DHS Extends Designation of El Salvador for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the designation of El Salvador for temporary protected status (TPS) for 18 months, from September 10, 2016, through March 9, 2018. The 60-day re-registration period began July 8, 2016, and runs through September 6, 2016. DHS said it is important for re-registrants to timely re-register during the 60-day re-registration period and not to wait until their employment authorization documents (EADs) expire.
The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 9, 2018, so long as they otherwise continue to meet the eligibility requirements for TPS, DHS said. The agency said an extension is warranted because the conditions in El Salvador supporting the TPS designation continue to be met: “There continues to be a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions in El Salvador resulting from a series of earthquakes in 2001, and El Salvador remains unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return of its nationals.”
DHS also set forth procedures necessary for nationals of El Salvador (or those having no nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador) to re-register for TPS and to apply for renewal of their EADs with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Re-registration is limited to persons who have previously registered for TPS under the designation of El Salvador and whose applications have been granted.
Certain nationals of El Salvador (or those having no nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador) who have not previously applied for TPS may be eligible to apply under the late initial registration provisions, if they meet: (1) at least one of the late initial filing criteria; and (2) all TPS eligibility criteria (including continuous residence in the United States since February 13, 2001, and continuous physical presence in the United States since March 9, 2001).
USCIS will issue new EADs with a March 9, 2018, expiration date to eligible El Salvador TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs under this extension. Given the time needed for processing TPS re-registration applications, DHS said it recognizes that not all re-registrants will receive new EADs before their current EADs expire on September 9, 2016. Accordingly, DHS has automatically extended the validity of EADs issued under the TPS designation of El Salvador for 6 months, through March 9, 2017. The notice explains how TPS beneficiaries and their employers may determine which EADs are automatically extended and their impact on Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and the E-Verify processes.