Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is available for Somalian nationals. On this page, you can find the most recent update, what to do if you already have TPS, how to apply for TPS for the first time, how to extend or get a work permit, how to get legal help, how to avoid scams, and how to contact the Embassy of Somalia in the U.S.
July 19, 2021 – USCIS has extended and re-designated TPS for Somalia for 18 months. Here is what you need to know.
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Somalia is extended through March 17, 2023.
- The 60-day re-registration period for Somali TPS holders runs from July 22, 2020, through September 20, 2021.
- If you are applying for the first time, you must have been present in the USA as of July 19, 2021.
- TPS holders are encouraged to apply as early as possible during the re-registration period. Do not wait for your EAD to expire.
- If you have a pending application, and are waiting for approval, you do not need to apply again.
- If you do not have a pending application and are applying for the first time, you must submit the TPS application (Form I-821).
- Current TPS holders who are re-registering DO NOT need to pay a filing fee with Form I-821. But you will need to pay a a biometric services fee of $85 if you are over 14 years old. If you cannot pay the biometrics fee, may submit a request for a fee waiver (Form I-912).
- If you are applying for the first time, you will need to pay the initial application fee for form I-821.
- If you are applying for the first time, you can submit Form I-821 online.
Check the USCIS Somalia webpage for details.
What do I do if I already have TPS?
Further details about this extension for TPS Somalia are on the USCIS TPS Somalia page.
If you already have temporary protected status, you will need to re-register by submitting Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, on paper format.
Follow the steps for re-registering on this USCIS page.
- Go to the tab “What to file” to know what you need to include in your application.
- Go to the TPS Somalia page and select the tab “Where to file” to know where to send your application.
- You do not need to resubmit the application fee if you already have TPS and are only re-registering
How do I apply for TPS for the first time?
To apply for TPS for Somalia, you need to:
- Register between July 22, 2021 to March 17, 2021
- Have lived in the USA since July 19, 2021
- Have physical presence in the USA since September 18, 2021
- Submit the TPS application (Form I-821). You can find it here.
- First time applicants can file their application online. Learn more on the USCIS website.
- Pay a $50 application fee and an $85 biometrics fee.
How do I extend or apply for a work permit?
If you already have TPS, USCIS has automatically extended employment authorization documents (EADs) for TPS Somalia for 180 days, through March 16, 2022.
If you want to get a new EAD that is valid through March 17, 2023, or if you are applying for the first time, make sure to :
- File an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765).
- Pay the fee for Form I-765. The fee is $410 for the application and $85 for biometric services.
- Make sure to use the USCIS fee calculator to verify what you need to pay.
- It is recommended that you submit your application for the EAD when you re-register for TPS to avoid gaps in your employment authorization documentation.
- If you cannot pay the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver by submitting the Request for a Fee Waiver (Form I-912).
Questions about registering late?
USCIS may accept a late registration or re-registration application if you have good cause. Go to the USCIS TPS information page and click on “Filing Late” to find out if you qualify.
What happens when TPS expires?
If your TPS expires, your legal status will go back to what it was before. You can apply to change your status or you can leave the United States. This is called adjusting your status.
What if I need legal help?
You can meet with a lawyer or an accredited representative
What if I can’t meet with a lawyer? What if I can’t afford a lawyer?
We know many individuals cannot meet with a lawyer. In immigration law there are also many providers who are non-profits who receive training in immigration law. They go through a process with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to become accredited representatives. These representatives must work for a non-profit organization and most have low cost or no cost services.
You can search for an accredited representative in the Department of Justice.
Here is more information to help you understand your options. This is not legal advice but instead information to help you consider your choices.
Find help online
Immi helps immigrants understand their legal options. You can use their online screening tool to guide you to your best options. Take the immi interview to see if you qualify for a different immigration status. Immi’s legal information and referral advice are always free.
Applying for asylum
Every year people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
TPS holders can apply for asylum status, especially if they have been here a year or less. If you have been here for less than a year, you should APPLY NOW. However, it is very important that you know the USCIS has recently changed how asylum applications are processed. Now, they are reviewing the most recent applications first. Once you submit an application for asylum, it might be a very short time before your case is heard. So, you most only apply for asylum if you do qualify because otherwise you risk having your case heard and then being deported. You can fill in the form to apply for asylum (this is a legal form and it would be best if you had a lawyer to help you complete the form).
If you have been in the U.S. more than one year, you can still apply for asylum but it will be more difficult (and it is already hard to win an asylum case).
Find out more about how to apply for asylum.
Be aware of scams
USCIS documents are free. Do not pay to obtain any of the USCIS forms. You can download them from the USCIS website.
Be aware of people who ask for payment to get these forms and claim they can file your TPS application. To learn more about how to avoid scams, you can click here.
How to contact the Embassy of Somalia in the USA
You can find your country’s US embassy website here.
The address of the embassy is 1705 DeSales St NW, Ste 300, Washington DC 20036.
The phone number is: (202) 296-0570.
Information on this page comes from trusted sources, such as CLINIC, Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Register, USCIS and others. It is intended for guidance and is updated as often as possible. USAHello does not give legal advice, nor are any of our materials intended to be taken as legal advice. If you are looking for a free or low-cost lawyer or legal help, we can help you find free and low-cost legal services.