Redesignation Allows Additional Eligible Cameroonian Nationals to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization Documents
WASHINGTON – Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today announced the extension and redesignation of Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from December 8, 2023, through June 7, 2025, due to ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Cameroon that prevent individuals from safely returning. The corresponding Federal Register notice provides information about how to register as a new or current beneficiary for TPS under Cameroon’s extension and redesignation. Secretary Mayorkas made the decision to extend and redesignate TPS for this population in consultation with interagency partners and with careful consideration of conditions.
Accompanying this announcement is a Special Student Relief notice for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Cameroon so the students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain F-1 status through the TPS designation period.
“The United States will continue to offer safety and protection to Cameroonian nationals who are currently unable to safely return home due to ongoing armed conflict, and extraordinary and temporary conditions including human rights abuses,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “We will offer our support to Cameroonian nationals through this temporary form of humanitarian relief.”
After reviewing the country conditions in Cameroon and consulting with interagency partners, Secretary Mayorkas determined that an 18-month TPS extension and redesignation are warranted pursuant to the statutory requirements because conditions, including armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions, that support Cameroon’s TPS designation are ongoing.
A country may be designated for TPS when conditions in the country fall into one or more of the three statutory bases for designation: ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. Cameroon’s designation is based on the serious threat posed by human rights abuses by government forces, terrorist groups and other non-state actors, food insecurity, spread of disease and mass displacement.
The extension of TPS for Cameroon allows approximately 2,090 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through June 7, 2025, if they continue to meet TPS eligibility requirements. The redesignation of Cameroon for TPS allows an estimated 7,900 additional Cameroonian nationals (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Cameroon) who have been continuously residing in the United States since October 5, 2023, and continuously physically present in the United States since December 8, 2023, to file initial applications to obtain TPS, if they are otherwise eligible. Cameroonians who first arrive after October 5, 2023, are not eligible for TPS.
Re-registration is limited to individuals who previously registered for and were granted TPS under Cameroon’s prior designation. Current beneficiaries under TPS for Cameroon must re-register in a timely manner during the 60-day re-registration period from October 10, 2023, through December 9, 2023, to ensure they keep their TPS and employment authorization.
The Department of Homeland Security recognizes that not all re-registrants who apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) may receive it before their current EAD expires and is automatically extending through December 7, 2024, the validity of EADs previously issued under Cameroon’s TPS designation.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to process pending applications filed under previous TPS designations for Cameroon. Individuals with a pending Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, or a related Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as of October 10, 2023, do not need to file either application again. If USCIS approves a pending Form I-821 or Form I-765 filed under the previous designation of TPS for Cameroon, USCIS will grant the individual TPS through June 7, 2025, and issue an EAD valid through the same date.
Under the redesignation of Cameroon, eligible individuals who do not have TPS may submit an initial Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, during the initial registration period that runs from October 10, 2023, through June 7, 2025. Applicants also may apply for TPS-related EADs and for travel authorization. Applicants can request an EAD by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with their Form I-821, or separately later.
The Federal Register notice explains eligibility criteria, timelines, and procedures necessary for current beneficiaries to re-register and renew EADs, and for new applicants to submit an initial application under the redesignation and apply for an EAD.Read the Article