Secretary Mayorkas Extends and Redesignates Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status

In a news release originally published by the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has announced the extension and redesignation of Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, effective from December 8, 2023, through June 7, 2025. This decision is in response to the ongoing armed conflict and exceptional and temporary conditions in Cameroon, preventing individuals from safely returning. The corresponding Federal Register notice outlines the process for new or current beneficiaries to register for TPS under Cameroon’s extension and redesignation. Secretary Mayorkas made this decision after consulting with interagency partners and carefully considering prevailing conditions. 

Additionally, a Special Student Relief notice accompanies this announcement, allowing F-1 nonimmigrant students from Cameroon to request employment authorization. This permits an increased number of work hours during the school term and a reduced course load while maintaining F-1 status throughout the TPS designation period. 

Secretary Mayorkas emphasized, "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. We will offer our support to Cameroonian nationals through this temporary form of humanitarian relief." 

After a thorough review of the country conditions in Cameroon and consultations with interagency partners, Secretary Mayorkas determined that an 18-month TPS extension and redesignation are justified under statutory requirements, as conditions supporting Cameroon’s TPS designation persist. A country may receive TPS designation based on ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. Cameroon’s designation stems from the severe threat posed by human rights abuses from government forces, terrorist groups, non-state actors, food insecurity, the spread of disease, and mass displacement. 

The extension of TPS for Cameroon allows approximately 2,090 current beneficiaries to maintain TPS status through June 7, 2025, provided they meet TPS eligibility requirements. The redesignation of Cameroon for TPS opens the opportunity for an estimated 7,900 additional Cameroonian nationals (or individuals with no nationality who last habitually resided in Cameroon) continuously residing in the United States since October 5, 2023, and physically present since December 8, 2023, to file initial TPS applications, if eligible. Those arriving after October 5, 2023, are ineligible for TPS. 

Re-registration is limited to individuals who previously registered for and were granted TPS under Cameroon’s prior designation. Current beneficiaries must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period from October 10, 2023, through December 9, 2023, to maintain TPS and employment authorization. 

Acknowledging potential delays in new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) issuance, the Department of Homeland Security is automatically extending the validity of previously issued EADs under Cameroon’s TPS designation through December 7, 2024. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue processing pending applications filed under previous TPS designations for Cameroon. Those with pending Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status) or Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) as of October 10, 2023, do not need to refile. If USCIS approves a pending Form I-821 or Form I-765 filed under the previous TPS designation, it will grant TPS through June 7, 2025, and issue an EAD valid through the same date. 

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