What is TPS?
The Department of Homeland Security extends Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to individuals from a country enduring conditions that prevent the person from returning safely, such as a natural disaster or armed conflict. TPS may also apply when the person's home country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. Some people without nationality who last lived in the affected country may also receive TPS.
TPS is a conditional status that requires periodic renewal and entitles the recipient to a work permit, protection from deportation, and authorization to travel abroad. Renewal is at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security, which determines whether the conditions that prevented the person's return persist. Note that travel abroad requires a separate application (Advance Parole), which must be approved before the applicant leaves the country.
Do I qualify for TPS?
To be eligible for TPS, you must:
- Be a citizen of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last lived in the affected country
- File during the initial registration or re-registration period, or meet the requirements for filing late during any extension of the country’s TPS status
- Have been continuously present in the United States since the effective date of the country's original or extended TPS status
- Feb. 13, 2001 (El Salvador)
- Dec. 30, 1998 (Honduras and Nicaragua)
- Jan. 12, 2011 (Haiti)
- Have been living continuously in the United States (residing at a U.S. address) since the date specified for your country
- Mar. 9, 2001 (El Salvador)
- Jan. 5, 1999 (Honduras and Nicaragua)
- July 23, 2011 (Haiti)
The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please read this.
THE FAQs CONTAINED BELOW WILL BE PERIODICALLY UPDATED.
What is my country’s current TPS designation status?
El Salvador: TPS designation will terminate on September 9, 2019.
Honduras: No final decision has been made on Honduras’ designation. On November 6, 2017, the former Acting Secretary of DHS announced through a press release that more information was needed to make a final decision regarding Honduras’ TPS designation. Because no decision was made, TPS was automatically extended by law for 6 months through a provision in the INA. Although this TPS designation extension was automatic, to maintain TPS, TPS holders had to re-register for the 6-month extension by February 13, 2018.
Nicaragua: TPS designation will end on January 5, 2019.\
Haiti: TPS designation will end on July 22, 2019.
How do I re-register for TPS?
El Salvador: The 60-day re-registration window is open from January 18, 2018 to March 19, 2018.
Honduras: The re-registration period for Honduras ended on February 13, 2018. If you did not re-register during the designated time-frame, we recommend that you get a consultation to see if you qualify to register late by showing you had good cause for missing the filing window.
Nicaragua: The re-registration period for Nicaragua ended on February 13, 2018. If you did not re-register during the designated time-frame, we recommend that you get a consultation to see if you qualify to register late by showing you had good cause for missing the filing window.
Haiti: The 60-day re-registration window is open from January 18, 2018 to March 19, 2018.
Can I travel on advance parole?
Traveling on advance parole has many potential benefits and few potential risks. Applicants seeking to travel on advance parole should consult with an attorney or OLAP accredited representative before doing so. CARECEN will host an advance parole information night on April 2, 2018 at 6:00pm at our central office (2845 W. 7th Street Los Angeles, CA 90005). To register, call 213-814-5248.
Can CARECEN help me with my TPS re-registration?
CARECEN manages a TPS clinic for TPS re-registrations. In addition to completing the TPS re-registration forms, an attorney or OLAP accredited representative reviews all TPS re-registrations to see if the applicant qualifies for any other form of immigration relief. During the Salvadoran re-registration period (through March 19, 2018), the clinic is open Monday-Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Saturdays from 9:00am to 12:00pm. The clinic runs on a walk-in basis with no appointment required. Address: 2845 W. 7th Street Los Angeles, CA 90005.
For TPS re-registration assistance in the San Fernando Valley (available Tuesday-Friday), please call our office in Van Nuys at 213-385-7800 ext. 122 to schedule an appointment.
How much does CARECEN charge for TPS legal services?
CARECEN’s TPS re-registration services are free of charge. Applicants will also receive a consultation to evaluate whether they are eligible for another form of immigration relief. CARECEN is often able to complete family petitions, adjustments of status, and other immigration cases free of cost.
What should I bring with me to complete my re-registration application?
We recommend to bring the following to CARECEN to completed your TPS re-registration application:
- EAD (Work Permit)
- If you have been arrested or charged with committing any crime: Certified Final Court Dispositions or any other court documents related to any arrest or other incidents with the police; even if you previously sent those to immigration.
- Copy of previous application (optional, but can sometimes be useful to verify information)
- If you have traveled on advance parole, bring the approval notice for your advance parole and the passport that you used to travel or if you entered the U. S. with a visa, bring your passport or other documentation used to enter the United States.
- Money order for $85 or $495. See below.
How much does re-registration cost?
TPS holders have the option of re-registering for TPS with or without requesting employment authorization. The cost for registration increases significantly if an applicant also requests employment authorization. See below. Many applicants that do not work, or have work permits through other categories re-register for TPS without requesting a work permit. If re-registration applicants do not request a work permit, they only pay a $85 biometrics fee. To re-register for TPS and request a work permit costs $495 ($85 biometrics fee + $410 for the work permit).
Note: Applicants under 14 years old are not required to submit the $85 fee.
Do I have to request a work permit?
While re-registration by filing form I-821 is required to maintain TPS benefits, requesting an accompanying work permit is not necessary to maintain TPS. See above.
Is there a fee waiver available?
A fee waiver for the cost of the work permit is available to applicants who themselves or through a qualifying household member receive a means-tested public benefit, have a household income under 150% of the federal poverty guidelines, or would suffer other financial hardship. The process of assessing fee waiver eligibility can be complicated and we recommend discussing this option with an attorney or trusted community service provider.
Was my work permit automatically extended?
USCIS regularly automatically extends TPS work permits while applications are pending. See below to see if your country’s TPS work permits were automatically extended. If your work permit was automatically extended, it remains valid until the automatic extension expiration date.
El Salvador: Current work permits were automatically extended for 180 days through September 5, 2018. If an applicant requests a new work permit, it will be valid through September 9, 2019.
Honduras: Current work permits were automatically extended through July 4, 2018. Applying for a new work permit will produce a new work permit with an expiration date of July 5, 2018.
Nicaragua: Applying for a new work permit automatically extends your existing work permit for 180 days through July 4, 2018. If an applicant requests a new work permit, it will be valid through January 5, 2019.
Haiti: Current work permits were automatically extended through July 21, 2018. If an applicant requests a new work permit, it will be valid through July 22, 2019.
How can I prove to my employer that I am authorized to work?
If you are seeking a new job or have been asked to provide current/valid authorization to work, you may present the expired work permit along with the Federal Register Notice issued by USCIS in which the employer is provided with information about the automatic extension of your work permit and instructions on how to verify your eligibility to work. The notice also informs employers of the legal consequences for acts of discrimination and their failure to accept your expired work permit as valid proof that you are authorized to work. Below you will find links to the Federal Register notices extending your work authorization.
Important TPS decision dates:
April 25, 2018: Nepal
May 4, 2018: Honduras
July 5, 2018: Yemen
July 19, 2018: Somalia
March 3, 2019: South Sudan
I am directly affected by these TPS decisions, how do I join the TPS campaign?
CARECEN, the Save TPS campaign, and the National TPS Alliance invite you to join in their efforts to protect TPS and collectively advocate for permanent residency for TPS holders and the 12 million other immigrants that are fighting for legal status in the United States.
Visit www.savetps.com for more information
*We encourage you to consult with a trusted attorney or OLAP accredited representative to verify eligibility and potential legal particularities in individual cases.