In a seemingly controversial move given the current presidential election, the Department of Homeland Security announced on August 1 that it was extending Syrians’ rights to stay living in the U.S., if they apply for temporary protected status (TPS) preventing them from possible deportation.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended the existing TPS designation for those who consider Syria their last place of residence from October 1, 2016 to March 31, 2018.

Who Does TPS Benefit?

Syrian refugees waiting for transportation
Syrian refugees waiting for transportation

Temporary Protection Status is a designation that the government uses to help those suffering from the following conditions:

  • War-torn countries and those in armed conflict, like countries currently undergoing a civil war.
  • Those suffering a significant environment or natural disaster.
  • Other extraordinary conditions causing great suffering to the citizens, such as tyrannical dictatorships or starving populations.

Persons protected by the TPS designation receive the following benefits as a condition of their temporary status:

  • They cannot be removed from the United States.
  • They are entitled to travel authorization.
  • They are able to gain employment authorization.

When Should You File for TPS Extension?

If you are a Syrian refugee living in the U.S., there are two enrollment periods:

  • If you are a Syrian refugee with current TPS benefits, you can re-register from Aug. 1 2016 through Sept. 30, 2016.
  • If you are a Syrian national or last resided in Syria before coming to the U.S., you can apply for TPS from Aug. 1, 2016 through Jan. 30, 2017.

Be sure you consult with a knowledgeable and professional Los Angeles immigration attorney if you have any questions about your TPS status, or if you aren’t sure if you qualify for TPS status or not.

Syrian Conflict and the Mass Exodus

According to the European Parliament Think Tank, the Syrian conflict that began in 2011 has cost more than 250,000 lives and has displaced more than 4 million Syrians to neighboring and foreign countries. Another nearly 8 million have been displaced within Syria. Syria is home to a diverse amalgam of Armenians, Assyrians, Christians, Druze, Kurds, Alawite Shia and a majority of Arab Sunnis.

Since 2011, there has been a major power struggle between rival factions incited in large part by the Arab Spring. Bashar al-Assad, who succeed his father in power in 2000, has been fighting to maintain control of Syria that has erupted in armed rebellion. The uprising in Syria has fractured the government, the media and the people into a pro-government faction, a pro-Islamic State faction, and other armed groups.

Contact a Los Angeles Immigration Attorney at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.

Do you need assistance re-registering for Syrian TPS designation? If so, you reach out to a Los Angeles immigration attorney at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C. For more than 15 years, our lawyers have served clients in various types of immigration cases, including those that involve the most basic immigration applications to those associated with extremely complicated federal court litigation.

To learn how our citizenship, immigration and deportation defense services can benefit you contact us today by calling (626) 765-4641 or (866) 489-7612 or by emailing us using the form at the upper right-hand side of the screen. From our law office in Pasadena, we meet with clients throughout the Los Angeles area, across the state of California and from around the world.


1“Syria country profile” published in BBC, May 2016.