Current TPS Information For Sudan and South Sudan
Most Recent Registration Period: September 21, 2017 – November 20, 2017
Current Expiration Date: May 2, 2019
Most Recent Registration Period: October 11, 2017 – December 11, 2017
Termination Date: November 2, 2018
Temporary Protected Status has been extended for South Sudan until May 2, 2019, at which time the government will decided whether it plans an additional extension period. However, the termination date for Sudan TPS has already been set for November 2, 2018.
Sudan And South Sudan TPS History
Approximately 340 persons have been eligible to seek TPS benefits under either the Sudan or South Sudan designation. With the decision to terminate TPS for Sudan, this number will shrink.
The earlier 18-month extensions were warranted due to the “ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions” in these countries, both of which had created the need for the original Sudan TPS designation.
Prior TPS Designations
Before the government’s recent announcements regarding Temporary Protected Status designations for Sudan and South Sudan for TPS status, the previous registration period was January 25, 2016 to March 25, 2016, with an expiration date of November 2, 2017.
Earlier, the registration period was from September 2, 2014 to November 3, 2014, with an expiration date of May 2, 2016.
History Of Conflict In Sudan
Starting in 1995, international rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch began reporting the Sudanese Civil War was causing a widespread abduction of civilians and slavery of rebels captured by the pro-government militias.
The Sudanese government disputed these charges.
But studies also showed hundreds of thousands of civilians were missing after massive genocide in Southern Sudan.
As a result, the U.S. Attorney General designated Sudan for Temporary Protected Status on November 4, 1997. Since then, due to ongoing armed conflict and harm to the civilian population, TPS protections for Sudan have been extended 12 times.
In 2005, Sudan’s civil war formally ended with the signing of a peace agreement between the north’s government, with its ruling National Congress Party (NCP), and the south’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement Army (SPLM).
However, the peace agreement did not end the violence, as new conflicts and disputes arose between the north and south. Instead, new militia groups, rebel forces, and armed local tribal groups entered the fray, causing an increase in killings of civilians and hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees fleeing to nearby nations.
For additional information on filing requirements for Sudan TPS, see the USCIS Fact Sheet On Sudan TPS.
South Sudan Independence
In April 2011, as part of a national referendum, 98% of South Sudanese registered voters supported secession from Sudan.
A few months later, on July 9, 2011, the new nation of South Sudan was born. Unfortunately, efforts to partition the country heightened old conflicts and created new disputes.
When the Republic of South Sudan gained independence from Sudan, this created a political dilemma for the United States.
Since some Sudanese may have become citizens of South Sudan, losing their Sudanese citizenship, the U.S. government feared they might no longer be covered as TPS beneficiaries. As a result, South Sudan was designated for TPS benefits on October 13, 2011.
For additional information on filing requirements for South Sudan TPS, see the USCIS Fact Sheet On South Sudan TPS.
What Are Temporary Protected Status Benefits For Immigrants From Sudan And South Sudan?
As with TPS beneficiaries from other countries, if you are a TPS recipient from Sudan or South Sudan, you are entitled to the following benefits:
- You are allowed to have valid immigration status for the 18 month period
- You are eligible for a work permit, which allows you to work legally in the United States
- You may be able to halt deportation and removal proceedings against you
In addition, under certain circumstances, you may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident.
Are There Any Immigration Options Available For Former Beneficiaries Of Sudan TPS?
Similar to the situation facing immigrants from other nations previously granted TPS protections, citizens from Sudan should promptly begin the process of assessing their eligibility for other immigration benefits.
In particular, under recent favorable court decisions, there is a possibility that some former TPS recipients, whose TPS history dates back to the 1990s, will be able to seek permanent resident benefits.
Despite the gloomy circumstances facing immigrants from Honduras and Nicaragua previously granted TPS status, now is not the time to simply give up and start packing your bags.
Having living in the U.S. for nearly 20 years, it is likely many have developed strong community, work, and family roots.
This means that if you are in this situation, the potential for positive immigration relief from deportation and family separation – and winning permanent residence relief – exists . . . but only if you start planning ahead.
If you would like to evaluate your options for success, schedule a personalized planning and strategy session with our office today.
By Carlos Batara, Immigration Law, Policy, And Politics