The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Cameroon for temporary protected status (TPS) for 18 months due to ongoing armed conflict in that country. Only individuals who are already residing in the United States as of April 14, 2022, will be eligible for TPS under this designation. According to estimates, approximately 40,000 Cameroonians in the United States may qualify. This is the first time that DHS has designated Cameroon for TPS. 

Cameroon’s 18-month designation will take effect on the publication date of the forthcoming Federal Register notice, which will provide instructions for applying for TPS and an employment authorization document (EAD). TPS applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and undergo security and background checks.

DHS said that the designation is based on “both ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Cameroon that prevent Cameroonian nationals, and those of no nationality who last habitually resided in Cameroon, from returning to Cameroon safely.” DHS cited conditions resulting from “extreme violence between government forces and armed separatists and a significant rise in attacks from Boko Haram, the combination of which has triggered a humanitarian crisis. Extreme violence and the widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure have led to economic instability, food insecurity, and several hundred thousand displaced Cameroonians without access to schools, hospitals, and other critical services.”

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