Background: The 18-month extension of TPS for Syria was announced by DHS by press release on Aug. 1, 2019. However, the Federal Register Notice was not published until Sept. 23. The lateness of the Federal Register Notice has already caused problems for Syrian TPS holders and more issues may arise. Case processing delays at USCIS also continue to cause problems for TPS holders from all countries. This resource contains guidance for Syrian TPS holders dealing with problems at work, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and more, related to their TPS. CLINIC always recommends TPS holders who encounter problems consult with a qualified legal professional.
Current Syrian TPS holder EADs with an expiration date of Sept. 30, 2019, are automatically extended for 180 days through March 28, 2020. Additionally, Syrian TPS holders with an EAD with a March 31, 2018, expiration date who applied for an EAD during the last re-registration period but have not yet received it are covered by the 180-day automatic extension of work authorization, through March 28, 2020.
Materials to bring to work to prove ongoing employment authorization:
The new TPS designation period for Syria begins Oct. 1, 2019. Syrian 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
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.
If you are an eligible Syrian TPS holder, you can use the documents listed below to show that you have an automatic extension of your TPS and EAD through March 28, 2020. CLINIC recommends TPS holders try to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles or other agencies 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, and clicking the “Check Your Case” button.
- See the Federal Register Notice for more information about SAVE and any issues encountered.
- Contact a qualified legal services organization for help. A list of qualified organizations can be found here: cliniclegal.org/directory.
- 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: cliniclegal.org/notario.