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TPS Application & Eligibility Guide

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Extension and Redesignation for Cameroon: A Guide for Eligible Individuals.

Cameroon Advocacy Network is dedicated to providing our community members with access to free legal services to assist them in applying for TPS. If you are interested in being connected with a pro bono attorney via CAN, please fill out this form

Introduction

This guide provides detailed information for individuals from Cameroon (or individuals with no nationality who last lived in Cameroon) regarding the extension and redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). TPS allows eligible individuals to stay and work in the United States temporarily due to ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary conditions in their home country.

1. What Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Means.

TPS is a temporary immigration status that allows eligible nationals of certain designated countries, including those experiencing situations like ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions, that make deportation or forced returns to their home country unsafe, to live and work in the U.S. This also applies to individuals without a specific nationality who previously lived in one of these designated countries. During the TPS designation, TPS beneficiaries are protected from deportation and can obtain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) allowing them to work.

On October 10, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended and redesignated TPS for Cameroon, meaning that Cameroonians who were in the US on or before December 8, 2023, may be eligible for TPS. The TPS designation for Cameroon will last for 18 months. At least 60 days before the expiration of TPS, DHS must decide whether to extend or terminate a designation based on the ongoing conditions in Cameroon. Decisions to begin, extend, or terminate a TPS designation must be published in the Federal Register.

It is important to note that individuals do not automatically receive TPS designation. Eligible individuals must register during a specific registration period and pay significant fees. An individual’s immigration status at the time of application for TPS has no effect on that individual’s eligibility.

2. Who is eligible for TPS?

Individuals who arrived in the U.S. after October 5, 2023, can apply for TPS for the first time. The initial registration period is from October 10, 2023, to June 7, 2025. Continuous residence since October 5, 2023, and continuous physical presence since December 8, 2023, are requirements for new applicants.

On October 10, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated TPS for Cameroon, meaning that Cameroonians who were in the US on or before December 8, 2023, may be eligible for TPS. 

For existing TPS holders from Cameroon, the status is extended for 18 months, starting from December 8, 2023, to June 7, 2025. To maintain TPS, re-registration is necessary during the 60-day period from October 10, 2023, to December 11, 2023. 

If an individual had a TPS application pending as of October 10, 2023, they do not need to file the application again. USCIS will grant TPS through June 7, 2025, to those with pending applications.

3. Application Process:

To apply for TPS, complete Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status) and pay the filing fee, or request a fee waiver using Form I-912. Biometric services may be required if the applicant is older than 14 years, but fee waivers are available. TPS beneficiaries can also request an EAD using Form I-765.

4. EAD Renewal and Travel Authorization:

To renew your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as a TPS beneficiary, submit Form I-765 and pay the fee, or request a fee waiver, while USCIS has automatically extended your current EAD through December 7, 2024. You can also apply for travel authorization by filing Form I-131 if you wish to leave the U.S., but be sure to re-verify your employment authorization before December 8, 2024.

5. Filing Fees:

The cost of Form I-821 can vary depending on a few factors:

To renew your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as a TPS beneficiary, submit Form I-765 and pay the fee, or request a fee waiver, while USCIS has automatically extended your current EAD through December 7, 2024. You can also apply for travel authorization by filing Form I-131 if you wish to leave the U.S., but be sure to re-verify your employment authorization before December 8, 2024.

6. Filing Your TPS Application:

If you are filing a paper  application, mail your TPS package to the specified addresses provided below:

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS)

FedEx, UPS, or DHL deliveries:

You may file forms I-821 and I-765 online by creating a USCIS online account at https://myaccount.uscis.gov/users/sign_up. However, a fee waiver application cannot be submitted online. You must file a paper version of the fee waiver request and the form you are requesting the fee waiver.

7. Documents You Should Begin to Prepare to Apply for TPS

Note: If you submit any documents (copies or original documents, if requested) in a foreign language, you must include a full English translation along with a certification from the translator verifying that the translation is complete and accurate, and that they are competent to translate from the foreign language to English.

8. Employment Authorization for TPS

If your current Cameroon TPS-based EAD has “A–12” or “C–19” under Category and a “Card Expires” date of December 7, 2023, it is automatically extended through December 7, 2024. However, timely re-registration for TPS is crucial to maintain your status and employment authorization.

The information in this document has been prepared by the Cameroon Advocacy Network for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. You should not act upon any information without retaining professional legal counsel.

9. How to Assist a Detained Family Member Eligible for TPS

If someone you care about is in immigration detention and qualifies for TPS, here’s what you should know. They can still apply for TPS, even while in detention. To do this, they need to meet the eligibility criteria for TPS and then submit an application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Now, if the person is not only in detention but also going through removal proceedings, meaning they’re facing deportation, and the reason for their Notice To Appear (NTA) is a mandatory ground that would typically make them ineligible for TPS, there’s a different process. In such cases, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) would be responsible for reviewing and deciding on their TPS application.

10. How to Avoid Legal Services Fraud

Please be aware that some unauthorized practitioners may try to take advantage of you by claiming they can file TPS forms. These same individuals may ask that you pay them to obtain such forms; however, all USCIS forms are free for download from the USCIS website at uscis.gov/forms. 

Cameroon Advocacy Network is dedicated to providing our community members with access to free legal services to assist them in applying for TPS. If you are interested in being connected with a pro bono attorney via CAN, please fill out this form

IF YOU APPLY FOR TPS AND ARE FOUND INELIGIBLE, PLEASE CONSULT WITH AN IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY BEFORE APPLYING FOR TPS.

Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Applying for TPS

Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Applying for TPS