Designation of Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status, 69506-69511 [2014-27778]

Download as PDF 69506 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 225 / Friday, November 21, 2014 / Notices your citizenship or immigration status, or national origin. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Note to All Employers Employers are reminded that the laws requiring proper employment eligibility verification and prohibiting unfair immigration-related employment practices remain in full force. This Notice does not supersede or in any way limit applicable employment verification rules and policy guidance, including those rules setting forth reverification requirements. For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, employers may call USCIS at 888–464– 4218 (TTY 877–875–6028) or email USCIS at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls and emails are accepted in English and many other languages. For questions about avoiding discrimination during the employment eligibility verification process, employers may also call the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer Hotline at 800–255–8155 (TTY 800–237–2515), which offers language interpretation in numerous languages, or email OSC at osccrt@ usdoj.gov. Note to Employees For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, employees may call USCIS at 888–897–7781 (TTY 877–875–6028) or email at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls are accepted in English and many other languages. Employees or applicants may also call the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Worker Information Hotline at 800–255–7688 (TTY 800–237–2515) for information regarding employment discrimination based upon citizenship status, immigration status, or national origin, or for information regarding discrimination related to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9) and E-Verify. The OSC Worker Information Hotline provides language interpretation in numerous languages. To comply with the law, employers must accept any document or combination of documents from the Lists of Acceptable Documents if the documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the employee, or an acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt described in the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9) Instructions. Employers may not require extra or additional documentation beyond what is required for Employment Eligibility Verification VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:00 Nov 20, 2014 Jkt 235001 (Form I–9) completion. Further, employers participating in E-Verify who receive an E-Verify case result of ‘‘Tentative Nonconfirmation’’ (TNC) must promptly inform employees of the TNC and give such employees an opportunity to contest the TNC. A TNC case result means that the information entered into E-Verify from Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9) differs from federal or state government records. Employers may not terminate, suspend, delay training, withhold pay, lower pay or take any adverse action against an employee based on the employee’s decision to contest a TNC or because the case is still pending with EVerify. A Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) case result is received when E-Verify cannot verify an employee’s employment eligibility. An employer may terminate employment based on a case result of FNC. Work-authorized employees who receive an FNC may call USCIS for assistance at 888–897–7781 (TTY 877–875–6028). An employee who believes he or she was discriminated against by an employer in the E-Verify process based on citizenship or immigration status, or based on national origin, may contact OSC’s Worker Information Hotline at 800–255–7688 (TTY 800–237–2515). Additional information about proper nondiscriminatory Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9) and EVerify procedures is available on the OSC Web site at http://www.justice.gov/ crt/about/osc/ and the USCIS Web site at http://www.dhs.gov/E-verify. Note Regarding Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (Such as Departments of Motor Vehicles) While Federal Government agencies must follow the guidelines laid out by the Federal Government, State and local government agencies establish their own rules and guidelines when granting certain benefits. Each State may have different laws, requirements, and determinations about what documents you need to provide to prove eligibility for certain benefits. Whether you are applying for a Federal, State, or local government benefit, you may need to provide the government agency with documents that show you are a TPS beneficiary and/or show you are authorized to work based on TPS. Examples are: (1) Your EAD that has a valid expiration date; (2) A copy of your Form I–821 Approval Notice (Form I–797), if you receive one from USCIS. Check with the government agency regarding which document(s) the agency PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 will accept. You may also provide the agency with a copy of this Federal Register Notice. Some benefit-granting agencies use the USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE) to verify the current immigration status of applicants for public benefits. If such an agency has denied your application based solely or in part on a SAVE response, the agency must offer you the opportunity to appeal the decision in accordance with the agency’s procedures. If the agency has received and acted upon or will act upon a SAVE verification and you do not believe the response is correct, you may make an InfoPass appointment for an in-person interview at a local USCIS office. Detailed information on how to make corrections, make an appointment, or submit a written request to correct records under the Freedom of Information Act can be found at the SAVE Web site at http://www.uscis.gov/ save, then by choosing ‘‘How to Correct Your Records’’ from the menu on the right. [FR Doc. 2014–27772 Filed 11–20–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–97–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [CIS No. 2553–14; DHS Docket No. USCIS– 2014–0009] RIN 1615–ZB34 Designation of Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Through this Notice, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) has designated Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a period of 18 months, effective November 21, 2014 through May 21, 2016. Under section 244(b)(1)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C), the Secretary is authorized to designate a foreign state (or any part thereof) for TPS upon finding that the foreign state is experiencing extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent its nationals from returning in safety and that permitting such aliens to remain temporarily in the United States is not contrary to the national interest. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21NON1.SGM 21NON1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 225 / Friday, November 21, 2014 / Notices This designation allows eligible Sierra Leonean nationals (and aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone) who have continuously resided in the United States since November 20, 2014 and been continuously physically present in the United States since November 21, 2014 to be granted TPS. This Notice also describes the other eligibility criteria applicants must meet. Individuals who believe they may qualify for TPS under this designation may apply within the 180-day registration period that begins on November 21, 2014 and ends on May 20, 2015. They may also apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and for travel authorization. Through this Notice, DHS also sets forth the procedures for nationals of Sierra Leone (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone) to apply for TPS, EADs, and travel authorization with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Given the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)related basis for the designations of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for TPS and ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of EVD, requests for advance travel authorization (‘‘advance parole’’) for travel to one or more of these three countries will not be approved, as a matter of discretion, absent extraordinary circumstances. If you depart from the United States without obtaining advance parole or you do not comply with any conditions that may be placed on your advance parole document, you may not be permitted to re-enter the United States. TPS beneficiaries who are granted advance parole to travel to Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone are advised that they, like other aliens granted advance parole, are not guaranteed parole into the United States. A separate decision regarding your ability to enter will be made when you arrive at a port-of-entry upon your return. Individuals considering travel outside the United States should visit the Department of State’s Web site for the most up-to-date information in Travel Alerts and Warnings and in the Ebola Fact Sheet for Travelers. DATES: This designation of Sierra Leone for TPS is effective on November 21, 2014 and will remain in effect through May 21, 2016. The 180-day registration period for eligible individuals to submit TPS applications begins November 21, 2014, and will remain in effect through May 20, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: • For further information on TPS, including guidance on the application VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:00 Nov 20, 2014 Jkt 235001 process and additional information on eligibility, please visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. You can find specific information about this designation of Sierra Leone for TPS by selecting ‘‘TPS Designated Country: Sierra Leone’’ from the menu on the left of the TPS Web page. • You can also contact the TPS Operations Program Manager at the Family and Status Branch, Service Center Operations Directorate, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529–2060; or by phone at (202) 272–1533 (this is not a toll-free number). Note: The phone number provided here is solely for questions regarding this TPS Notice. It is not for individual case status inquires. • Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS Web site at http:// www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800–375–5283 (TTY 800–767–1833). Service is available in English and Spanish. • Further information will also be available at local USCIS offices upon publication of this Notice. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Abbreviations BIA—Board of Immigration Appeals DHS—Department of Homeland Security DOS—Department of State EAD—Employment Authorization Document EVD—Ebola Virus Disease FNC—Final Nonconfirmation IJ—Immigration Judge INA—Immigration and Nationality Act OSC—U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices SAVE—USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program Secretary—Secretary of Homeland Security TNC—Tentative Nonconfirmation TPS—Temporary Protected Status TTY—Text Telephone USCIS—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services WHO—World Health Organization What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)? • TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country designated for TPS under the INA, or to eligible persons without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country. • During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are eligible to remain in the United States, may not be removed, and are authorized to work and to obtain EADs, so long as they PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 69507 continue to meet the requirements of TPS. • TPS beneficiaries may be granted travel authorization as a matter of discretion. Given the EVD-related basis for the designations of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for TPS and ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of EVD, requests for advance travel authorization (‘‘advance parole’’) for travel to one or more of these three countries will not be approved, as a matter of discretion, absent extraordinary circumstances. If you depart from the United States without obtaining advance parole or you do not comply with any conditions that may be placed on your advance parole document, you may not be permitted to re-enter the United States. TPS beneficiaries who are granted advance parole to travel to Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone are advised that they, like other aliens granted advance parole, are not guaranteed parole into the United States. A separate decision regarding your ability to enter will be made when you arrive at a port-of-entry upon your return. Individuals considering travel outside the United States should visit the Department of State’s Web site for the most up-to-date information in Travel Alerts and Warnings and in the Ebola Fact Sheet for Travelers. • The granting of TPS does not result in or lead to permanent resident status. • When the Secretary terminates a country’s TPS designation through a separate Federal Register notice, beneficiaries return to the same immigration status they maintained before TPS, if any (unless that status has since expired or been terminated), or to any other lawfully obtained immigration status they received while registered for TPS. What authority does the Secretary have to designate Sierra Leone for TPS? Section 244(b)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1), authorizes the Secretary, after consultation with appropriate U.S. Government agencies, to designate a foreign state (or part thereof) for TPS if the Secretary finds that certain country conditions exist.1 The Secretary can designate a foreign state for TPS based on one of three circumstances. One circumstance is if ‘‘there exist extraordinary and temporary conditions 1 As of March 1, 2003, in accordance with section 1517 of title XV of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107–296, 116 Stat. 2135, any reference to the Attorney General in a provision of the INA describing functions transferred from the Department of Justice to DHS ‘‘shall be deemed to refer to the Secretary’’ of Homeland Security. See 6 U.S.C. 557 (codifying the Homeland Security Act of 2002, tit. XV, section 1517). E:\FR\FM\21NON1.SGM 21NON1 69508 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 225 / Friday, November 21, 2014 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES in the foreign state that prevent aliens who are nationals of the state from returning to the state in safety, unless the [Secretary] finds that permitting the aliens to remain temporarily in the United States is contrary to the national interest of the United States.’’ INA section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C). Following the designation of a foreign state for TPS, the Secretary may then grant TPS to eligible nationals of that foreign state (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in that state). See INA section 244(a)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A). Applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been ‘‘continuously physically present’’ in the United States since the effective date of the designation, which is either the date of the Federal Register Notice announcing the designation or such later date as the Secretary may determine, and that they have ‘‘continuously resided’’ in the United States since such date as the Secretary may designate. See INA section 244(a)(1)(A), (b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i–ii); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A), (b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i–ii). Why is the Secretary designating Sierra Leone for TPS through May 21, 2016? The Secretary has determined, after consultation with the Department of State (DOS) and other appropriate Government agencies, that there exist extraordinary and temporary conditions in Sierra Leone that prevent Sierra Leonean nationals (and persons having no nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone) from returning in safety. The Secretary also has determined that permitting such aliens to remain temporarily in the United States would not be contrary to the national interest of the United States. On November 7, 2014 the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that as of November 4, 2014 there had been 13,241 cases of EVD in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone with 4,950 deaths, making the 2014 EVD epidemic the largest in history. The outbreak began in Guinea in March 2014 and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. The course of the EVD epidemic currently cannot be predicted accurately as cases of EVD continue to rise every day. As of November 4, 2014 there are numerous areas in each of the three countries where transmission continues to occur at high rates. Large scale efforts to control the epidemic in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are ongoing to address these hotspots. As of November 4, 2014 WHO reported a total of 4,862 Ebola cases occurring in Sierra Leone, VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:00 Nov 20, 2014 Jkt 235001 resulting in 1,130 deaths. Ebola is a highly infectious, severe, and acute viral illness with a high fatality rate. Although experimental treatments and vaccines are under development, there are currently no approved vaccines or approved antivirals for treatment of the disease. It is unlikely that a medical vaccine or cure could be produced on a large scale in the near future. On June 11, 2014, Sierra Leone shut its borders to trade with Liberia and Guinea and closed schools, cinemas, and nightclubs in order to prevent the spread of EVD. On July 30, 2014, the President of Sierra Leone proclaimed a state of public emergency. In order to combat the spread of the virus, the Sierra Leonean Government established new protocols for arriving and departing passengers at Freetown-Lungi International Airport, instituted restrictions on public and other mass gatherings, and implemented quarantine measures and travel restrictions for communities affected by EVD. The Government also required all deaths be reported before burial, authorized police and military personnel to aid in enforcing prevention and control measures, and directed local government officials to establish bylaws to support EVD prevention efforts. Between September 19 and 21, 2014, Sierra Leone’s Government instituted a three-day house-to-house search in an attempt to stem the outbreak. The Government declared the search a success based on the discovery of around 100 bodies and 200 suspected patients. On October 5, 2014, a third of Sierra Leone’s population is reported to be under official quarantine. In September 2014, the World Bank predicted that by the end of 2015, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia could potentially lose a total of $809 million in their economies due to the West African Ebola outbreak. Many countries in the region have closed borders and implemented travel bans to and from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The EVD epidemic has overwhelmed the already weak health care systems in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and placed Guinea’s system under great strain. As of November 4, 2014, the WHO reports that, 545 health care workers are known to have developed EVD (88 in Guinea, 318 in Liberia, 11 in Nigeria, and 128 in Sierra Leone). Three hundred and eleven health care workers have died as a result of EVD infection. Fears of transmission, overcrowding, and inadequate medical and protective supplies have resulted in patients refraining from seeking care and doctors and nurses refusing to work. Individuals in these countries are increasingly PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 unable to get treatment for preventable or treatable conditions, such as malaria, diarrheal diseases, and pregnancy complications. Maternal and child health care is being especially undermined. Attempted containment measures such as cancellation of airline flights, international trade restrictions, and disruption to agriculture threaten future food shortages and have added to the suffering caused by the EVD epidemic. Based upon this review and after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, the Secretary finds that: • Sierra Leonean nationals (and persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone) cannot return to Sierra Leone in safety due to extraordinary and temporary conditions. See INA section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C); • It is not contrary to the national interest of the United States to permit nationals of Sierra Leone (and persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone) who meet the eligibility requirements of TPS to remain in the United States temporarily. See INA section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C); • The designation of Sierra Leone for TPS will be for an 18-month period from November 21, 2014 through May 21, 2016. See INA section 244(b)(2), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(2); • Applicants for TPS under the designation of Sierra Leone must demonstrate that they have been continuously residing in the United States since November 20, 2014. See INA section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii); • Applicants for TPS under the designation of Sierra Leone must demonstrate that they have been continuously physically present in the United States since November 21, 2014, the effective date of this designation of Sierra Leone for TPS. See INA section 244(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i); and • An estimated 2,000 nationals of Sierra Leone (and persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone) are (or are likely to become) eligible for TPS under this designation. Notice of the Designation of Sierra Leone for TPS By the authority vested in me as Secretary under INA section 244, 8 U.S.C. 1254a, after consultation with the appropriate U.S. Government agencies, I designate Sierra Leone for TPS under INA section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C), for a period of 18 months E:\FR\FM\21NON1.SGM 21NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 225 / Friday, November 21, 2014 / Notices from November 21, 2014 through May 21, 2016. Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary. Required Application Forms and Application Fees To Register for TPS To register for TPS for Sierra Leone, an applicant must submit each of the following two applications: 1. Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I–821) with the form fee; and 2. Application for Employment Authorization (Form I–765). • For administrative purposes, an applicant must submit an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I– 765) even if no EAD is requested. • If you want an EAD you must pay the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I–765) fee only if you are age 14 through 65. • No application fee for Employment Authorization (Form I–765) is required for an EAD with an initial TPS application if you are under the age of 14 or over the age of 65. You must submit both completed application forms together. If you are unable to pay the required fees, you may apply for a waiver for these application fees and/or the biometrics services fee described below by completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I–912), or submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and providing satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information on the application forms and fees for TPS, please visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/ tps. Fees for Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I–821), Application for Employment Authorization (Form I–765), and biometric services are also described in 8 CFR 103.7(b). Biometric Services Fee Biometrics (such as fingerprints) are required for all applicants 14 years of age or older. Those applicants must submit a biometric services fee. As previously stated, if you are unable to pay for the biometric services fee, you may request a fee waiver by completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I–912) or by submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and providing satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information on the biometric services fee, please visit the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov. If necessary, you may be required to visit an Application Support Center to have your biometrics captured. Re-Filing a TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of a Fee Waiver Request If you request a fee waiver when filing your TPS and EAD application forms 69509 and your request is denied, you may refile your application packet with the correct fees before the filing deadline of May 20, 2015. If you attempt to submit your application with a fee waiver request before the initial filing deadline, but you receive your application back with the USCIS fee waiver denial, and there are fewer than 45 days before the filing deadline (or the deadline has passed), you may still refile your application within the 45-day period after the date on the USCIS fee waiver denial notice. You must include the correct fees, or file a new fee waiver request. Your application will not be rejected even if the deadline has passed, provided it is mailed within those 45 days and all other required information for the application is included. Please be aware that if you re-file your TPS application packet with a new fee waiver request after the deadline based on this guidance and that new fee waiver request is denied, you cannot refile again. Note: Alternatively, you may pay the TPS application fee and biometrics fee (if age 14 or older) but wait to request an EAD and pay the EAD application fee after USCIS grants your TPS application. Mailing Information Mail your application for TPS to the proper address in Table 1. TABLE 1—MAILING ADDRESSES Then mail your application to: Would like to send your application by U.S. Postal Service .................... Would like to send your application by non-U.S. Postal Service courier mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES If you: USCIS, P.O. Box 6943, Chicago, IL 60680–6943. Attn: Sierra Leone TPS, 131 S. Dearborn, 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60603–5517. If you were granted TPS by an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and you wish to request an EAD, please mail your application to the address in Table 1. Upon receiving a Receipt Notice from USCIS, please send an email to TPSijgrant.tsc@uscis.dhs.gov with the receipt number stating that you submitted a request for an EAD based on an IJ/BIA grant of TPS as USCIS may not have received records of your grant of TPS by either an IJ or the BIA. This will aid in the verification of your grant and processing of your application. You can find detailed information on what further information you need to email, and email addresses on the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. E-Filing You cannot electronically file your application packet when applying for VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:00 Nov 20, 2014 Jkt 235001 initial registration for TPS. Please mail your application packet to the mailing address listed in Table 1. Supporting Documents What type of basic supporting documentation must I submit? To meet the basic eligibility requirements for TPS, you must submit evidence that you: • Are a national of Sierra Leone or an alien having no nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone. Such documents may include a copy of your passport if available, other documentation issued by the Government of Sierra Leone showing your nationality (e.g., national identity card, official travel documentation issued by the Government of Sierra Leone), and/or your birth certificate with English translation accompanied PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 by photo identification. USCIS will also consider certain forms of secondary evidence supporting your Sierra Leonean nationality. If the evidence presented is insufficient for USCIS to make a determination as to your nationality, USCIS may request additional evidence. If you cannot provide a passport, birth certificate with photo identification, or a national identity document with your photo or fingerprint, you must submit an affidavit showing proof of your unsuccessful efforts to obtain such documents and affirming that you are a national of Sierra Leone. However, please be aware that an interview with an immigration officer will be required if you do not present any documentary proof of identity or nationality or if USCIS otherwise requests a personal appearance. See 8 CFR 103.2(b)(9), 244.9(a)(1); E:\FR\FM\21NON1.SGM 21NON1 69510 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 225 / Friday, November 21, 2014 / Notices • Have continuously resided in the United States since November 20, 2014. See INA section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii); 8 CFR 244.9(a)(2); and • Have been continuously physically present in the United States since November 21, 2014, the effective date of the designation of Sierra Leone. See section 244(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i) of the INA; 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i). You must also present two color passport-style photographs of yourself. The filing instructions on the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I–821) list all the documents needed to establish basic eligibility for TPS. You may also find information on the acceptable documentation and other requirements for applying for TPS on the USCIS Web site at www.uscis.gov/tps under ‘‘TPS Designated Country: Sierra Leone.’’ Do I need to submit additional supporting documentation? If one or more of the questions listed in Part 4, Question 2 of the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I– 821) applies to you, then you must submit an explanation on a separate sheet(s) of paper and/or additional documentation. Depending on the nature of the question(s) you are addressing, additional documentation alone may suffice, but usually a written explanation will also be needed. Employment Authorization Document (EAD) mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES May I request an interim EAD at my local USCIS office? No. USCIS will not issue interim EADs to TPS applicants at local offices. When hired, what documentation may I show to my employer as proof of employment authorization and identity when completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9)? You can find a list of acceptable document choices on the ‘‘List of Acceptable Documents’’ for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9). You can find additional detailed information on the USCIS I–9 Central Web page at http:// www.uscis.gov/I-9Central. Employers are required to verify the identity and employment authorization of all new employees by using the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9). Within 3 days of hire, an employee must present proof of identity and employment authorization to his or her employer. You may present any document from List A (reflecting both your identity and VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:00 Nov 20, 2014 Jkt 235001 employment authorization), or one document from List B (reflecting identity) together with one document from List C (reflecting employment authorization). You may present an acceptable receipt for List A, List B, or List C documents as described in the Form I–9 Instructions. An EAD is an acceptable document under ‘‘List A.’’ Employers may not reject a document based on a future expiration date. Can my employer require that I produce any other documentation to prove my status, such as proof of my Sierra Leonean citizenship? No. When completing the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9), including re-verifying employment authorization, employers must accept any documentation that appears on the ‘‘Lists of Acceptable Documents’’ for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9) that reasonably appears to be genuine and that relates to you, or an acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt. Employers may not request documentation that does not appear on the ‘‘Lists of Acceptable Documents.’’ Therefore, employers may not request proof of Sierra Leonean citizenship when completing the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9) for new hires or reverifying the employment authorization of current employees. If presented with EADs that are unexpired on their face, employers should accept such EADs as valid ‘‘List A’’ documents so long as the EADs reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee. Refer to the ‘‘Note to All Employees’’ section for important information about your rights if your employer rejects lawful documentation, requires additional documentation, or otherwise discriminates against you because of your citizenship or immigration status, or national origin. Note to All Employers Employers are reminded that the laws requiring proper employment eligibility verification and prohibiting unfair immigration-related employment practices remain in full force. This Notice does not supersede or in any way limit applicable employment verification rules and policy guidance, including those rules setting forth reverification requirements. For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, employers may call USCIS at 888–464– 4218 (TTY 877–875–6028) or email USCIS at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls and emails are accepted in English and many other languages. For questions about avoiding discrimination during PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the employment eligibility verification process, employers may also call the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer Hotline at 800–255–8155 (TTY 800–237–2515), which offers language interpretation in numerous languages, or email OSC at osccrt@ usdoj.gov. Note to Employees For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, employees may call USCIS at 888–897–7781 (TTY 877–875–6028) or email at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls are accepted in English and many other languages. Employees or applicants may also call the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Worker Information Hotline at 800–255–7688 (TTY 800–237–2515) for information regarding employment discrimination based upon citizenship status, immigration status, or national origin, or for information regarding discrimination related to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9) and E-Verify. The OSC Worker Information Hotline provides language interpretation in numerous languages. To comply with the law, employers must accept any document or combination of documents from the Lists of Acceptable Documents if the documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the employee, or an acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt described in the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9) Instructions. Employers may not require extra or additional documentation beyond what is required for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9) completion. Further, employers participating in E-Verify who receive an E-Verify case result of ‘‘Tentative Nonconfirmation’’ (TNC) must promptly inform employees of the TNC and give such employees an opportunity to contest the TNC. A TNC case result means that the information entered into E-Verify from Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9) differs from federal or state government records. Employers may not terminate, suspend, delay training, withhold pay, lower pay or take any adverse action against an employee based on the employee’s decision to contest a TNC or because the case is still pending with EVerify. A Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) case result is received when E-Verify cannot verify an employee’s employment eligibility. An employer E:\FR\FM\21NON1.SGM 21NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 225 / Friday, November 21, 2014 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES may terminate employment based on a case result of FNC. Work-authorized employees who receive an FNC may call USCIS for assistance at 888–897–7781 (TTY 877–875–6028). An employee who believes he or she was discriminated against by an employer in the E-Verify process based on citizenship or immigration status, or based on national origin, may contact OSC’s Worker Information Hotline at 800–255–7688 (TTY 800–237–2515). Additional information about proper nondiscriminatory Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9) and EVerify procedures is available on the OSC Web site at http://www.justice.gov/ crt/about/osc/ and the USCIS Web site at http://www.dhs.gov/E-verify. Note Regarding Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (Such as Departments of Motor Vehicles) While Federal Government agencies must follow the guidelines laid out by the Federal Government, State and local government agencies establish their own rules and guidelines when granting certain benefits. Each State may have different laws, requirements, and determinations about what documents you need to provide to prove eligibility for certain benefits. Whether you are applying for a Federal, State, or local government benefit, you may need to provide the government agency with documents that show you are a TPS beneficiary and/or show you are authorized to work based on TPS. Examples are: (1) Your EAD that has a valid expiration date; (2) A copy of your Form I–821 Approval Notice (Form I–797), if you receive one from USCIS. Check with the government agency regarding which document(s) the agency will accept. You may also provide the agency with a copy of this Federal Register Notice. Some benefit-granting agencies use the USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE) to verify the current immigration status of applicants for public benefits. If such an agency has denied your application based solely or in part on a SAVE response, the agency must offer you the opportunity to appeal the decision in accordance with the agency’s procedures. If the agency has received and acted upon or will act upon a SAVE verification and you do not believe the response is correct, you may make an InfoPass appointment for an in-person interview at a local USCIS office. Detailed information on how to make corrections, make an appointment, or submit a written request to correct VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:00 Nov 20, 2014 Jkt 235001 records under the Freedom of Information Act can be found at the SAVE Web site at http://www.uscis.gov/ save, then by choosing ‘‘How to Correct Your Records’’ from the menu on the right. [FR Doc. 2014–27778 Filed 11–20–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–97–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [CIS No. 2551–14; DHS Docket No. USCIS– 2014–0010] RIN 1615–ZB32 Designation of Guinea for Temporary Protected Status U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Through this Notice, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) has designated Guinea for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a period of 18 months, effective November 21, 2014 through May 21, 2016. Under section 244(b)(1)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C), the Secretary is authorized to designate a foreign state (or any part thereof) for TPS upon finding that the foreign state is experiencing extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent its nationals from returning in safety and that permitting such aliens to remain temporarily in the United States is not contrary to the national interest. This designation allows eligible Guinean nationals (and aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Guinea) who have continuously resided in the United States since November 20, 2014 and been continuously physically present in the United States since November 21, 2014 to be granted TPS. This Notice also describes the other eligibility criteria applicants must meet. Individuals who believe they may qualify for TPS under this designation may apply within the 180-day registration period that begins on November 21, 2014 and ends on May 20, 2015. They may also apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and for travel authorization. Through this Notice, DHS also sets forth the procedures for nationals of Guinea SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 69511 (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Guinea) to apply for TPS, EADs, and travel authorization with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Given the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)related basis for the designations of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for TPS and ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of EVD, requests for advance travel authorization (‘‘advance parole’’) for travel to one or more of these three countries will not be approved, as a matter of discretion, absent extraordinary circumstances. If you depart from the United States without obtaining advance parole or you do not comply with any conditions that may be placed on your advance parole document, you may not be permitted to re-enter the United States. TPS beneficiaries who are granted advance parole to travel to Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone are advised that they, like other aliens granted advance parole, are not guaranteed parole into the United States. A separate decision regarding your ability to enter will be made when you arrive at a port-of-entry upon your return. Individuals considering travel outside the United States should visit the Department of State’s Web site for the most up-to-date information in Travel Alerts and Warnings and in the Ebola Fact Sheet for Travelers. DATES: This designation of Guinea for TPS is effective on November 21, 2014 and will remain in effect through May 21, 2016. The 180-day registration period for eligible individuals to submit TPS applications begins November 21, 2014, and will remain in effect through May 20, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: • For further information on TPS, including guidance on the application process and additional information on eligibility, please visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. You can find specific information about this designation of Guinea for TPS by selecting ‘‘TPS Designated Country: Guinea’’ from the menu on the left of the TPS Web page. • You can also contact the TPS Operations Program Manager at the Family and Status Branch, Service Center Operations Directorate, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529–2060; or by phone at (202) 272–1533 (this is not a toll-free number). Note: The phone number provided here is solely for questions regarding this TPS Notice. It is not for individual case status inquires. E:\FR\FM\21NON1.SGM 21NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 225 (Friday, November 21, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 69506-69511]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-27778]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2553-14; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2014-0009]
RIN 1615-ZB34


Designation of Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of 
Homeland Security.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Through this Notice, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) has 
designated Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a 
period of 18 months, effective November 21, 2014 through May 21, 2016. 
Under section 244(b)(1)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
(INA), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C), the Secretary is authorized to 
designate a foreign state (or any part thereof) for TPS upon finding 
that the foreign state is experiencing extraordinary and temporary 
conditions that prevent its nationals from returning in safety and that 
permitting such aliens to remain temporarily in the United States is 
not contrary to the national interest.

[[Page 69507]]

    This designation allows eligible Sierra Leonean nationals (and 
aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra 
Leone) who have continuously resided in the United States since 
November 20, 2014 and been continuously physically present in the 
United States since November 21, 2014 to be granted TPS. This Notice 
also describes the other eligibility criteria applicants must meet.
    Individuals who believe they may qualify for TPS under this 
designation may apply within the 180-day registration period that 
begins on November 21, 2014 and ends on May 20, 2015. They may also 
apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and for travel 
authorization. Through this Notice, DHS also sets forth the procedures 
for nationals of Sierra Leone (or aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Sierra Leone) to apply for TPS, EADs, and travel 
authorization with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
    Given the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)-related basis for the 
designations of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for TPS and ongoing 
efforts to prevent the spread of EVD, requests for advance travel 
authorization (``advance parole'') for travel to one or more of these 
three countries will not be approved, as a matter of discretion, absent 
extraordinary circumstances. If you depart from the United States 
without obtaining advance parole or you do not comply with any 
conditions that may be placed on your advance parole document, you may 
not be permitted to re-enter the United States. TPS beneficiaries who 
are granted advance parole to travel to Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone 
are advised that they, like other aliens granted advance parole, are 
not guaranteed parole into the United States. A separate decision 
regarding your ability to enter will be made when you arrive at a port-
of-entry upon your return. Individuals considering travel outside the 
United States should visit the Department of State's Web site for the 
most up-to-date information in Travel Alerts and Warnings and in the 
Ebola Fact Sheet for Travelers.

DATES: This designation of Sierra Leone for TPS is effective on 
November 21, 2014 and will remain in effect through May 21, 2016. The 
180-day registration period for eligible individuals to submit TPS 
applications begins November 21, 2014, and will remain in effect 
through May 20, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
     For further information on TPS, including guidance on the 
application process and additional information on eligibility, please 
visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. You can find 
specific information about this designation of Sierra Leone for TPS by 
selecting ``TPS Designated Country: Sierra Leone'' from the menu on the 
left of the TPS Web page.
     You can also contact the TPS Operations Program Manager at 
the Family and Status Branch, Service Center Operations Directorate, 
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland 
Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2060; or by 
phone at (202) 272-1533 (this is not a toll-free number). Note: The 
phone number provided here is solely for questions regarding this TPS 
Notice. It is not for individual case status inquires.
     Applicants seeking information about the status of their 
individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS 
Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer 
Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833). Service is available 
in English and Spanish.
     Further information will also be available at local USCIS 
offices upon publication of this Notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Abbreviations

BIA--Board of Immigration Appeals
DHS--Department of Homeland Security
DOS--Department of State
EAD--Employment Authorization Document
EVD--Ebola Virus Disease
FNC--Final Nonconfirmation
IJ--Immigration Judge
INA--Immigration and Nationality Act
OSC--U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for 
Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices
SAVE--USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program
Secretary--Secretary of Homeland Security
TNC--Tentative Nonconfirmation
TPS--Temporary Protected Status
TTY--Text Telephone
USCIS--U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
WHO--World Health Organization

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

     TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible 
nationals of a country designated for TPS under the INA, or to eligible 
persons without nationality who last habitually resided in the 
designated country.
     During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are 
eligible to remain in the United States, may not be removed, and are 
authorized to work and to obtain EADs, so long as they continue to meet 
the requirements of TPS.
     TPS beneficiaries may be granted travel authorization as a 
matter of discretion. Given the EVD-related basis for the designations 
of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for TPS and ongoing efforts to 
prevent the spread of EVD, requests for advance travel authorization 
(``advance parole'') for travel to one or more of these three countries 
will not be approved, as a matter of discretion, absent extraordinary 
circumstances. If you depart from the United States without obtaining 
advance parole or you do not comply with any conditions that may be 
placed on your advance parole document, you may not be permitted to re-
enter the United States. TPS beneficiaries who are granted advance 
parole to travel to Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone are advised that 
they, like other aliens granted advance parole, are not guaranteed 
parole into the United States. A separate decision regarding your 
ability to enter will be made when you arrive at a port-of-entry upon 
your return. Individuals considering travel outside the United States 
should visit the Department of State's Web site for the most up-to-date 
information in Travel Alerts and Warnings and in the Ebola Fact Sheet 
for Travelers.
     The granting of TPS does not result in or lead to 
permanent resident status.
     When the Secretary terminates a country's TPS designation 
through a separate Federal Register notice, beneficiaries return to the 
same immigration status they maintained before TPS, if any (unless that 
status has since expired or been terminated), or to any other lawfully 
obtained immigration status they received while registered for TPS.

What authority does the Secretary have to designate Sierra Leone for 
TPS?

    Section 244(b)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1), authorizes the 
Secretary, after consultation with appropriate U.S. Government 
agencies, to designate a foreign state (or part thereof) for TPS if the 
Secretary finds that certain country conditions exist.\1\ The Secretary 
can designate a foreign state for TPS based on one of three 
circumstances. One circumstance is if ``there exist extraordinary and 
temporary conditions

[[Page 69508]]

in the foreign state that prevent aliens who are nationals of the state 
from returning to the state in safety, unless the [Secretary] finds 
that permitting the aliens to remain temporarily in the United States 
is contrary to the national interest of the United States.'' INA 
section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ As of March 1, 2003, in accordance with section 1517 of 
title XV of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, 
116 Stat. 2135, any reference to the Attorney General in a provision 
of the INA describing functions transferred from the Department of 
Justice to DHS ``shall be deemed to refer to the Secretary'' of 
Homeland Security. See 6 U.S.C. 557 (codifying the Homeland Security 
Act of 2002, tit. XV, section 1517).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Following the designation of a foreign state for TPS, the Secretary 
may then grant TPS to eligible nationals of that foreign state (or 
aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in that 
state). See INA section 244(a)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A). 
Applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, 
including that they have been ``continuously physically present'' in 
the United States since the effective date of the designation, which is 
either the date of the Federal Register Notice announcing the 
designation or such later date as the Secretary may determine, and that 
they have ``continuously resided'' in the United States since such date 
as the Secretary may designate. See INA section 244(a)(1)(A), 
(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i-ii); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A), (b)(2)(A), 
(c)(1)(A)(i-ii).

Why is the Secretary designating Sierra Leone for TPS through May 21, 
2016?

    The Secretary has determined, after consultation with the 
Department of State (DOS) and other appropriate Government agencies, 
that there exist extraordinary and temporary conditions in Sierra Leone 
that prevent Sierra Leonean nationals (and persons having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone) from returning 
in safety. The Secretary also has determined that permitting such 
aliens to remain temporarily in the United States would not be contrary 
to the national interest of the United States.
    On November 7, 2014 the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 
that as of November 4, 2014 there had been 13,241 cases of EVD in 
Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone with 4,950 deaths, making the 2014 
EVD epidemic the largest in history. The outbreak began in Guinea in 
March 2014 and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
    The course of the EVD epidemic currently cannot be predicted 
accurately as cases of EVD continue to rise every day. As of November 
4, 2014 there are numerous areas in each of the three countries where 
transmission continues to occur at high rates. Large scale efforts to 
control the epidemic in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are ongoing 
to address these hotspots. As of November 4, 2014 WHO reported a total 
of 4,862 Ebola cases occurring in Sierra Leone, resulting in 1,130 
deaths. Ebola is a highly infectious, severe, and acute viral illness 
with a high fatality rate. Although experimental treatments and 
vaccines are under development, there are currently no approved 
vaccines or approved antivirals for treatment of the disease. It is 
unlikely that a medical vaccine or cure could be produced on a large 
scale in the near future.
    On June 11, 2014, Sierra Leone shut its borders to trade with 
Liberia and Guinea and closed schools, cinemas, and nightclubs in order 
to prevent the spread of EVD. On July 30, 2014, the President of Sierra 
Leone proclaimed a state of public emergency. In order to combat the 
spread of the virus, the Sierra Leonean Government established new 
protocols for arriving and departing passengers at Freetown-Lungi 
International Airport, instituted restrictions on public and other mass 
gatherings, and implemented quarantine measures and travel restrictions 
for communities affected by EVD. The Government also required all 
deaths be reported before burial, authorized police and military 
personnel to aid in enforcing prevention and control measures, and 
directed local government officials to establish by-laws to support EVD 
prevention efforts. Between September 19 and 21, 2014, Sierra Leone's 
Government instituted a three-day house-to-house search in an attempt 
to stem the outbreak. The Government declared the search a success 
based on the discovery of around 100 bodies and 200 suspected patients. 
On October 5, 2014, a third of Sierra Leone's population is reported to 
be under official quarantine.
    In September 2014, the World Bank predicted that by the end of 
2015, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia could potentially lose a total 
of $809 million in their economies due to the West African Ebola 
outbreak. Many countries in the region have closed borders and 
implemented travel bans to and from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
    The EVD epidemic has overwhelmed the already weak health care 
systems in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and placed Guinea's system under 
great strain. As of November 4, 2014, the WHO reports that, 545 health 
care workers are known to have developed EVD (88 in Guinea, 318 in 
Liberia, 11 in Nigeria, and 128 in Sierra Leone). Three hundred and 
eleven health care workers have died as a result of EVD infection. 
Fears of transmission, overcrowding, and inadequate medical and 
protective supplies have resulted in patients refraining from seeking 
care and doctors and nurses refusing to work. Individuals in these 
countries are increasingly unable to get treatment for preventable or 
treatable conditions, such as malaria, diarrheal diseases, and 
pregnancy complications. Maternal and child health care is being 
especially undermined. Attempted containment measures such as 
cancellation of airline flights, international trade restrictions, and 
disruption to agriculture threaten future food shortages and have added 
to the suffering caused by the EVD epidemic.
    Based upon this review and after consultation with appropriate 
Government agencies, the Secretary finds that:
     Sierra Leonean nationals (and persons without nationality 
who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone) cannot return to Sierra 
Leone in safety due to extraordinary and temporary conditions. See INA 
section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C);
     It is not contrary to the national interest of the United 
States to permit nationals of Sierra Leone (and persons without 
nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone) who meet the 
eligibility requirements of TPS to remain in the United States 
temporarily. See INA section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C);
     The designation of Sierra Leone for TPS will be for an 18-
month period from November 21, 2014 through May 21, 2016. See INA 
section 244(b)(2), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(2);
     Applicants for TPS under the designation of Sierra Leone 
must demonstrate that they have been continuously residing in the 
United States since November 20, 2014. See INA section 
244(c)(1)(A)(ii), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii);
     Applicants for TPS under the designation of Sierra Leone 
must demonstrate that they have been continuously physically present in 
the United States since November 21, 2014, the effective date of this 
designation of Sierra Leone for TPS. See INA section 244(b)(2)(A), 
(c)(1)(A)(i); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i); and
     An estimated 2,000 nationals of Sierra Leone (and persons 
without nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone) are 
(or are likely to become) eligible for TPS under this designation.

Notice of the Designation of Sierra Leone for TPS

    By the authority vested in me as Secretary under INA section 244, 8 
U.S.C. 1254a, after consultation with the appropriate U.S. Government 
agencies, I designate Sierra Leone for TPS under INA section 
244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C), for a period of 18 months

[[Page 69509]]

from November 21, 2014 through May 21, 2016.

Jeh Charles Johnson,
Secretary.

Required Application Forms and Application Fees To Register for TPS

    To register for TPS for Sierra Leone, an applicant must submit each 
of the following two applications:
    1. Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) with the 
form fee; and
    2. Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765).
     For administrative purposes, an applicant must submit an 
Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) even if no EAD is 
requested.
     If you want an EAD you must pay the Application for 
Employment Authorization (Form I-765) fee only if you are age 14 
through 65.
     No application fee for Employment Authorization (Form I-
765) is required for an EAD with an initial TPS application if you are 
under the age of 14 or over the age of 65.
    You must submit both completed application forms together. If you 
are unable to pay the required fees, you may apply for a waiver for 
these application fees and/or the biometrics services fee described 
below by completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912), or 
submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and providing 
satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information on the 
application forms and fees for TPS, please visit the USCIS TPS Web page 
at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. Fees for Application for Temporary 
Protected Status (Form I-821), Application for Employment Authorization 
(Form I-765), and biometric services are also described in 8 CFR 
103.7(b).

Biometric Services Fee

    Biometrics (such as fingerprints) are required for all applicants 
14 years of age or older. Those applicants must submit a biometric 
services fee. As previously stated, if you are unable to pay for the 
biometric services fee, you may request a fee waiver by completing a 
Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or by submitting a personal letter 
requesting a fee waiver, and providing satisfactory supporting 
documentation. For more information on the biometric services fee, 
please visit the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov. If necessary, 
you may be required to visit an Application Support Center to have your 
biometrics captured.

Re-Filing a TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of a Fee Waiver 
Request

    If you request a fee waiver when filing your TPS and EAD 
application forms and your request is denied, you may refile your 
application packet with the correct fees before the filing deadline of 
May 20, 2015. If you attempt to submit your application with a fee 
waiver request before the initial filing deadline, but you receive your 
application back with the USCIS fee waiver denial, and there are fewer 
than 45 days before the filing deadline (or the deadline has passed), 
you may still refile your application within the 45-day period after 
the date on the USCIS fee waiver denial notice. You must include the 
correct fees, or file a new fee waiver request. Your application will 
not be rejected even if the deadline has passed, provided it is mailed 
within those 45 days and all other required information for the 
application is included. Please be aware that if you re-file your TPS 
application packet with a new fee waiver request after the deadline 
based on this guidance and that new fee waiver request is denied, you 
cannot re-file again. Note: Alternatively, you may pay the TPS 
application fee and biometrics fee (if age 14 or older) but wait to 
request an EAD and pay the EAD application fee after USCIS grants your 
TPS application.

Mailing Information

    Mail your application for TPS to the proper address in Table 1.

                       Table 1--Mailing Addresses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                If you:                   Then mail your application to:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Would like to send your application by   USCIS, P.O. Box 6943, Chicago,
 U.S. Postal Service.                     IL 60680-6943.
Would like to send your application by   Attn: Sierra Leone TPS, 131 S.
 non-U.S. Postal Service courier.         Dearborn, 3rd Floor, Chicago,
                                          IL 60603-5517.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you were granted TPS by an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board 
of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and you wish to request an EAD, please 
mail your application to the address in Table 1. Upon receiving a 
Receipt Notice from USCIS, please send an email to 
TPSijgrant.tsc@uscis.dhs.gov with the receipt number stating that you 
submitted a request for an EAD based on an IJ/BIA grant of TPS as USCIS 
may not have received records of your grant of TPS by either an IJ or 
the BIA. This will aid in the verification of your grant and processing 
of your application. You can find detailed information on what further 
information you need to email, and email addresses on the USCIS TPS Web 
page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.

E-Filing

    You cannot electronically file your application packet when 
applying for initial registration for TPS. Please mail your application 
packet to the mailing address listed in Table 1.

Supporting Documents

What type of basic supporting documentation must I submit?

    To meet the basic eligibility requirements for TPS, you must submit 
evidence that you:
     Are a national of Sierra Leone or an alien having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone. Such documents 
may include a copy of your passport if available, other documentation 
issued by the Government of Sierra Leone showing your nationality 
(e.g., national identity card, official travel documentation issued by 
the Government of Sierra Leone), and/or your birth certificate with 
English translation accompanied by photo identification. USCIS will 
also consider certain forms of secondary evidence supporting your 
Sierra Leonean nationality. If the evidence presented is insufficient 
for USCIS to make a determination as to your nationality, USCIS may 
request additional evidence. If you cannot provide a passport, birth 
certificate with photo identification, or a national identity document 
with your photo or fingerprint, you must submit an affidavit showing 
proof of your unsuccessful efforts to obtain such documents and 
affirming that you are a national of Sierra Leone. However, please be 
aware that an interview with an immigration officer will be required if 
you do not present any documentary proof of identity or nationality or 
if USCIS otherwise requests a personal appearance. See 8 CFR 
103.2(b)(9), 244.9(a)(1);

[[Page 69510]]

     Have continuously resided in the United States since 
November 20, 2014. See INA section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii), 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii); 8 CFR 244.9(a)(2); and
     Have been continuously physically present in the United 
States since November 21, 2014, the effective date of the designation 
of Sierra Leone. See section 244(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i) of the INA; 8 
U.S.C. 1254a(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i).
    You must also present two color passport-style photographs of 
yourself. The filing instructions on the Application for Temporary 
Protected Status (Form I-821) list all the documents needed to 
establish basic eligibility for TPS. You may also find information on 
the acceptable documentation and other requirements for applying for 
TPS on the USCIS Web site at www.uscis.gov/tps under ``TPS Designated 
Country: Sierra Leone.''

Do I need to submit additional supporting documentation?

    If one or more of the questions listed in Part 4, Question 2 of the 
Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) applies to you, 
then you must submit an explanation on a separate sheet(s) of paper 
and/or additional documentation. Depending on the nature of the 
question(s) you are addressing, additional documentation alone may 
suffice, but usually a written explanation will also be needed.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

May I request an interim EAD at my local USCIS office?

    No. USCIS will not issue interim EADs to TPS applicants at local 
offices.

When hired, what documentation may I show to my employer as proof of 
employment authorization and identity when completing Employment 
Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)?

    You can find a list of acceptable document choices on the ``List of 
Acceptable Documents'' for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-
9). You can find additional detailed information on the USCIS I-9 
Central Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/I-9Central. Employers are 
required to verify the identity and employment authorization of all new 
employees by using the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). 
Within 3 days of hire, an employee must present proof of identity and 
employment authorization to his or her employer.
    You may present any document from List A (reflecting both your 
identity and employment authorization), or one document from List B 
(reflecting identity) together with one document from List C 
(reflecting employment authorization). You may present an acceptable 
receipt for List A, List B, or List C documents as described in the 
Form I-9 Instructions. An EAD is an acceptable document under ``List 
A.'' Employers may not reject a document based on a future expiration 
date.

Can my employer require that I produce any other documentation to prove 
my status, such as proof of my Sierra Leonean citizenship?

    No. When completing the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form 
I-9), including re-verifying employment authorization, employers must 
accept any documentation that appears on the ``Lists of Acceptable 
Documents'' for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) that 
reasonably appears to be genuine and that relates to you, or an 
acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt. Employers may not request 
documentation that does not appear on the ``Lists of Acceptable 
Documents.'' Therefore, employers may not request proof of Sierra 
Leonean citizenship when completing the Employment Eligibility 
Verification (Form I-9) for new hires or reverifying the employment 
authorization of current employees. If presented with EADs that are 
unexpired on their face, employers should accept such EADs as valid 
``List A'' documents so long as the EADs reasonably appear to be 
genuine and to relate to the employee. Refer to the ``Note to All 
Employees'' section for important information about your rights if your 
employer rejects lawful documentation, requires additional 
documentation, or otherwise discriminates against you because of your 
citizenship or immigration status, or national origin.

Note to All Employers

    Employers are reminded that the laws requiring proper employment 
eligibility verification and prohibiting unfair immigration-related 
employment practices remain in full force. This Notice does not 
supersede or in any way limit applicable employment verification rules 
and policy guidance, including those rules setting forth reverification 
requirements. For general questions about the employment eligibility 
verification process, employers may call USCIS at 888-464-4218 (TTY 
877-875-6028) or email USCIS at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls and emails 
are accepted in English and many other languages. For questions about 
avoiding discrimination during the employment eligibility verification 
process, employers may also call the U.S. Department of Justice, Office 
of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices 
(OSC) Employer Hotline at 800-255-8155 (TTY 800-237-2515), which offers 
language interpretation in numerous languages, or email OSC at 
osccrt@usdoj.gov.

Note to Employees

    For general questions about the employment eligibility verification 
process, employees may call USCIS at 888-897-7781 (TTY 877-875-6028) or 
email at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls are accepted in English and many 
other languages. Employees or applicants may also call the U.S. 
Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-
Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Worker Information Hotline at 
800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515) for information regarding employment 
discrimination based upon citizenship status, immigration status, or 
national origin, or for information regarding discrimination related to 
Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and E-Verify. The OSC 
Worker Information Hotline provides language interpretation in numerous 
languages.
    To comply with the law, employers must accept any document or 
combination of documents from the Lists of Acceptable Documents if the 
documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the 
employee, or an acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt described 
in the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) Instructions. 
Employers may not require extra or additional documentation beyond what 
is required for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) 
completion. Further, employers participating in E-Verify who receive an 
E-Verify case result of ``Tentative Nonconfirmation'' (TNC) must 
promptly inform employees of the TNC and give such employees an 
opportunity to contest the TNC. A TNC case result means that the 
information entered into E-Verify from Employment Eligibility 
Verification (Form I-9) differs from federal or state government 
records.
    Employers may not terminate, suspend, delay training, withhold pay, 
lower pay or take any adverse action against an employee based on the 
employee's decision to contest a TNC or because the case is still 
pending with E-Verify. A Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) case result is 
received when E-Verify cannot verify an employee's employment 
eligibility. An employer

[[Page 69511]]

may terminate employment based on a case result of FNC. Work-authorized 
employees who receive an FNC may call USCIS for assistance at 888-897-
7781 (TTY 877-875-6028). An employee who believes he or she was 
discriminated against by an employer in the E-Verify process based on 
citizenship or immigration status, or based on national origin, may 
contact OSC's Worker Information Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-
2515). Additional information about proper nondiscriminatory Employment 
Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and E-Verify procedures is 
available on the OSC Web site at http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/ 
and the USCIS Web site at http://www.dhs.gov/E-verify.

Note Regarding Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (Such as 
Departments of Motor Vehicles)

    While Federal Government agencies must follow the guidelines laid 
out by the Federal Government, State and local government agencies 
establish their own rules and guidelines when granting certain 
benefits. Each State may have different laws, requirements, and 
determinations about what documents you need to provide to prove 
eligibility for certain benefits. Whether you are applying for a 
Federal, State, or local government benefit, you may need to provide 
the government agency with documents that show you are a TPS 
beneficiary and/or show you are authorized to work based on TPS. 
Examples are:
    (1) Your EAD that has a valid expiration date;
    (2) A copy of your Form I-821 Approval Notice (Form I-797), if you 
receive one from USCIS.
    Check with the government agency regarding which document(s) the 
agency will accept. You may also provide the agency with a copy of this 
Federal Register Notice.
    Some benefit-granting agencies use the USCIS Systematic Alien 
Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE) to verify the current 
immigration status of applicants for public benefits. If such an agency 
has denied your application based solely or in part on a SAVE response, 
the agency must offer you the opportunity to appeal the decision in 
accordance with the agency's procedures. If the agency has received and 
acted upon or will act upon a SAVE verification and you do not believe 
the response is correct, you may make an InfoPass appointment for an 
in-person interview at a local USCIS office. Detailed information on 
how to make corrections, make an appointment, or submit a written 
request to correct records under the Freedom of Information Act can be 
found at the SAVE Web site at http://www.uscis.gov/save, then by 
choosing ``How to Correct Your Records'' from the menu on the right.

[FR Doc. 2014-27778 Filed 11-20-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-97-P