The uprising against President Bashar Assad has reached its year-long duration. Until now, it appeared that Assad’s opposition was unable to provide a unified response to the President’s persistence, particularly within the strongholds of Damascus and Aleppo. Meanwhile, hundreds have been slaughtered in less urban provinces, not to mention the crushing force used against uprisings in Homs. Some 8,000 civilians are estimated dead-in-conflict thus far. What’s more, Human Rights Watch has documented numerous instances of torture and execution.
Yet, slowly but surely, the international community is reacting. Russia voiced its agreement with other members of the Security Council that humanitarian aid must be leant to Syrian victims. In a recent development, Janet Napolitano announced her intention to designate Syria for protected status for an approximate eighteen months. And today, the USCIS has issued a statement that Syrian nationals in the U.S. may begin the application process for Temporary Protected Status. The TPS status should remain in effect until September 30, 2013.
In other words, the new TPS designation means that Syrian nationals presently in the U.S. will not be removed from the U.S. and forced to return to the lethal environment of their war-torn country. Moreover, Syrian nationals may request employment authorization.
If you are a Syrian national presently within the U.S., please take note of today’s date, the application deadlines, and the short window of time to take action. It seems that the USCIS may only accept applications through September 25, 2012. Also, be prepared for a thorough security check upon application, in particular regarding criminal history or potential threat to national security.
To apply, compile the TPS petition package with signed forms, evidence, and correct filing fees (unless your request a fee waiver). The petition forms are Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status) and Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization), and may also include the Form I-601 (Application for Waiver of Grounds for Inadmissibility) if you believe that you are subject to inadmissibility but should be relieved for humanitarian purposes, family unity issues, or for the public interest. Evidence required with the petition package includes your identity and nationality documents, date of entry document, and evidence that you have been continuously residing in the U.S. up to March 29, 2012. The filing fees range from $50-$515.
We hope this latest announcement is a welcome reprieve for those Syrians presently within the U.S. who faced the peril of an immediate return to the more dangerous areas of the country.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119