The Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") in coordination with other government agencies recently concluded that conditions in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone no longer support their designation for Temporary Protected Status ("TPS"). The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, including in the event of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster or epidemic, or other extraordinary or temporary conditions. Other countries currently designated for TPS include El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Pursuant to a DHS Notice in the Federal Register, individuals who obtained TPS based on the designations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have received an automatic but limited extension of TPS until May 21, 2017. Furthermore, the Notice extends the validity of Employment Authorization Documents ("EAD") issued to those same individuals to May 21, 2017, so affected individuals do not need to file any additional applications to extend their TPS or EAD cards. Foreign nationals in the U.S. from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone who have filed for TPS should seek guidance with immigration professionals now to avoid a potential lapse in status once the period of TPS terminates. For more information about TPS generally and the termination of TPS for these three countries, please visit the USCIS TPS website.