On December 8, 2020, USCIS extended the validity of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) documents for the following countries: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. Importantly, all work permit (Employment Authorization Documents) and I-94 forms have been automatically extended to October 4, 2021. If you have TPS as a citizen of one of these countries, you do not need to apply for a new work permit, it is automatically extended to the October 4, 2021 date. However, if you do not have a work permit or wish to apply for a new one, you do have the right to file a new work permit application.
What is Temporary Protected Status?
TPS is a designation countries can receive if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) believes that conditions in that country make it too dangerous to return there. Some common reasons for countries to receive TPS are natural disasters, such as earthquakes or hurricanes, civil war, or other widespread conflict. At the time a country receives TPS designation, any foreign national from that country present in the United States at the time can apply for TPS, and if granted, the applicant will receive a work permit, protection from deportation, and will be eligible to apply for a travel permit (called advance parole). As long as the applicant has not been convicted of certain crimes and can prove the necessary physical presence, his or her application should be approved. Unfortunately, TPS does not provide a direct path to obtaining a green card or citizenship
As the name suggests, TPS is temporary. It is generally granted for periods of 12 to 18 months, at which point DHS decides whether or not to renew TPS for that country. Because TPS is based on conditions in the home country, if DHS believes that conditions have improved, it can choose not to renew TPS for that country. In that case, everyone from that country will be unable to renew their TPS status, will no longer be eligible for a work permit or travel permit (unless they have a different means of applying for those benefits), will begin accruing unlawful presence, and will be subject to deportation.
Please note that in order to be eligible to remain in TPS status and obtain this extension, you must have re-registered for TPS status during the relevant required period for your country.
The following countries are currently designated for TPS:
Finally, please note that this automatic extension is the result of a federal court order. If the Department of Homeland Security successfully appeals these orders, it is possible that all or some of these extensions would be overturned.
If you wish to learn more about your eligibility for a TPS extension, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation. The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.
© 2023 Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. All rights reserved. Information may not be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without the express prior written permission of Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.