The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced this week that it has extended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras and Nicaragua from January 6, 2015 to July 5, 2016. The extension will enable individuals who are already covered by TPS to retain this protection as long as they continue to qualify. Eligible individuals will have to re-register for TPS from October 16, 2014 to December 15, 2014 and apply for a new employment authorization document (EAD) which will extend their employment authorization through July 5, 2016. Individuals can find more information, including the applications for TPS at:

Honduras:http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status-deferred-enforced-departure/tps-designated-country-honduras/temporary-protected-status-designated-country-honduras

Nicaragua:http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status-deferred-enforced-departure/tps-designated-country-nicaragua/temporary-protected-status-designated-country-nicaragua

DHS is automatically extending the employment authorization for eligible individuals for six months, until January 5, 2015, in order to allow them to apply and receive their new employment authorization documents. A copy of the Federal Register Notice granting this automatic extension of employment authorization is sufficient documentation for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, purposes. The copy of the Notice can be found at:

Employers should re-verify the employment authorization of these individuals prior to January 5, 2015. At that point, the individuals must provide a valid employment authorization document in order to continue to demonstrate their ability to continue working in the United States.

The DHS designates a country for TPS when conditions in the country are dangerous. This may be due to armed conflict, environmental disasters or other temporary events. TPS provides certain protections to nationals of the designated country such as protection from removal from the United States, eligibility for an employment authorization document and travel authorization. TPS is not a path to US lawful permanent residence. The following countries are currently designated by the DHS for TPS: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Syria.