On January 31, 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for individuals from Syria.  Syrians with TPS status will be eligible to re-register for an extension of their status for 18 months, through September 30, 2019.

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On January 8, 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for individuals from El Salvador, effective September 9, 2019.  Salvadorans with TPS will need to re-register for the program and apply for employment authorization documents to be eligible for continued employment authorization in the U.S. until September 9, 2019.

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently announced changes and/or terminations to the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.  As background, individuals granted TPS may lawfully remain in the U.S. and apply for employment authorization.  The Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized to designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent individuals from such country to return safely, such as natural disasters, armed conflict or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.  TPS does not, in and of itself, lead to permanent resident (“green card”) status.  Countries currently designated for TPS include:  El Salvador; Haiti; Honduras; Nepal; Nicaragua; Somalia; Sudan; South Sudan; Syria; and Yemen.

On November 20, 2017, DHS announced the decision to terminate TPS for Haiti.   The termination’s delayed effective date of 18 months is to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on July 22, 2019.

On November 6, 2017, DHS announced the decision to terminate TPS for Nicarauga.  The termination’s delayed effective date of 12 months is to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on January 5, 2019.   Current TPS beneficiaries under Nicaragua’s designation who want to maintain TPS status through the program’s termination date must re-register between December 15, 2017 and February 13, 2018. Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documentation, have been published in the Federal Register and on www.uscis.gov/tps.

With regard to Honduras, DHS had indicated that it would need additional information before making a determination, and  as such, TPS designation for Honduras will be automatically extended for six months (for a new expiration date of July 5, 2018).  Current TPS  beneficiaries under Honduras’ designation who want to maintain TPS status through the automatic extension period must re-register between December 15, 2017 and February 13, 2018. Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documentation, have been published in the Federal Register and on www.uscis.gov/tps.

Employers should carefully note the expiry listed on any EADs used for employment and should continue to follow I-9 re-verification procedures as the EADs expire.  If employees are unable to provide documentation of work authorization at the time of re-verification, action regarding the individual’s employment may need to be taken.  Notably, in some cases, DHS must issue a blanket automatic extension of expiring EADs for TPS beneficiaries of a specific country to allow time for EADs with new validity dates to be issued. In such cases, US Citizenship and Immigration Services will indicate same once the Federal Register is published.

For any questions related to a specific case and potential strategies and alternatives, please feel free to reach out to us.  We will continue to monitor and provide updates as additional information is available.

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