Work permits for Salvadorans and Nicaraguans in TPS extended

salvadoran and nicaraguan work permits

The U.S. government extended the work permits of Salvadorans and Nicaraguans currently enrolled and protected by Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Work permits under TPS in the A-12 and C-19 category, which for Salvadorans have an expiration date of March 9, 2018 or September 9, 2019 and for Nicaraguans of January 5, 2018 or January 5, 2019, will receive a automatic extension of the document until January 2, 2020.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will officially announce the extension tomorrow, March 1, 2019.

The extension only applies to:

  • Salvadorans who reregistered for TPS between January 18, 2018 and March 19, 2018
  • Nicaraguans who re-registered on December 15, 2017 through February 13, 2018

These people no need to apply for a new work permit. They will be able to demonstrate the automatic extension of their work permit by means of the official notice published in the Federal Register (Federal Register).

The government authorized the extension of the work permits after a federal judge in October ordered a preliminary injunction prohibiting the termination of TPS for Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti and Sudan.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will also accept late re-registrations for those who have a good reason for not re-registering on time. These individuals should seek legal advice before filing their late re-registration applications.

Uncertain future for TPS

President Trump's administration appealed the federal judge's decision that ordered to suspend the cancellation of TPS for four countries, including Nicaragua, and imposed the preliminary block.

If the U.S. Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court does not reverse the preliminary injunction, USCIS will grant a new extension of work permits for Salvadorans and Nicaraguans for an additional nine months until October 2, 2020. That notice would be announced 30 days before January 2, 2020.

Should a higher federal court remove the preliminary injunction and authorize the termination of TPS, that would allow DHS to end TPS for Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti and Sudan.

If that happens, termination of the program would take effect 120 days after the issuance of the final order authorizing the elimination of TPS, or on the previously announced termination date for each country. Whichever date is later will be taken into account.

TPS for Honduras

TPS for Hondurans is scheduled to end on January 5, 2020.

This could change as there are two lawsuits in federal court seeking to prevent the termination of TPS for Hondurans. If the litigation is successful, USCIS will provide information on TPS for Hondurans as the termination date approaches and may issue an extension of work permits for Hondurans.

Copies of the lawsuits can be viewed by clicking here and here.

Beware of fraud

As the name of the program indicates, TPS is temporary and therefore will end. Therefore, it is important that anyone currently registered for TPS immediately consult with an immigration attorney to discuss their legal options.

Beware of immigration fraud and do not seek legal advice from notarios, immigration consultants, multi-service or paper pushers. These people, who by law cannot give legal advice, could jeopardize your immigration cases because they do not have the necessary knowledge, nor the necessary permits to practice law.