U.S. homeland security officials will let Nepalese citizens stay in the United States while their country recovers from April’s devastating earthquake and aftershocks.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday that Nepalese citizens in the United States can apply for temporary protected status and receive work permits.
Temporary protected status is used by the federal government to allow a group of foreigners to remain in the U.S. after their visas expire. Those who apply over the next six months will be covered under the program until Dec. 24, 2016.
The status has been given to residents of Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti following natural disasters in those countries.
The powerful earthquakes that shook Nepal in April and May claimed more than 8,700 lives.