USCIS has recently announced that Syria will be designated as a TPS country. TPS stands for “Temporary Protected Status.” The Secretary of Homeland Security can grant TPS for nationals of certain countries due to dangerous conditions in that country. The conditions can be the result of a natural disaster, such as the earthquake in Haiti, or the result of a political situation, such as civil war. When a foreign national holds TPS, that person is generally not removable (meaning that they generally cannot be deported) and is granted a temporary work permit. TPS is usually granted to citizens of a certain country who are in the United States when the designation is granted. That is, when TPS is granted to Syria, it does not mean that anyone from Syria can come to the US and apply for TPS. Rather, those foreign nationals from Syria who are already in the United States and who are otherwise eligible may apply for TPS.
USCIS has not announced yet when Syrians may begin to apply for TPS or what the specific requirements will be. Stay tuned for more information!