In November 2014, the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for 18 months due to the outbreak of Ebola Virus in West Africa. Today, Secretary Johnson extended the TPS designations of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for an additional six months from May 22, 2016, through Nov. 21, 2016, due to lingering effects of the Ebola Virus outbreak.

Eligible nationals from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are granted TPS cannot be removed from the U.S. They can also apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) to work in the United States and authorization to travel outside the United States. While TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to permanent resident status, TPS registration does not prevent an individual from applying for nonimmigrant status in the U.S., filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition, or applying for any other immigration benefit.

Current TPS beneficiaries from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who wish to extend their status must re-register from March 22, 2016, through May 23, 2016. This involves submission of a Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status (re-registrants are not required to pay the Form I-821 application fee); Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (but re-registrants are only required to pay the application fee if they want an EAD); and the biometrics services fee. Individuals with a pending initial TPS Liberia, Guinea, or Sierra Leone application are not required to submit a new Form I-821.

This six month extension also allows TPS beneficiaries to apply for a new EAD with an expiration date of Nov. 21, 2016. To allow for seamless work authorization, USCIS will also automatically extend current TPS Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone EADs with a May 21, 2016 expiration date for an additional six months.