[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 84 (Tuesday, May 1, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 25723-25728]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-10388]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2521-12; DHS Docket No. USCIS 2010-0010]
RIN 1615-ZB11


Extension and Redesignation of Somalia for Temporary Protected 
Status

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security 
(Secretary) is both extending the existing designation of Somalia for 
temporary protected status (TPS) for 18 months from September 18, 2012 
through March 17, 2014, and redesignating Somalia for TPS for 18 
months, effective September 18, 2012 through March 17, 2014. The 
extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain their 
TPS through March 17, 2014. The redesignation of Somalia allows 
additional individuals who have been continuously residing in the 
United States since May 1, 2012, to obtain TPS, if eligible. The 
Secretary has determined that an extension is warranted because the 
conditions in Somalia that prompted the TPS designation continue to be 
met. There continues to be a substantial, but temporary, disruption of 
living conditions in Somalia based upon ongoing armed conflict and 
extraordinary and temporary conditions in that country that prevent 
Somalis who now have TPS from safely returning.
    This notice also sets forth procedures necessary for nationals of 
Somalia (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in 
Somalia) to re-register under the extension if they already have TPS or 
to submit an initial registration application under the redesignation, 
and to file Applications for Employment Authorization (Forms I-765) 
with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
    Under the redesignation, individuals who currently do not have TPS, 
or a TPS application pending, may apply for TPS from May 1, 2012 
through October 29, 2012. In addition to demonstrating continuous 
residence in the United States since May 1, 2012, USCIS will determine 
whether initial applicants for TPS under this redesignation have 
demonstrated that they have been continuously physically present in the 
United States since September 18, 2012, the effective date of the 
redesignation of Somalia, before USCIS grants them TPS.
    For individuals who have already been granted TPS under the Somalia 
designation, the 60-day re-registration period will run from May 1, 
2012 through July 2, 2012. USCIS will issue new Employment 
Authorization Documents (EADs) with a March 17, 2014 expiration date to 
eligible Somali TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for 
EADs under this extension.

DATES: Extension of TPS: The 18-month extension of the TPS designation 
of Somalia is effective September 18, 2012, and will remain in effect 
through March 17, 2014. The 60-day re-registration period begins May 1, 
2012 and will remain in effect until July 2, 2012.
    Redesignation of Somalia for TPS: The redesignation of Somalia for 
TPS is effective September 18, 2012, and will

[[Page 25724]]

remain in effect through March 17, 2014, a period of 18 months. The 
initial registration period for new applicants under the Somalia TPS 
re-designation will run from May 1, 2012 through October 29, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
     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 of Somalia for TPS and 
redesignation of Somalia by selecting ``TPS Designated Country--
Somalia'' from the menu on the left of the TPS Web page.
     You can also contact the TPS Operations Program Manager at 
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

Act--Immigration and Nationality Act
DHS--Department of Homeland Security
DOS--Department of State
EAD--Employment Authorization Document
Government--U.S. Government
OSC--U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for 
Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices
Secretary--Secretary of Homeland Security
TPS--Temporary Protected Status
USCIS--U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

     TPS is an immigration status granted to eligible nationals 
of a country designated for TPS under the Act (or to 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 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 they received while registered for TPS.

When was Somalia designated for TPS?

    On September 16, 1991, the Attorney General designated Somalia for 
TPS based on extraordinary and temporary conditions resulting from 
armed conflict. See 56 FR 46804. On September 4, 2001, the Attorney 
General redesignated Somalia for TPS. See 66 FR 46288. The Secretary of 
Homeland Security has extended Somalia's TPS designation several times 
based on a determination that the conditions warranting the designation 
have continued to be met. The last extension for Somalia was announced 
on November 2, 2010. See 75 FR 67383. This announcement is the ninth 
extension of TPS for Somalia since the redesignation and extension in 
2001, and the second redesignation of Somalia for TPS since the 
original designation in 1991.

What authority does the Secretary have to extend the designation of 
Somalia for TPS?

    Section 244(b)(1) of the Act, 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 Act, 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 Immigration and Nationality Act 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 Act, 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 Act, 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 Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(B).

What is the Secretary's authority to redesignate Somalia 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 Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1); see also section 244(c)(1)(A)(i) of 
the Act, 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., 76 FR 29000 (May 19, 2011) (extension and redesignation for 
Haiti); 69 FR 60168 (Oct. 7, 2004) (extension and redesignation for 
Sudan); 62 FR 16608 (Apr. 7, 1997) (extension and redesignation for 
Liberia).
    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 
Act, 8 U.S.C. 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 Somalia shall be May 
1, 2012. Initial applicants for TPS under this redesignation must also 
show they have been ``continuously physically present'' in the United 
States since September 18, 2012, which is the effective date of the 
Secretary's most recent designation, or redesignation, of Somalia. See 
section 244(c)(1)(A)(i) of

[[Page 25725]]

the Act, 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 September 18, 2012. USCIS, however, will issue 
employment authorization documentation, as appropriate, during the 
registration period in accordance with 8 CFR 244.5(b).

Why is the Secretary extending the TPS designation for Somalia and 
simultaneously redesignating Somalia for TPS through March 17, 2014?

    Over the past year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and 
the Department of State (DOS) have continued to review conditions in 
Somalia. Based on this review and after consulting with DOS, the 
Secretary has determined that an 18-month extension is warranted 
because the armed conflict is ongoing, and the extraordinary and 
temporary conditions that prompted the 2001 redesignation persist. The 
Secretary has further determined that the conditions have not only 
persisted, but have deteriorated in Somalia, supporting redesignating 
Somalia for TPS under section 244(b)(1)(A) and (C) of the Act and 
changing the ``continuous residence'' and ``continuous physical 
presence'' dates.
    Two decades of conflict in Somalia and the country's most severe 
drought in 60 years have led to what has been referred to as the worst 
humanitarian crisis in the world. During this reporting period of 2010 
and 2011, the number of armed groups involved on both sides of the 
conflict increased and the areas of intense conflict expanded. A 
dramatic upsurge in violence and severe drought were related factors 
contributing to famine experienced by six regions in south-central 
Somalia during 2011. All these conditions led to a rise in civilian 
deaths and population displacement, and left more than half the 
population in need of humanitarian assistance. Distribution of 
humanitarian aid increased significantly during 2011 and the 
international community has doubled its pledge for humanitarian aid to 
Somalia for 2012. However, the delivery of humanitarian aid continues 
to be impeded by numerous factors, including piracy off the coast of 
Somalia, difficulty accessing areas affected by seasonal flooding, 
general insecurity, and most notably threats to aid workers and 
restrictions on the presence and work of humanitarian agencies.
    Conflict between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and 
allied forces on one side and insurgent militias (including al-Shabaab) 
on the other continued to result in high levels of civilian casualties 
and population displacement. In early 2010, most of the country was in 
the hands of Islamist insurgents, with the TFG supported by the African 
Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) controlling only a few blocks of 
Mogadishu. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported continual fighting between 
militant Islamist groups and the TFG raging in Mogadishu (Somalia's 
capital) throughout 2010, with all parties conducting random attacks 
causing high civilian casualties. HRW further reported that opposition 
fighters deployed unlawfully in densely populated civilian 
neighborhoods and at times used civilians as ``shields'' to fire 
mortars at TFG and AMISOM. These attacks were conducted so 
indiscriminately that they frequently destroyed civilian homes, but 
rarely struck military targets. According to the United Nations (UN) 
Secretary-General, by early November 2011, the TFG and AMISOM were 
present across almost all 16 districts of Mogadishu, but many districts 
remained insecure and terrorist attacks by al-Shabaab occurred almost 
daily.
    During 2010 and 2011, the conflict intensified outside of 
Mogadishu. The UN Security Council reported that ``the relatively 
stable northern regions of Puntland and Somaliland have suffered 
increasing spillover from the conflict to the south in the form of 
targeted killings and bombings.'' In late 2011, Kenya and Ethiopia 
provided assistance to the TFG and deployed troops into the border 
areas those countries share with Somalia to fight al-Shabaab.
    An escalation in fighting contributed to high numbers of civilian 
casualties. An estimated 2,200 civilians were killed in 2010. Around 
1,400 civilians were killed in the first half of 2011. Between January 
and July 2011 some 6,543 individuals were admitted to hospitals in 
Mogadishu with ``weapon-related injuries.'' In addition to being caught 
in the middle of fighting, civilians were also targeted by armed 
groups. According to an August 2011 HRW report, all forces involved in 
the fighting in Mogadishu ``have been responsible for serious 
violations of international humanitarian law * * * [including] 
indiscriminate attacks, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and 
detention, and unlawful forced recruitment'' (including forced 
recruitment of children by al-Shabaab).
    Worsening conditions, famine, and conflict led to the displacement 
of many people within and outside Somalia, with dire consequences for 
the health and safety of those populations. By the end of 2011, there 
were an estimated 1.5 million internally displaced people (IDP) within 
Somalia. Approximately 470,000 Somalis fled to IDP camps at or near 
Mogadishu. Makeshift IDP camps provided little access to humanitarian 
aid and placed IDPs at risk of harassment by local militia groups. In 
December 2011, the UN news agency Integrated Regional Information 
Networks reported a sharp rise in the number of rapes reported in IDP 
camps.
    The number of Somalis fleeing to neighboring countries drastically 
increased. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 
reported that in 2011 new Somali refugee arrivals in neighboring 
countries increased to 286,487, bringing the total number of Somali 
refugees in the region to 944,692 as of November 2011. Approximately 
1,500 refugees per day crossed the border from Somalia into Ethiopia 
and Kenya at the peak of the famine. UNHCR expressed alarm at security 
incidents targeting the refugee complex in Kenya, where four targeted 
attacks took place between October and December 2011, including the 
kidnapping of three aid workers.
    Conflict, displacement, and factors related to food insecurity--
including severe drought, rising food prices, and restrictions on 
humanitarian aid--were at the root of the ongoing humanitarian crisis 
in Somalia during 2010 and 2011. In 2010, Amnesty International 
reported that the threat of piracy, insecurity, restrictions on 
movement and operations of aid agencies, and corruption were factors 
that hampered delivery of humanitarian aid to populations in need.
    In July 2011 the UN declared a state of famine in parts of southern 
Somalia. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of 
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), by the second half of 2011, tens of 
thousands had died from famine. In August 2011, OCHA reported that 
``Somalia is currently facing the most serious food and nutrition 
crisis in the world in terms of both scale and severity.'' During this 
reporting period of 2010 and 2011, Somalia had the highest malnutrition 
rates in the world. According to the UN Food Security and Nutrition 
Analysis Unit, 450,000 children were acutely malnourished throughout 
the country. Only 30 percent of Somalis had access to safe water, the 
lowest rate globally. Furthermore, food prices had drastically 
increased in 2011. Local cereal prices in the south had increased 270 
percent in some areas. Additionally, local food shortages, an increase 
in global oil and food prices, and piracy had contributed to an

[[Page 25726]]

average increase of 29 percent on all imported commodities. By the end 
of 2011, the UN reported that an estimated four million Somalis were in 
urgent need of food aid, humanitarian aid, and other assistance--more 
than half the country's population; three million of those were in 
crisis, and 250,000 were suffering from famine and were at risk of 
starvation.
    Despite the humanitarian crisis, al-Shabaab blocked aid 
distribution. TFG troops reportedly complicated aid distribution by 
stealing aid. Reports described blanket prohibition on humanitarian aid 
in al-Shabaab-controlled areas; and in late November 2011, al-Shabaab 
announced a ban on the operations of 16 relief organizations, including 
the UN Children's Fund, the World Health Organization and several UN 
agencies inside Somalia. This ban created concerns about renewed food 
insecurity and severe malnutrition. It also endangers the ability of 
Somali people in such areas to recover from the famine, rebuild 
community resilience, and build reserves for future adverse weather 
events.
    Somalia currently does not have a national government capable of 
providing a minimum level of human security and law and order for its 
citizens, and public security is unstable in many parts of Somalia. The 
TFG has little or no presence outside of Mogadishu, and has limited 
capacity to provide normal government services in the areas it does 
control. The TFG's capacity to process, accommodate, and provide 
assistance to returnees is extremely limited. Somalia faces an 
uncertain political future as the TFG's mandate is scheduled to end in 
August 2012.
    Based upon this review and after consultation with appropriate 
Government agencies, the Secretary finds that:
     The conditions that prompted the September 4, 2001 
redesignation of Somalia for TPS continue to be met. See section 
244(b)(3)(A) and (C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A) and (C).
     There continues to be an ongoing armed conflict and 
extraordinary and temporary conditions in Somalia that prevent Somali 
nationals from returning to Somalia in safety. See section 244(b)(1)(A) 
and (C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A) and (C).
     It is not contrary to the national interest of the United 
States to permit Somalis (and persons who have no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Somalia) who meet the eligibility requirements of 
TPS to remain in the United States temporarily. See section 
244(b)(1)(C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
     The designation of Somalia for TPS should be extended for 
an additional 18-month period from September 18, 2012 through March 17, 
2014. See section 244(b)(3)(C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
     Since the conditions in Somalia have significantly 
deteriorated which further prevents the safe return of Somali nationals 
(and persons with no nationality who last habitually resided in 
Somalia), Somalia should be simultaneously redesignated for TPS 
effective September 18, 2012 through March 17, 2014. See section 
244(b)(1)(A) and (C) and (b)(2) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A) and 
(C) and (b)(2).
     For the redesignation, the Secretary has determined that 
TPS applicants must demonstrate that they have continuously resided in 
the United States since May 1, 2012.
     The date by which TPS applicants must demonstrate that 
they have been continuously physically present in the United States is 
September 18, 2012, the effective date of the redesignation of Somalia 
for TPS.
     There are approximately 250 current Somalia TPS 
beneficiaries who are expected to be eligible to re-register for TPS 
under the extension.
     It is estimated that fewer than 1,000 additional 
individuals may be eligible for TPS under the redesignation of Somalia. 
This population includes potentially eligible Somalis who have limited 
time remaining as nonimmigrants or who have no other status.

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

    By the authority vested in me as Secretary under section 244 of the 
Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a, I have determined, after consultation with the 
appropriate Government agencies, that the conditions that prompted the 
redesignation of Somalia for temporary protected status on September 4, 
2001, not only continue to be met but have significantly deteriorated. 
See section 244(b)(3)(A) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). On the 
basis of this determination, I am simultaneously extending the existing 
TPS designation of Somalia for 18 months from September 18, 2012 
through March 17, 2014, and redesignating Somalia for TPS for 18 months 
effective September 18, 2012 through March 17, 2014. See section 
244(b)(1)(A) and (C) and (b)(2) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A) and 
(C) and (b)(2). I have also determined that under the redesignation 
eligible individuals must have continuously resided in the United 
States since May 1, 2012. See section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii) of the Act, 8 
U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii).

Janet Napolitano,
Secretary.

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

    To register or re-register for TPS for Somalia, an applicant must 
submit:
    1. Application for Temporary Protected Status, Form I-821,
     If you are filing an initial application, you must pay the 
Form I-821 fee. 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 a re-registration, you do not need to 
pay the Form I-821 fee. 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 Form I-765 fee only if you are age 14 through 65. 
No EAD fee is required if you are under the age of 14 or over the age 
of 65 and applying for initial registration.
     If you are applying for re-registration, you must pay the 
Form I-765 application fee only if you want an EAD.
     You do not pay the Form I-765 fee 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, 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 fees for TPS, please visit the USCIS TPS Web page 
at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. Fees for Form I-821, Form I-765, and 
biometric services are also described 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 fee waiver by completing a Form I-912, or by 
submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and providing 
satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information on the 
biometric

[[Page 25727]]

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.

Re-Filing an Initial TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of a Fee 
Waiver Request

    If you request a fee waiver when filing your TPS and EAD 
application forms and your request is denied, you may re-file your 
application packet with the correct fees before the filing deadline 
October 29, 2012. If you attempt to submit your application with a fee 
waiver request before the initial filing deadline, but you receive your 
application back with 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 within the 45-day period after 
the date on the USCIS fee waiver denial notice. Your application will 
not be rejected even if the 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 EAD application fee at a later time after 
USCIS grants you TPS, if you are found eligible.

Re-Filing 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 
promptly process the applications and issue EADs. 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 refile by the re-
registration deadline, the applicant may still refile 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 Act; 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: Although, as stated above, a re-registering TPS beneficiary age 
14 and older must pay the biometrics fee (but not the initial TPS 
application fee) upon filing a TPS re-registration application, the 
applicant may wish to wait to request an EAD and pay the EAD 
application fee 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 1:

                        Table 1--Mailing Address
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                If . . .                          Mail to . . .
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying for a re-registration   U.S. Postal Service: USCIS,
 or applying for an initial               Attn: TPS Somalia, P.O. Box
 registration:                            6943, Chicago, IL 60680-6943.
                                         Non-U.S. Postal Delivery
                                          Service: USCIS, Attn: TPS
                                          Somalia, 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 by the IJ or BIA, 
please mail your application to the address in Table 1 above. Upon 
receiving a Receipt Notice from USCIS, please send an email to 
TPSijgrant.vsc@uscis.dhs.gov with the receipt number and stating 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 email addresses on the USCIS TPS Web 
page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.

E-Filing

    You cannot electronically file your application when registering or 
re-registering for Somalia TPS. Please mail your application to the 
mailing address listed in Table 1 above.

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 that is set to expire on September 17, 2012, be 
automatically extended for six months?

    No. This notice does not automatically extend previously issued 
EADs. DHS has announced the extension of the TPS designation of Somalia 
and established the re-registration period at an early date to allow 
sufficient time for USCIS to process EAD requests prior to the 
September 17, 2012 expiration date. You must apply during the 60-day 
re-registration period. Failure to apply for TPS 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 page 5 of the 
Employment Eligibility Verification, 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.'' Employers may not reject a document based on 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

[[Page 25728]]

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 but 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 Somalia beneficiaries before their current EADs expire on 
September 17, 2012. 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 Somali citizenship?

    No. When completing the Form I-9, including reverifying employment 
authorization, 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 specific 
documentation, regardless of whether it does or does not appear on the 
Form I-9. Therefore, employers may not request proof of Somali 
citizenship when completing Form I-9 for new hires or reverifying the 
employment authorization of current employees. 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 based on your citizenship or immigration 
status, or based on 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 the USCIS Customer Assistance 
Office at 1-800-357-2099. The USCIS Customer Assistance Office accepts 
calls in English and Spanish only. For questions about avoiding 
discrimination during the employment eligibility verification process, 
employers may call the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Special 
Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) 
Employer Hotline at 1-800-255-8155, which offers language 
interpretation in numerous languages.

Note to Employees

    Employees or applicants may call the DOJ OSC Worker Information 
Hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (TDD for the hearing impaired is at 
1[hyphen]800[hyphen]237-2515) for information regarding employment 
discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status, or based on 
national origin, or for information regarding discrimination related to 
the Form I-9 and E-Verify. Language interpretation is available in 
numerous languages. In order to comply with the law, 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 in 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 non-confirmation. 
For example, employers must allow employees challenging their 
mismatches to continue to work without any delay in start date or 
training, and without any change in hours or pay while the final E-
Verify determination remains pending. Additional information is 
available on the OSC Web site at http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/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. 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 EAD that has a valid expiration date;
    (2) A copy of your Application for Temporary Protected Status, Form 
I-821 Receipt Notice (Form I-797) for this re-registration;
    (3) A copy of your past or current Form I-821 Approval Notice (Form 
I-797), if you receive one from USCIS.
    Check with the state or local 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 
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 www.uscis.gov/save, then by choosing ``How to Correct 
Your Records'' from the menu on the right.

[FR Doc. 2012-10388 Filed 4-30-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-97-P