Syria TPS: How to Register (or Re-Register)
Updated: Mar 27, 2021
Syrians with TPS must re-register by May 18, 2021 to get an extension of TPS until September 30, 2022. Syrians who do not have TPS must register by September 15, 2021.
Syrians in the US have been granted another 18-months of TPS by the Department of Homeland Security. If you already have TPS, you must re-register by May 18, 2021 to remain living and working in the US until September 30, 2022. If you do not have TPS and you have resided in the US since March 19, 2021 and are physically present in the US before March 31, 2021, you can submit an initial registration for TPS by September 15, 2021.
How to Register (and Re-Register) for TPS
To register or re-register for TPS, you must submit Form I-821 to USCIS with supporting documentation to prove 1) that you are Syrian, 2) the date you last entered the United States, and 3) that you reside in the United States.
How can you prove you are Syrian? The easiest way to do this is to submit a copy of your Syrian passport; or a copy of your birth certificate accompanied by a photo ID card; or a national identity document with your photograph and/or fingerprint issued by Syria. If you do not have any of these documents available, there still may be a way to prove your Syrian nationality (see the What to File tab on this page, or contact us for a consultation). Remember, any documents that are not in English must be translated to English and certified by the translator.
How can you prove the date you entered the US? The easiest way to do this is to submit a copy of your passport with the entry stamp showing your date of entry into the US, a copy of the entry stamp on your I-512 advance parole document, or a copy of your most recent I-94, which can be obtained here.
How can you prove that you reside in the United States? There are several documents that can be submitted to prove this, including US employment records; rent receipts, utility bills, or other receipts/letters from companies; records from schools that you or your children have attended in the US; medical or hospital records from treatments you or your children have received in the US; or an attestation from a religious organization, union, or other organization that knows you and that you have been residing in the US. These pieces of evidence are unique in each case, and there may be other creative ways of proving your residence in the US if you do not have any of the documents described above.
There may be a filing fee for TPS registrations that changes based on your age, if this is your first time registering, and if you are also filing an application for a work permit. Be sure to check the USCIS Fee Calculator to be sure you include the correct filing fee. You may also apply for a fee waiver with Form I-912.
Form I-821 and the supporting documents described above should be mailed to USCIS at one of the two addresses listed on this page depending on whether the registration is sent by USPS or another parcel carrier. The deadline to re-register for Syrian TPS is May 18, 2021. The deadline for initial TPS registration for Syrians is September 15, 2021. Further instructions for Syrians registering for TPS can be found here.
If you already had a TPS application pending with USCIS as of March 19, 2021, then there is no need to submit anything during this registration period. If your existing application is approved, you will automatically be granted TPS through September 30, 2022. The same applies to a pending work permit application.
What if I Already Have a Pending Asylum Application?
A TPS registration will not negatively affect a pending asylum application. There are rumors that a TPS application will negatively affect an asylum application, but there is no legal basis for this claim. In fact the USCIS website states that "[a]n application for TPS does not affect an application for asylum or any other immigration benefit and vice versa. Denial of an application for asylum or any other immigration benefit does not affect your ability to register for TPS..." I am encouraging all clients with pending asylum applications to register and re-register for TPS because this status may be more beneficial than asylum in the future. TPS is an added layer or protection that is not worth giving up.
How to Apply for a Work Permit (EAD)
Syrians applying for TPS are also eligible to apply for a work permit (EAD) that will be valid until September 30, 2022. You can apply for a work permit by submitting Form I-765 along with your I-821 application for TPS. Simply mail both documents together to USCIS in the same package with all supporting documentation. Be sure to include the correct fee if you are applying for an EAD at the same time you are applying for TPS; there is an extra cost for the EAD application. See the USCIS Fee Calculator to be sure you include the correct filing fee.
If you already have an EAD that is expiring on March 31, 2021 from a past TPS registration, your EAD has automatically been extended until September 27, 2021. You can prove to your employer that you are authorized to work by showing them both your EAD that expires on March 31, 2021 in combination with this Federal Register notice, which grants you authorization to work until September 27, 2021. If your employer is refusing to accept your work authorization, contact us here to get a letter confirming your authorization to work.
How to Apply for Travel Authorization
Generally, if you travel outside of the US while on TPS, you risk losing your status and not being able to return without a new visa. If you want to travel while on TPS, you should apply for a travel document with Form I-131. This application can be submitted along with your I-821 application for TPS. Simply mail both documents together to USCIS in the same package with all supporting documentation. You may also file the I-131 separately after you apply for TPS by following the normal filing instructions for the I-131.
Beware of Fraud
Beware of "notarios” and other unauthorized individuals offering to help you apply for TPS, an EAD, or a travel document for a fee. Many scammers will try to take advantage of the renewed Syrian TPS to profit off of those eligible for the status. You should only work with a licensed immigration lawyer. Make sure to verify their license before working with them by searching their name on their state bar association's website.
Contact Us for Help with TPS Applications
There are many common mistakes that applicants make when filing for TPS that can jeopardize your status and prevent you from obtaining a work permit. We offer low cost consultations so you can be sure you correctly apply for TPS, an EAD, and a travel document.
Disclaimer: This post is attorney advertising. It is meant as general information only, and is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. We suggest you set up a consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes; every case is unique and must be analyzed individually.