TPS status and TPS country designations are temporary.
Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, is a temporary immigration status for nationals of a country that is experiencing ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or another extraordinary and temporary condition. A country may be designated for TPS for a specific period of time that can be extended. As the expiration date nears, the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, must review whether conditions in that country continue to make it unsafe for its nationals in the U.S. to return.
DHS will announce decisions over time.
The law requires DHS to decide whether to extend or terminate a country’s TPS designation at least 60 days before it is set to expire. DHS decided that TPS for Sudan will terminate on Nov. 2, 2018. On Nov. 6, 2017, DHS announced that TPS for Nicaragua will end as of Jan. 5, 2019. The TPS designation for Honduras has been automatically extended for six months and is now set to expire on July 5, 2018. DHS may or may not decide to extend it past that date. On Nov. 20, 2017, DHS announced that TPS for Haiti would terminate on July 22, 2019. DHS is expected to decide whether to extend TPS for El Salvador by Jan. 8, 2018. Over the coming months, the administration will make decisions about TPS designations for other countries as well.
TPS country terminations don’t take effect immediately when they are announced.
By law, termination can’t take effect until 60 days after (a) the Federal Register notice of termination is published or (b) the expiration of the most recent extension, if that date is later. To ensure an orderly transition, DHS may also extend TPS benefits for an additional period of time before the announced termination actually takes effect.
For Nicaragua, DHS will delay termination for an additional twelve months, until Jan. 5, 2019. For Honduras, TPS will be automatically extended for six months, through July 5, 2018. DHS may or may not decide to extend it beyond that date. For Haiti, DHS termination will be delayed for an additional eighteen months, through July 22, 2019. Nicaraguans, Hondurans, and Haitians with TPS will be required to reapply for Employment Authorization Documents, or EADs, in order to continue to legally work in the United States until the end of the respective termination or extension periods. Further details about re-registration will appear in a Federal Register notice to be published at a later date.
TPS recipients can maintain their benefits until the final termination date.
Your TPS and work authorization remain valid until a) TPS for your country is terminated, b) you no longer meet the eligibility requirements for TPS and your individual grant is revoked, or c) your application for re-registration is denied. Those with valid TPS are also eligible to apply for permission to travel abroad, known as “advance parole.” If you leave the U.S. without advance parole, you may lose your TPS and not be allowed to re-enter. Consult with a trusted legal service provider before traveling abroad.
Information about how and when to re-register will be published in the Federal Register along with the decision to extend or terminate. Your employer may rely on the Federal Register notice as evidence that TPS remains valid for your country. TPS recipients from Nicaragua, Honduras, and Haiti will be required to re-register to maintain TPS and have their current work authorization extended. Those who decide to apply to extend their EAD will have to pay a $495 filing fee or apply for a fee waiver.
You are not required to notify your employer of a change in your TPS status.
Your employer is responsible for verifying your work authorization at the time of hiring or when your EAD expires. To prove you are authorized to work you can present an unexpired EAD, or if you have properly applied to re-register and your expiring EAD is automatically extended, provide a copy of your I-797C receipt notice for your EAD and the Federal Register notice that explains your work authorization remains valid.
Once TPS termination takes effect, your lawful status and work authorization will end.
Former TPS recipients will return to the status they held before receiving TPS (unless that status has since expired or terminated.) If you did not have lawful status before receiving TPS and did not obtain any other status while you held TPS, you will return to being undocumented. You will no longer be authorized to work with a social security card annotated “Valid for work only with DHS authorization.” However, properly issued social security numbers are permanent and can still be used for non-employment purposes, such as banking, housing, and filing taxes, even if you lose your TPS status. Policies on driver’s licenses, state-issued identification cards, and other public benefits vary by state. Most driver’s licenses will remain valid until their expiration date. Check with your state’s motor vehicle agency and stay apprised of any changes to state laws.
If you lose TPS and have no other lawful status you may be subject to immigration enforcement, including being arrested and placed into removal proceedings.
Current enforcement priorities, identified in a Jan. 25, 2017 Executive Order and Feb. 20, 2017 DHS memorandum, are quite broad and essentially include all undocumented individuals. Those with any prior involvement in the criminal justice system and those with prior removal orders are at greater risk of enforcement. Any information provided in TPS applications may be used for immigration enforcement.
Consult with a trusted legal service provider to find out if you are eligible for another type of relief.
TPS status is a protection against removal from the U.S. but by itself it is not a path to permanent residency or another lawful status. If you have Lawful Permanent Resident or US citizen relatives who have petitioned for you, you may be able to pursue permanent residency status. In some situations, your TPS status may make it easier for you to apply for residency. Seek legal counseling to find out more about your individual case. Visit cliniclegal.org/directory to find one a CLINIC affiliate in your area.
Stay informed about changes to TPS and other developments in immigration law.
Visit our TPS page (www.cliniclegal.org/tps) to find additional resources, including updates related to TPS and Know Your Rights materials.