The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Nicaragua for an additional 18 months, effective July 6, 2016, through Jan. 5, 2018. Individuals with TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from May 16, 2016, through July 15, 2016.
Likewise, DHS also extended TPS for eligible nationals of Honduras for an additional 18 months, effective July 6, 2016, through Jan. 5, 2018. Individuals with TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from May 16, 2016, through July 15, 2016.
The 18-month extensions allow TPS re-registrants from Nicaragua and Honduras to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Those applicants who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of Jan. 5, 2018. USCIS is also automatically extending current Nicaraguan and Honduran TPS EADs with a July 5, 2016, expiration date for six months. These existing EADs are now valid through Jan. 5, 2017, as USCIS recognizes that re-registrants may not receive a new EAD card before the current EAD expires. Employers must accept a TPS-related EAD that is expired on its face if it nevertheless remains unexpired based on an automatic extension of the EAD by DHS.
To qualify for Nicaraguan or Honduran TPS, the applicant must satisfy the following criteria:
- Be a national of Nicaragua or Honduras, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in Nicaragua or Honduras;
- File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of Nicaragua’s TPS designation;
- Maintain continuous physical presence in the United States since Jan. 5, 1999; and
- Reside continuously in the United States since Dec. 30, 1998.
Applicants over the age of 14 must also undergo security checks, and those with a criminal record or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS. Applicants may also request a fee waiver from USCIS from the application by submitting the appropriate request.