Post-Disaster Issues

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TPS Extended for Salvadorans

Salvadorans who have already been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are eligible to live and work in the United States for an additional 18 months and continue to maintain their status.  The extension of TPS for nationals of El Salvador is effective from March 10, 2015 and through September 9, 2016.  Nationals of El Salvador who have been granted TPS previously must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period, which began on January 7, 2015 and will remain in effect through March 9, 2015.

Only Salvadorans granted TPS and who re-registered for TPS during the prior re-registration periods, have been continuously physically present in the United States since March 9, 2001, and have continuously resided in the United States since February 13, 2001 may re-register.  Certain nationals of El Salvador may be entitled to late initial registration.  See INA § 244(c)(2) for grounds of inadmissibility that may apply.

To re-register, submit the following documents:

  • Form I-821 (without filing fee)
  • Form I-765 (with $380 filing fee if seeking an EAD or extension unless seeking fee waiver)
  • Biometrics fee of $85 for applicants age 14 or older (unless seeking fee waiver).

Some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current EAD expires. Therefore, current EADs for Salvadorans will be automatically extended for six months, through September 9, 2015.


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USCIS Implements Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program

By Kristina Karpinski

On December 18, 2014, USCIS announced implementation of the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) program for certain beneficiaries of family-based preference petitions filed on or before that date.  Under the program, eligible Haitians whose immigrant visas are expected to become available within approximately 18 to 30 months will be given an opportunity to receive parole to enter the United States.  Once in the United States, the parolees will be eligible to apply for an employment authorization document; when their priority dates become current, they may apply to adjust status to permanent residence.  The program is intended to expedite family reunification and aid Haiti in its continued recovery efforts following the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake.

Participation in the HFRP program is available to Haitians who are:

  • In Haiti
  • The beneficiaries of an I-130 relative petition that was approved on or before December 18, 2014
  • Whose immigrant visas are expected to be available in approximately 18 to 30 months, and
  • Whose petitioning relatives in the United States have received an invitation from the National Visa Center (NVC) to apply for parole on their behalf.

Derivative spouses and children of the principal Haitian beneficiaries are also eligible to participate in the program.  Beneficiaries of immediate relative petitions are not eligible for the program since immigrant visas are immediately available to them.

The National Visa Center will begin sending written invitations to eligible petitioners on or after February 2, 2015.  The NVC will send invitations based on the date the immigrant visas are expected to become available so those cases with the earliest priority dates will receive invitations first.  The notice will instruct petitioners on how to file the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, for each beneficiary with the required fee or a fee waiver request.  Participation in the program is voluntary and petitioners will be given a deadline by which they must apply on behalf of their relatives.  Petitioners who believe they are eligible to file should make sure the NVC has their current mailing address by contacting the NVC at or calling (603) 334-0700.  Representatives can also contact the NVC at

The Form I-131 and supporting documentation will be reviewed by the USCIS.  If the application appears approvable, it will be forwarded by the NVC to the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  USCIS or the Department of State in Haiti will interview the beneficiary to determine eligibility for the program.  Beneficiaries may also need to provide biometrics.  Decisions on the parole requests are discretionary and will be made on a case-by-case basis.  The beneficiaries in Haiti will need to undergo medical examinations and security background checks before parole is granted.  Additionally, beneficiaries must meet all eligibility requirements for the family-based immigrant visa (with the exception that an immigrant visa number is available) and be admissible to the United States. 

If parole is granted, beneficiaries will be issued a travel document to come to the United States.  Once in the United States, parolees can apply for an employment authorization document under 8 CFR § 274a.12(c)(11).  They will also be eligible to apply to adjust status to permanent residence when their priority date becomes current.  Should an immigrant visa become current while the I-131 is pending, beneficiaries can choose to continue with the parole request or decide instead to purse the immigrant visa.  If a beneficiary chooses to apply for the immigrant visa, the applicant will be required to pay all fees associated with that process and USCIS will not refund the fee for the parole request.


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Facts for Documented and Undocumented Workers Helping to Clean-up and Rebuild the Gulf Coast Region


All workers, including documented and undocumented immigrant workers, are protected by many U.S. employment and labor laws. Rights that may apply to workers depending upon the circumstances include:

Right to be paid. In most instances, workers have the right to be paid minimum wage ($5.15 an hour) and to receive overtime pay for work over 40 hours a week. If workers do not receive all of the wages for the time they actually worked, they can take action to recover those wages.

Right to be free of discrimination. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against or harass workers based on race, color, religion, age, disability, national origin or sex.
Right to organize. In most workplaces, it is illegal for an employer to punish or threaten workers for organizing with others to improve their working conditions.

Right to be safe on the job. Workers are protected by workplace health and safety laws at their worksites.

Right to benefits if injured on the job. In most states, workers who are injured on the job are entitled to the protections of state workers’ compensation laws.

Right to unemployment payments. In most states workers who are fully or partially unemployed, looking for work, and have valid work documentation are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.


Additional information for documented and undocumented workers helping to clean-up and rebuild the Gulf Coast region attached below.

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Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN): Practical Guidelines for Individuals

What is an ITIN?

ITIN stands for Individual Tax Identification Number. It is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to individuals who do not qualify for a Social Security Number (SSN). The ITIN always begins with the number 9 and has a 7 or 8 in the fourth digit. For example: 9XX-7X-XXXX.

An ITIN permits individuals without a valid Social Security Number (SSN) to:

  • Pay taxes (report their annual earnings to the IRS)
  • Open an interest-bearing bank account.

Can an ITIN be used for work purposes?
No. An ITIN cannot be used to show work authorization. The purpose of the ITIN is to assist individuals without a SSN to pay their taxes and/or open an interest-bearing bank account. Note: ITINs do not entitle the recipient to Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Who needs an ITIN?

  • Individuals that earn income in the U.S. and must file a U.S. tax return but do not have a SSN. (According to U.S. law, unless your income is exceedingly low, you are legally required to file an income tax return.)
  • Spouses and dependents that are listed on a U.S. tax return but do not have a SSN. (Spouses and dependents must fill-out separate Forms W-7 and submit them together with the principal taxpayer.)
  • Individuals that would like to open an interest-bearing bank account but do not have a SSN.

Does the use of an ITIN indicate that the applicant is undocumented?
No. The ITIN is available to a range of foreign-born persons that are not eligible for SSNs. The IRS has stated repeatedly that an ITIN does not create an inference about an individual’s immigration status.

How does an individual apply for an ITIN?
Individuals must complete IRS Form W-7, “Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer
Identification Number.” This Form may be obtained from any IRS office, U.S. consular office aboard, or any Acceptance Agent. It also is available on-line at, or by calling 1-800-TAX FORM. Form W-7 is available in both English and Spanish.


More information in the attachments below.



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