For Somali TPS Holders: How to deal with issues or problems with your TPS at work, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and elsewhere

Last Updated

March 11, 2020

Background: The 18-month extension of TPS for Somalia was announced on the USCIS Somalia TPS webpage on Jan. 17, 2020. However, the Federal Register Notice was not published until March 11, 2020. The late publication of the Federal Register Notice has already caused problems for Somali TPS holders and more issues may arise. Case processing delays at USCIS also continue to create problems for TPS holders from all countries. This resource contains guidance for Somali TPS holders facing problems related to their TPS at work, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and elsewhere. CLINIC always recommends that TPS holders who encounter problems consult with a qualified legal professional.

Proving Your Status at Work:

Automatic Extension: 

Current Somali TPS holder EADs with an expiration date of March 17, 2020, are automatically extended for 180 days through Sept. 13, 2020. 

Materials to Bring to Work to Prove Ongoing Employment Authorization:

The new TPS designation period for Somalia begins March 18, 2020. Somali TPS holders should speak to their employers immediately and present the following materials:

  • Copy of the Federal Register Notice, which includes directions and information for employers and employees, found here.
  • Your most recent EAD
  • Your most recent Form I-797 Notice of Action receipt for re-registration
  • Your most recent Form I-797 Notice of Action notice of approval

For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, employers may call USCIS at 888-464-4218 (TTY 877- 875-6028) or email USCIS at I9Central@dhs.gov.

Problems With TPS at Work:

  • For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, TPS holder employees may call USCIS at 888-897-7781 (TTY 877-875-6028) or email USCIS at I9Central@dhs.gov.
  • For information regarding employment discrimination based upon citizenship, immigration status or national origin, including discrimination related to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and E-Verify, TPS holders can call the Department of Justice Immigrant and Employee Rights Worker Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515) or visit justice.gov/crt/filing-charge
  • To file a complaint with the U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission, visit eeoc.gov

Proving Your Status at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Other Public or Private Institutions, or to Law Enforcement:

If you are an eligible Somali TPS holder, you can use the documents listed below to show that you have an automatic extension of your TPS and EAD through Sept. 13, 2020. CLINIC recommends TPS holders try to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles or other agency in advance to ask about what documents to bring to appointments. Documents TPS holders should bring to appointments will include:

  • A copy of the Federal Register Notice (which grants the automatic extension of work authorization) 
  • Your most recent EAD
  • Your most recent Form I-797 Notice of Action receipt for re-registration
  • Your most recent Form I-797 Notice of Action notice of approval
  • Any other relevant Department of Homeland Security document that shows your immigration status or authorization to be in the U.S.

The SAVE Program:

  • Some states use the USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, or SAVE, program to confirm current immigration status.
  • TPS holders can check the status of their SAVE verification by using CaseCheck at the following link: save.uscis.gov/casecheck, then by clicking the “Check Your Case” button.
  • If an issue occurs and a TPS holder finds that the SAVE system has not been updated in time, TPS holders can point Department of Motor Vehicles or other workers to the language in the Federal Register Notice that states:
  • “You can also ask the agency to look for SAVE notices or contact SAVE if they have any questions about your immigration status or auto-extension of TPS-related documentation … occasionally, verification can be delayed.” 
  • See the “Note Regarding Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (Such as Department of Motor Vehicles)” section in the Federal Register Notice for more information about SAVE and any issues encountered. 

Problems With TPS at the Department of Motor Vehicles or Other Public or Private Institutions:

  • Contact a qualified legal services organization for help. A list of qualified organizations can be found here.
  • For problems at the Department of Motor Vehicles or other public institutions, TPS holders can call the Department of Justice Immigrant and Employee Rights Worker Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515) or visit justice.gov/crt/filing-charge

Avoiding Legal Services Fraud:

TPS holders should beware of fraud when seeking qualified legal assistance. More information about avoiding legal services scams is available here.