The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended its Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for South Sudan and added a new designation for Sudan for 18 months.
In light of the current political instability and civil unrest across the two countries, Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas has decided to “offer temporary protection to Sudanese and South Sudanese nationals in the United States until conditions in each country improve and individuals can safely return.”
The recent military takeover of Sudan’s government has triggered political instability, violence, and human rights abuses against civilians. A humanitarian crisis linked to unprecedented floods; food and clean water shortages; violence between the communities of Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan; and internal displacement is ongoing. In South Sudan, the ongoing violence from government security forces and armed groups, and the displacement of civilians, particularly women and girls, have prompted the DHS’ decision to extend TPS protection to its citizens in the U.S.
Am I eligible for Sudan or South Sudan’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
Individuals newly eligible for TPS under the Sudan designation must have continuously resided in the United States since March 1, 2022. This includes those who benefited from the previous TPS designation for Sudan, which required continuous residence in the United States on or before January 9, 2013.
TPS applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and undergo security and background checks. Those who attempt to travel to the United States after March 1, 2022, will not be eligible for TPS.
In October 2017, a Federal Register notice announced the termination of Sudan’s TPS designation effective November 2, 2018. However, due to litigation, TPS for Sudan has remained in effect to date. Existing TPS Sudan beneficiaries retain their TPS and TPS-related documents through December 31, 2022, and DHS will continue to extend the benefit and documents, as required by court order. However, these beneficiaries are also strongly encouraged to register under the new designation of Sudan to receive TPS benefits for the full 18-month period. Individuals will need to file a new application to register for TPS to avoid losing TPS or experiencing a gap in coverage.
The 18-month extension and redesignation of South Sudan for TPS will be in effect from May 3, 2022, through November 3, 2023. To be eligible, individuals must have continuously resided in the United States since March 1, 2022 and meet all other TPS eligibility criteria. The extension of South Sudan allows currently eligible TPS South Sudan beneficiaries to re-register and retain TPS through November 3, 2023, so long as they otherwise continue to meet the TPS eligibility requirements. The redesignation of South Sudan allows additional individuals who have been continuously residing in the United States since March 1, 2022, to obtain TPS, if otherwise eligible.
What does TPS offer and how do I get it?
TPS allows persons from designated countries (or those without nationality who last resided in that country) who lack permanent status and were physically in the U.S. when TPS was designated to temporarily live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation. The designation typically lasts for 18 months – after which it will expire or be extended, depending on the latest situation.
If you are Sudanese or South Sudanese, and think you may be eligible for protection, you should contact your immigration lawyer at the earliest opportunity. They will be able to give you the best advice around eligibility and help you through the application process.
© Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC 2022. The above text is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.