The Department of Homeland Security on Monday announced it has extended Syria's status as a country whose nationals living in the U.S. can apply for "temporary protected status," or TPS, a move that will protect them from being deported.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Syria's designation was extended through March 31, 2018.

TPS is a designation the government often makes for countries involved in an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster or other conditions. People granted TPS from these countries cannot be removed from the United States, and can't be detained by the federal government based on their immigration status.

TPS status also lets people gain employment and travel authorization.

DHS said the extension will let Syrian nationals either apply or re-apply for TPS status. Syrians who don't have TPS status can apply if they are U.S. residents as of today, Aug. 1, and if they are physically present in the U.S. as of Oct. 1.

Syria's civil war has also led the Obama administration to take 10,000 refugees this year, a target officials have said would be hit by the end of the fiscal year at the end of September.

Aside from Syria, 12 other countries are designated as TPS-eligible countries: El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen.