USCIS approves 18 months of Protected Status for Cameroon 

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  • F-1 Visa students can now get Work Permit; and work additional hours

The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Cameroon has been extended by  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 re designation announcement made last Friday )October 6, 2023 by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas was accompanied by  a Special Student Relief notice for F-1 non immigrant students which will permit Cameroonian students to request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, 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.

CASA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit community based organization established in 1994  has been at the forefront f advocating for TSP status for Cameroon in addition to providing a variety of legal services for low-income immigrants in housing, employment and immigration matter

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.

According to a USCIS statement, 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 Statements adds : U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will con

tinue 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.

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.

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