Syria.

Notice of Extension of the TPS Designation of Syria and Redesignation 
of Syria for TPS

    By the authority vested in me as Secretary under section 244 of the 
INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a, I have determined, after consultation with the 
appropriate Government agencies, that the conditions that prompted the 
designation of Syria for TPS on March 29, 2012, continue to be met. See 
section 244(b)(3)(A) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). In fact, 
those conditions have deteriorated further. In addition, there is now 
an on-going armed conflict in Syria that poses a serious threat to the 
personal safety of nationals of Syria if they were to be required to 
return to Syria. On the basis of these determinations, I am 
simultaneously extending the existing TPS designation of Syria for 18 
months from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015, and redesignating 
Syria for TPS for 18 months from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 
2015. See sections 244(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2) of the INA; 8 
U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), and (b)(2). I have also determined 
that eligible individuals must demonstrate that they have continuously 
resided in the United States since June 17, 2013. See section 
244(c)(1)(A)(ii) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii).

Janet Napolitano,
Secretary.

I am currently a Syrian TPS beneficiary. What should I do?

    If you filed a TPS application during the original Syria TPS 
registration period that ran from March 29, 2012 through September 25, 
2012, and that application was approved prior to June 17, 2013, then 
you need to file a re-registration application under the extension if 
you wish to maintain TPS benefits through March 31, 2015. You must also 
use the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) to re-
register for TPS. The 60-day open re-registration period will run from 
June 17, 2013 through August 16, 2013.

I have a pending TPS application filed during the original Syria TPS 
registration period that ran from March 29, 2012 through September 25, 
2012. What should I do?

    If your TPS application is still pending on June 17, 2013, then you 
do not need to file a new Application for Temporary Protected Status 
(Form I-821). Pending TPS applications will be treated as initial 
applications under the re-designation. Therefore, if your TPS 
application is approved, you will be granted TPS through March 31, 
2015. If you have a pending TPS application and you wish to have an EAD 
valid through March 31, 2015, please refer to Table 1 to determine 
whether you should file a new Application for Employment Authorization 
(Form I-765).

[[Page 36227]]



     Table 1--Form and EAD Information for Pending TPS Applications
------------------------------------------------------------------------
          If . . .                  And . . .            Then . . .
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You requested an EAD during   You received an EAD   You must file a new
 the original registration     with Category C19     Application for
 period for Syria TPS.         or A12.               Employment
                                                     Authorization (Form
                                                     I-765) with fee (or
                                                     fee waiver request)
                                                     if you wish to have
                                                     a new EAD valid
                                                     through March 31,
                                                     2015.
                              You did not receive   You do not need to
                               an EAD with           file a new
                               Category C19 or A12.  Application for
                                                     Employment
                                                     Authorization (Form
                                                     I-765). If your TPS
                                                     application is
                                                     approved, your Form
                                                     I-765 will be
                                                     approved through
                                                     March 31, 2015.
You did not request an EAD    You wish to have an   You must file a new
 during the original           EAD valid through     Application for
 registration period for       March 31, 2015.       Employment
 Syria TPS.                                          Authorization (Form
                                                     I-765) with fee (or
                                                     fee waiver
                                                     request).
                              You do not wish to    You do not need to
                               have an EAD valid     file a new
                               through March 31,     Application for
                               2015.                 Employment
                                                     Authorization (Form
                                                     I-765).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am not a TPS beneficiary, and I do not have a TPS application 
pending. What are the procedures for initial registration for TPS under 
the Syria redesignation?

    If you are not a Syrian TPS beneficiary or have a pending 
application for Syria TPS, you may submit your TPS application during 
the 180-day initial registration period that will run from June 17, 
2013 through December 16, 2013.

Required Application Forms and Application Fees To Register or Re-
Register for TPS

    To register or re-register for TPS for Syria, an applicant must 
submit each of the following two applications:
    1. Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821).
     If you are filing an initial application, you must pay the 
fee for the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821). 
See 8 CFR 244.2(f)(1) and 244.6 and information on initial filing on 
the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.
     If you are filing for TPS re-registration, you do not need 
to pay the fee for the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form 
I-821). See 8 CFR 244.17.
    and
    2. Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765).
     If you are applying for initial registration and want an 
EAD, you must pay the fee for the Application for Employment 
Authorization (Form I-765) only if you are age 14 through 65. No fee 
for the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) is 
required if you are under the age of 14 or are 66 and older and 
applying for initial registration.
     If you are applying for re-registration (or have a pending 
initial TPS application filed during the original designation and you 
received a previous TPS-related EAD), you must pay the fee for the 
Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) only if you want 
an EAD.
     You do not pay the fee for the Application for Employment 
Authorization (Form I-765) if you are not requesting an EAD, regardless 
of whether you are applying for initial registration or re-
registration.
    You must submit both completed application forms together. If you 
are unable to pay for the application and/or biometrics fee, you may 
apply for a fee waiver by completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-
912) or submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and by 
providing satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information 
on the application forms and fees for TPS, please visit the USCIS TPS 
Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. Fees for the Application for 
Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821), the Application for Employment 
Authorization (Form I-765), and biometric services are also described 
in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1)(i).

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 for the 
biometric services fee, you may apply for a fee waiver by completing a 
Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or by submitting a personal letter 
requesting a fee waiver, and providing satisfactory supporting 
documentation. For more information on the biometric services fee, 
please visit the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov. If necessary, 
you may be required to visit an Application Support Center to have your 
biometrics captured.

Refiling an Initial TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of a Fee 
Waiver Request

    If you request a fee waiver when filing your initial TPS 
application package and your request is denied, you may re-file your 
application packet before the initial filing deadline of December 16, 
2013. If you submit your application with a fee waiver request before 
that deadline, but you receive a fee waiver denial and there are fewer 
than 45 days before the filing deadline (or the deadline has passed), 
you may still re-file your application within the 45-day period after 
the date on the USCIS fee waiver denial notice. Your application will 
not be rejected even if the filing deadline has passed, provided it is 
mailed within those 45 days and all other required information for the 
application is included. Note: If you wish, you may also wait to 
request an EAD and pay the Application for Employment Authorization 
(Form I-765) fee after USCIS grants you TPS, if you are found eligible. 
If you choose to do this, you would file the Application for Temporary 
Protected Status (Form I-821) with the fee and the Application for 
Employment Authorization (Form I-756) without fee and without 
requesting an EAD.

Refiling a Re-Registration TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of 
a Fee Waiver Request

    USCIS urges all re-registering applicants to file as soon as 
possible within the 60-day re-registration period so that USCIS can 
process the applications and issue EADs promptly. Filing early will 
also allow those applicants who may receive denials of their fee waiver 
requests to have time to re-file their applications before the re-
registration deadline. If, however, an applicant receives a denial of 
his or her fee waiver request and is unable to re-

[[Page 36228]]

file by the re-registration deadline, the applicant may still re-file 
his or her application. This situation will be reviewed under good 
cause for late re-registration. However, applicants are urged to re-
file within 45 days of the date on their USCIS fee waiver denial 
notice, if at all possible. See section 244(c)(3)(C) of the INA; 8 
U.S.C. 1254a(c)(3)(C); 8 CFR 244.17(c). For more information on good 
cause for late re-registration, visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. Note: As previously stated, although a re-
registering TPS beneficiary age 14 and older must pay the biometric 
services fee (but not the initial TPS application fee) when filing a 
TPS re-registration application, the applicant may decide to wait to 
request an EAD, and therefore not pay the Application for Employment 
Authorization (Form I-765) fee, until after USCIS has approved the 
individual's TPS re-registration, if he or she is eligible.

Mailing Information

    Mail your application for TPS to the proper address in Table 2.

                       Table 2--Mailing Addresses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                If . . .                          Mail to . . .
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying through the U.S.        U.S. Citizenship and
 Postal Service.                          Immigration Services, Attn:
                                          TPS Syria, P.O. Box 6943,
                                          Chicago, IL 60680-6943.
You are using a non-U.S. Postal Service  U.S. Citizenship and
 delivery service.                        Immigration Services Attn: TPS
                                          Syria, 131 S. Dearborn 3rd
                                          Floor, Chicago, IL 60603-5517.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you were granted TPS by an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board 
of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and you wish to request an EAD or are re-
registering for the first time following a grant of TPS by the IJ or 
BIA, please mail your application to the appropriate address in Table 
2. Upon receiving a Notice of Action (Form I-797) from USCIS, please 
send an email to TPSijgrant.vsc@uscis.dhs.gov with the receipt number 
and state that you submitted a re-registration and/or request for an 
EAD based on an IJ/BIA grant of TPS. You can find detailed information 
on what further information you need to email and the email addresses 
on the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.

E-Filing

    You cannot electronically file your application when re-registering 
or applying for initial registration for Syria TPS. Please mail your 
application to the mailing address listed in Table 2.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

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

    No. USCIS will not issue interim EADs to TPS applicants and re-
registrants at local offices.

Will my current EAD, which is set to expire on September 30, 2013, be 
automatically extended for 6 months?

    No. This Notice does not automatically extend previously issued 
EADs. DHS has announced the extension of the TPS designation of Syria 
and established the re-registration period at an early date to allow 
sufficient time for USCIS to process EAD requests prior to the 
September 30, 2013 expiration date. You must apply during the 60-day 
re-registration period. Failure to file your TPS application during the 
re-registration period without good cause may result in gaps in work 
authorization. DHS strongly encourages you to apply as early as 
possible within the re-registration period.

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 the ``Lists 
of Acceptable Documents'' for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form 
I-9). You can find additional detailed information on the USCIS I-9 
Central Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/I-9Central. Employers are 
required to verify the identity and employment authorization of all new 
employees by using Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). 
Within 3 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.'' Employers may not reject a document based upon a 
future expiration date.

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 Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) to reverify 
employment authorization. Your employer is required to reverify on 
Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) the employment 
authorization of current employees upon the expiration of a TPS-related 
EAD. Your employer should use either Section 3 of the Employment 
Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) originally completed for the 
employee or, if this section has already been completed or if the 
version of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) is no longer 
valid, in Section 3 of a new Employment Eligibility Verification (Form 
I-9) using the most current version. Note that your employer may not 
specify which List A or List C document employees must present.
    USCIS anticipates that it will be able to process and issue new 
EADs for existing TPS Syria beneficiaries before their current EADs 
expire on September 30, 2013. However, re-registering beneficiaries are 
encouraged to file as early as possible within the 60-day re-
registration period to help ensure that they receive their EADs 
promptly.

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

    No. When completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9), 
including reverifying employment authorization, employers must accept 
any documentation that appears on the ``Lists of Acceptable Documents'' 
for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and that reasonably 
appears to be genuine and that relates to you. Employers may not 
request documentation that does not appear on the ``Lists of Acceptable 
Documents.'' Therefore, employers may not request proof of Syrian 
citizenship when completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form 
I-9) for new hires or

[[Page 36229]]

reverifying the employment authorization of current employees. If 
presented with an EAD that is unexpired on its face, employers should 
accept such EAD as a valid List A document so long as the EAD 
reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the employee. Refer 
to the Note to Employees section for important information about your 
rights if your employer rejects lawful documentation, requires 
additional documentation, or otherwise discriminates against you based 
on your citizenship or immigration status, or your national origin.

Note to All Employers

    Employers are reminded that the laws requiring proper 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 general questions about the employment eligibility 
verification process, employers may call USCIS at 888-464-4218 (TTY 
877-875-6028) or email USCIS at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls and emails 
are accepted in English and many other languages including Arabic. For 
questions about avoiding discrimination during the employment 
eligibility verification process, employers may also call the U.S. 
Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-
Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer Hotline at 800-255-
8155 (TTY for the hearing impaired is at 800-237-2515), which offers 
language interpretation in numerous languages, or email OSC at 
osccrt@usdoj.gov.

Note to All Employees

    For general questions about the employment eligibility verification 
process, employees may call USCIS at 888-897-7781 (TTY 877-875-6028) or 
email USCIS at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls and emails are accepted in 
English, Spanish and many other languages including Arabic. Employees 
or applicants may also call the OSC Worker Information Hotline at 800-
255-7688 (TTY for the hearing impaired is at 800-237-2515) for 
information regarding employment discrimination based upon citizenship, 
immigration status, or national origin, or for information regarding 
discrimination related to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-
9) and E-Verify. The OSC Worker Information Hotline provides language 
interpretation in numerous languages.
    To comply with the law, employers must accept any document or 
combination of documents from the List of Acceptable Documents 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 Employment Eligibility Verification (Form 
I-9) completion. Further, employers participating in E-Verify that 
receive an E-Verify initial case result of ``Tentative Nonconfirmation 
(TNC)'' must promptly inform employees of the TNC and give such 
employees an opportunity to contest the TNC. A TNC case result means 
that the information entered into E-Verify from Form I-9 differs from 
Social Security Administration, DHS, or DOS records. Employers may not 
terminate, suspend, delay training, withhold pay, lower pay or take any 
other adverse action against an employee based on the employee's 
decision to contest a TNC or because the case is still pending with E-
Verify. A Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) case result is received when E-
Verify cannot verify an employee's employment eligibility. An employer 
may terminate employment based on a case result of FNC. Work-authorized 
employees who receive an FNC may call USCIS for assistance at 888-897-
7781 (TTY 877-875-6028). Additional information about proper 
nondiscriminatory I-9 and E-Verify procedures is available on the OSC 
Web site at http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc and the USCIS Web site 
at http://www.dhs.gov/E-verify.

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

    While Federal government agencies must follow the guidelines laid 
out by the Federal government, state and local government agencies 
establish their own rules and guidelines when granting certain 
benefits. Each state may have different laws, requirements, and 
determinations about what documents you need to provide to prove 
eligibility for certain benefits. Whether you are applying for a 
Federal, state, or local government benefit, you may need to provide 
the 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 unexpired EAD card;
    (2) A copy of your Application for Temporary Protected Status 
Notice of Action (Form I-797) for this re-registration; and/or
    (3) A copy of your past or current Application for Temporary 
Protected Status Notice of Action (Form I-797), if you received one 
from USCIS.
    Check with the government agency regarding which document(s) the 
agency will accept. You may also provide the agency with a copy of this 
Notice.
    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, 
the agency must offer you the opportunity to appeal the decision in 
accordance with the agency's procedures. If the agency has received and 
acted upon or will act upon a SAVE verification and you do not believe 
the response is correct, you may make an InfoPass 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. 2013-14101 Filed 6-14-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-97-P