New TPS extension for El Salvador

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for El Salvador.

These individuals will be able to remain under the protection of the program for another 18 months from March 10, 2015 until September 9, 2016. In addition, the validity of work permits under TPS that expire on March 9, 2015 will be automatically extended until September 9, 2015.

The re-registration period begins on Wednesday, January 7, 2015, and ends on March 9, 2015.

Salvadorans currently enrolled in TPS must re-enroll in the program to continue under its protection.

It is important to emphasize that although there is much talk that immigration reform will be passed in the future, there is still no certainty. Even if a reform were to pass, it is not known how long it would take for a law to go into effect. Therefore, all Salvadorans eligible for TPS should re-register so as not to lose their legal status while we await a change in immigration laws that will provide a definitive path to permanent residency.

In addition, individuals in TPS are not eligible to enroll in the Deferred Action for Parents (DAPA) program.

It is estimated that there are approximately 204,000 Salvadorans currently protected under TPS who may be eligible for TPS re-registration.

DHS will publish an official notice tomorrow in the Federal Register and will provide instructions on the re-registration process. You can read a copy of what will be released tomorrow here.

Salvadorans 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. Therefore, Salvadorans who recently entered the country are not eligible for TPS.

Please consult with an immigration attorney to evaluate your immigration situation as soon as possible.

TPS is a temporary immigration status. It is granted to persons who cannot return to their home countries because their lives would be in danger due to an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental catastrophe, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

Persons enrolled in TPS may remain in the United States and obtain employment authorization during the period of designation of their home country. However, TPS does not lead to permanent residence in the United States. Beneficiaries return to the same immigration status they had before TPS (unless that status has expired or been revoked), or to any other status they may have acquired during TPS registration.

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.