In my Consulta Migratoria® column I explain who is eligible to re-register for the Temporary Protected Status program in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, the costs and why it is important to re-register on time.
Each immigration case is different. Please consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any proceedings.
This is the column:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reinstated and extended Temporary Protected Status program designations (TPS) for El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
This extension provides relief to approximately 239,000 current beneficiaries from El Salvador, 76,000 from Honduras and 4,000 from Nicaragua. By re-enrolling, these individuals could continue to live and work legally in the United States.
Table of Contents
It is important to know the important dates associated with maintaining Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. TPS beneficiaries under these designations must register during the specified re-registration periods to maintain their TPS status.
Below is a table describing the extension dates, re-enrollment deadlines and continuous residency dates for each country:
|Country||Extension period||Re-registration period||Deadline for re-registration||Date of continuous residence in the U.S.|
|El Salvador||September 10, 2023 - March 9, 2025||July 12, 2023 - September 10, 2023||September 10, 2023||February 13, 2001|
|Honduras||January 6, 2024 - July 5, 2025||November 6, 2023 - January 5, 2024||January 5, 2024||December 30, 1998|
|Nicaragua||January 6, 2024 - July 5, 2025||November 6, 2023 - January 5, 2024||January 5, 2024||December 30, 1998|
During the re-registration period specified for each country, existing TPS beneficiaries must submit their applications to extend their TPS status by the deadline indicated in the table above. If they are currently in TPS, they must re-register during this period, otherwise they may lose TPS.
Re-registration will allow them to remain legally in the United States for another 18 months from September 10, 2023 to March 9, 2025 for Salvadorans and from January 6, 2024 to July 5, 2025 for Hondurans and Nicaraguans.
It is important to note that individuals who arrived in the United States after the specified dates of continuous residence are not eligible for TPS under these designations. For example, Salvadorans who arrived in the United States after February 13, 2001 are not eligible to register for the current TPS designation for El Salvador.
Work permits under TPS
Work permits for Hondurans, Nicaraguans and Salvadorans under TPS in the A-12 and C-19 category who have received a automatic extension of employment authorization documents (EAD) remain in effect until June 30, 2024.
Individuals who wish to obtain a new work permit with expiration dates of March 9, 2025 (Salvadorans) or July 5, 2025 (Hondurans and Nicaraguans) must file a new EAD application.
Process for re-registering and obtaining a new work permit under TPS
There is still no indication as to when immigration reform might occur. Therefore, while we await a change in immigration laws that will provide a definitive path to permanent residency, it is critical that every person eligible for TPS re-register to maintain their legal status.
To re-register, Hondurans, Nicaraguans and Salvadorans must submit Forms I-821 and I-765 and send the corresponding fees to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Currently, the total cost is $$495. Of that amount, $85 is for fingerprinting and $410 is for the work permit.
Applying for a work permit is optional. If you need the permit at a later date, you can apply for it by sending the corresponding fee to be processed.
If you do not have enough money to file because you are unemployed, earn less than the poverty level, or receive public benefits such as Medi-Cal or food stamps, you may be eligible to apply for a fee waiver using the Form I-912.
If you need to renew your work permit, submit your renewal application immediately so that USCIS will issue you a new work permit before your current permit expires.
Official notifications in the Federal Register
To avoid problems with your employer or government offices, print a copy of the following official notice of the automatic extension of certain work permits under TPS:
In addition, click on the links below to obtain copies of the official TPS extension notices that have been published in the Federal Register :
How criminal records affect
Individuals who have been convicted of two misdemeanors or one felony are not eligible for TPS. Examples of misdemeanors include drunk driving and committing acts of domestic violence.
Consult with an immigration attorney before submitting your re-registration if you have been arrested or found guilty of any crime, including driving without a license.
Late initial TPS registration for El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua
Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans never before registered for TPS may be eligible for late registration if they meet the proper requirements. One of the requirements is to have arrived in the United States before February 13, 2001 for Salvadorans and December 30, 1998 for Hondurans and Nicaraguans.
Persons from El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua who recently entered the country for the first time no are eligible for TPS. However, these individuals may be eligible for other immigration benefits.
TPS is not a pathway to permanent residency
TPS is a temporary program and does not lead to permanent residency. This could only change if the U.S. Congress amends the law.
Someday, the U.S. government will determine that it is no longer necessary and will cancel the program. When that happens, every person with TPS will revert to the immigration status they had before, such as being undocumented. If you have no other legal option to stay in the United States, you will be subject to removal from the country.
It is of utmost importance that any person who is registered for TPS consult with an immigration attorney to evaluate his or her options for obtaining permanent residency in the United States.
Avoid becoming a victim of immigration fraud
I emphasize that the TPS extension is only for certain Hondurans, Nicaraguans and Salvadorans. currently enrolled and protected by the program.
Hondurans, Nicaraguans and Salvadorans who have recently arrived in the United States are not eligible to register for TPS for the first time. These individuals should consult with an immigration attorney to see if there are other immigration benefits they may be eligible to apply for.
Avoid being victim of immigration fraud and never consult with notaries, immigration consultants, paper-fillers, multi-services and others. unlicensed persons to obtain immigration legal advice. These individuals, who are prohibited by law from giving legal advice, could jeopardize their immigration cases because they do not have the necessary knowledge or the necessary permits to practice law.
Anyone who has questions about U.S. immigration law, including how to re-register for TPS, should immediately consult with a licensed and experienced U.S. immigration attorney to determine their immigration legal options.
Dr. Nelson A. Castillo is an immigration attorney with over 20 years of legal experience and author of La Tarjeta Verde: Cómo Obtener la Residencia Permanente en los Estados Unidos (Green Card: How to Obtain Permanent Residence in the United States). He is a former President of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Westlake South Neighborhood Council of Los Angeles.
For information on how to consult with Dr. Castillo, click here. click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is TPS and what is it for?
A: TPS, or Temporary Protected Status, is an immigration program that protects citizens of designated countries who are in a temporary disaster or conflict situation in their home country from deportation. TPS also allows them to work legally in the United States during the period of protection.
Q: Who is eligible for TPS?
A: TPS beneficiaries are those citizens of El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua who meet the conditions established by DHS and the legislation in effect at the time of TPS designation.
Q: When was TPS designated for El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua?
A: TPS was designated for El Salvador on March 13, 2001 and for Honduras and Nicaragua on January 5, 1999. These designations were made due to natural disasters and humanitarian crises in the respective countries.
Q: What was the impact of the Donald Trump administration on TPS?
A: During the Donald Trump administration, several attempts were made to end TPS for El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. However, due to existing legislation and legal requirements, the TPS terminations were blocked by the courts and the program remained in effect to date.
Q: What is the process to re-register for TPS for El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua 2023-2025?
A: To re-register, Hondurans, Nicaraguans and Salvadorans must submit Forms I-821 and I-765 and send the corresponding fees to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Q: What are the requirements to re-register for TPS?
A: The requirements for re-registration for TPS are (i) to be registered for TPS; (ii) to maintain continuous residence in the United States; and (iii) to be admissible to the United States, including not having committed certain crimes.
Q: How long does TPS last?
A: The most recent extensions of the TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua have a duration of 18 months. However, it is important to note that this duration may be extended or cancelled depending on the decisions of the U.S. government.
Q: What happens if I do not re-register for TPS?
A: If a current TPS beneficiary does not re-register during the re-registration period established by DHS and USCIS, he or she may lose his or her temporary protected status and will no longer be protected from deportation. In addition, he or she will not be able to continue working legally in the United States under TPS.
Q: What if conditions in my home country have improved?
A: If DHS determines that conditions in a TPS beneficiary's home country have improved sufficiently to allow for safe return, it is possible that the temporary protected status will be terminated and beneficiaries will be urged to return to their home country.
Q: How can I make sure I receive the latest news about TPS?
A: To receive the latest news and updates on TPS and other immigration programs, it is recommended that you watch for official communications from DHS, USCIS and the Federal Register. You can also consult with immigration attorneys and organizations that provide legal services for immigrants.
For more information and immigration tips, visit my website at Immigration Today.
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The purpose of this column is to provide general information. There can be no guarantee or prediction as to what will be the outcome of the information presented by Dr. Nelson A. Castillo. The information should not be taken as legal advice for any individual, case or situation. This column may be considered an advertisement under the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys in several states, including California and New York. Consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any immigration proceedings.