INTERNATIONAL STUDENT, SCHOLAR and Immigration Services (ISSIS)
DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone
Due to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has announced his decision to designate Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. As a result, eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Federal Register notices provide details and procedures for applying for TPS and are available at www.uscis.gov/tps.
The TPS designations for the three countries are effective Nov. 21, 2014 and will be in effect for 18 months. The designations mean that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) will not be removed from the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins Nov. 21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015.
To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014 and “continuously physically present in” the United States since Nov. 21, 2014. Applicants also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS. The eligibility requirements are fully described in the Federal Register notices and on the TPS Web page at www.uscis.gov/tps
Liberians currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum may apply for TPS. If they do not apply for TPS within the initial 180-day registration period, they risk being ineligible for TPS because they will have missed the initial registration period. Liberians covered by DED who already possess or have applied for an EAD do not need to also apply for one related to this TPS designation. However, such individuals who are granted TPS may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.
Applicants may request that USCIS waive any or all fees based on demonstrated inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject any TPS application that does not include the required filing fee or a properly documented fee-waiver request.
All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/forms or request them by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.
Alert: U.S. Consulates in Canada Temporarily Suspend TCN Visa Processing for
response to member queries regarding the difficulty of scheduling visa
processing appointments for third-country nationals (TCN) in Canada, the AILA
DOS Liaison Committee reached out to the Department of State (DOS).
informed AILA on 6/3/2014 that due to increasingly heavy demand by Canada-based
visa applicants, the seven U.S. visa processing posts in Canada are extremely
limited in their ability to accept TCN cases during the peak demand period of
June, July, and August.
posts encourage such applicants to seek appointments elsewhere in the world,
such as in the applicant’s home country. Canadian posts offer increased
appointment availability for TCNs during non-peak processing times, such as
October and November, and January through May.
cases may seek consideration for scheduling an interview at a Canada post by
Information on the new Affordable Healthcare Act and International Student/Scholar Obligations:
Important Reminder: All internationals, regardless of the visa type held, must check in with the International Student, Scholar, and Immigration Services (ISSIS) Office upon arrival at UGA. Not only is this required by U.S. regulations for most academic visa types, we can serve as a great resource for you. We look forward to meeting you!
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