The Department of Homeland Security has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Syria who qualify for the program.

Key points:

  • TPS for Syria will be extended for 18 months through March 31, 2021.
  • In order to be eligible for the extension, individuals must have continuously resided in the U.S. since August 1, 2016, and have been continuously physically present in the country since October 1, 2016, among other requirements.
  • Additional information about the extension, including information about TPS re-registration procedures, is expected soon and will be published in the Federal Register.

Background: The U.S. first designated Syria for TPS in 2012. The designation was most recently extended last year. There are about 7,000 Syrian TPS beneficiaries in the U.S.

DHS cited Syria’s “ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions” in deciding to extend the designation. DHS will decide whether to grant another extension on or before Jan. 30, 2021. Notably, DHS took the step of temporarily extending but not “re-designating” the country of Syria for TPS, as it has previously. This means Syrian nationals who have not previously held TPS cannot now apply for the status, and must seek other forms of immigration relief to stay in the U.S.

The Trump administration has moved to end TPS designations for a number of other countries, including El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan. Those terminations are currently on hold after a court ordered a temporary halt to the termination of TPS for four of the countries last fall, and DHS agreed to comply with the order for all six countries while it appeals the court’s decision. The litigation, however, does not involve TPS for Syrian nationals.

BAL Analysis: Employers should be aware of the extension for Syrian nationals with TPS-related employment authorization documents. Details on re-registration dates and procedures will be available when the government publishes an official notice.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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