What is TPS?
The Department of Homeland Security extends Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to a 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.
THE FAQs CONTAINED BELOW WILL BE PERIODICALLY UPDATED.
What is my country’s current TPS designation status?
El Salvador: TPS designation was set to terminate on September 9, 2019. However, the decision to terminate TPS for El Salvador was suspended by the Ramos v. Nielsen court order stopping TPS terminations, see below.
Nicaragua: TPS designation was set to expire on January 5, 2019. However, the decision to terminate TPS for Nicaragua was suspended by the Ramos v. Nielsen court order stopping TPS terminations, see below.
Haiti: TPS designation was set to terminate on July 22, 2019. However, the decision to terminate TPS for Haiti was suspended by the Ramos v. Nielsen court order stopping TPS terminations, see below.
Honduras: TPS designation was set to terminate on January 5, 2020. However, the decision to terminate TPS for Honduras was suspended by the Ramos v. Nielsen court order stopping TPS terminations (as required by the court-approved stipulation in Bhattarai v. Nielsen), see below.
For other TPS updates on other countries, we encourage you to visit www.savetps.com.
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 (Office of Legal Access Programs) accredited representative before doing so.
For TPS holders affected by the Ramos v. Nielsen court order stopping TPS terminations, you may continue to request advance parole for travel abroad so long as the court injunction remains.
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 through the automatic extension expiration date. Some TPS holders have work permits that were extended additional time following the Ramos v. Nielsen court order stopping certain TPS terminations.
El Salvador: Work permits were automatically extended through January 2, 2020: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/03/01/2019-03783/continuation-of-documentation-for-beneficiaries-of-temporary-protected-status-designations-for-sudan.
Nicaragua: Work permits were automatically extended through January 2, 2020: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/03/01/2019-03783/continuation-of-documentation-for-beneficiaries-of-temporary-protected-status-designations-for-sudan.
Haiti: Work permits were automatically extended through January 2, 2020: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/03/01/2019-03783/continuation-of-documentation-for-beneficiaries-of-temporary-protected-status-designations-for-sudan.
Honduras: Work permits are valid through January 5, 2020.
How do I re-register for TPS?
El Salvador: No current re-registration period.
Nicaragua: No current re-registration period.
Haiti: No current re-registration period.
Honduras: No current re-registration period.
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.
What legal assistance does CARECEN offer to TPS holders?
CARECEN offers comprehensive and free legal services for TPS holders from all TPS designated countries. Services include TPS re-registrations/requests for work permits, advance parole consultations and form preparation, legal consultations, family petitions, and applications for other immigration relief. CARECEN is often able to complete family petitions, adjustments of status, and other immigration cases free of cost. If you would like information about our TPS services, contact our hotline at 213-814-5248. Address: 2845 W. 7th Street Los Angeles, CA 90005. For TPS re-registration assistance in the San Fernando Valley, please call our office in Van Nuys at 818-616-6019.
How much does CARECEN charge for TPS legal services?
CARECEN’s TPS services are free of charge to low-income California residents.
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.nationalTPSalliance.org 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
Impact of Ramos v. Nielsen Court Order Stopping TPS Terminations
What did the court order in the case of Ramos v. Nielsen?
On October 3, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ordered a preliminary injunction that makes the U.S. government suspend the termination of TPS for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador. Injunctions are sometimes used by courts to make a party in a lawsuit either do or refrain from taking a certain action while the court case is pending. While the order remains in effect, DHS may not terminate TPS for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador. A court-approved stipulation in Bhattarai v. Nielsen provided similar protections to TPS holders from Honduras and Nepal.
How can I show my employer that my work permit remains valid after the expiration date?
TPS holders from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan may show their expired work permit along with the Federal Register Notice published on March 1, 2019 (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/03/01/2019-03783/continuation-of-documentation-for-beneficiaries-of-temporary-protected-status-designations-for-sudan) in which the employer is provided with information about the automatic extension of your work permit through January 2, 2020 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.
I am a TPS holder from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti or Sudan. Can I request a new work permit valid through January 2, 2020?
Although you may apply for a new work permit, doing so is not required to show that you are authorized to work. Processing times suggest that your new card may not be processed before January 2, 2020, the date of expiration. 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.
Do I need to re-register for take any other action to make sure my TPS remains valid?
As long as you re-registered during the most recent re-registration period, for the moment, no further action is required to make sure your TPS remains valid. However, re-registration may be required in the future. Any re-registration requirements will be announced through publication in the Federal Register.
What will happen if the court’s order in Ramos v. Nielsen is reversed on appeal?
If the court’s order is reversed on appeal, TPS for Sudan, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Haiti will remain in effect for approximately six months at a minimum. The government has agreed not to end TPS for these countries for at least 120 days after the “mandate” from the appeal is issued. The “mandate” is generally issued 52 days after a decision, but it may take longer depending on whether either party seeks further review at the Ninth Circuit or the Supreme Court.