Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced an 18-month extension and re-designation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through March 17, 2023.

The Secretary stated, “Three decades of conflict in Somalia, along with natural disasters and disease outbreaks, have worsened an already severe humanitarian crisis.” Somalia has been dealing with violence, drought, flooding, and food insecurity along with the additional challenges to their healthcare system due to COVID-19.

The approximately 450 Somali nationals in TPS in the United States will be able to extend their status. The re-designation will allow an estimated 100 additional individuals who have resided in the United States continuously since July 19, 2021, to file initial applications for TPS protection. DHS has not announced the particulars, but current and new beneficiaries will have to apply during a 60-day registration period and will be able to apply for employment authorization and travel authorization.

The specifics regarding the application process should be announced in the Federal Register soon. It is important not to attempt to file any applications before that notice is published.

TPS is a form of humanitarian relief. DHS may designate countries for TPS due to temporary conditions that prevent nationals from safely returning home or that prevent countries from being in a position to handle repatriation adequately.

Jackson Lewis attorneys will provide updates as they become available.