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Temporary Protected Status
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) if conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, if the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.
TPS beneficiaries may present any combination of documents from the List of Acceptable Documents to complete Form I-9. USCIS issues a Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to an individual who has been granted TPS. Sometimes DHS issues an automatic extension of the expiring EADs for TPS beneficiaries of a specific country to allow time to issue EADs with new validity dates.
An individual with TPS may present an EAD that is expired on its face but is still considered unexpired because of an automatic extension. Information about automatic extensions is published in the Federal Register and on the USCIS website. When presented with an EAD that is expired on its face for Form I-9 purposes, employers should determine if it is a TPS EAD that has been extended:
Employees do not have to provide proof that they are a national of a country that has been designated for TPS.
If a TPS employee previously completed Form I-9 and presented an EAD that later expired but was automatically extended, the employer should have the employee correct Section 1 by:
If an employee presents an unexpired EAD, employers should follow the procedure in “Completing Section 2.”
If a TPS employee presents an EAD that is expired on its face but has been automatically extended, the employer should:
If an existing TPS employee presented an EAD when first completing Form I-9 and the EAD has been automatically extended, the employer should, by the expiration date on the card:
The Handbook for Employers: Instructions for Completing Form I-9 (M-274) provides additional guidance.
Completing Section 3 at the end of the automatic extension
Once the automatic extension of the EAD expires, employers must reverify the employee’s employment authorization in Section 3. The employee may choose to present his or her new EAD, or any document from List A or C of Form I-9 that shows he or she continues to be authorized to work in the United States.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/19/2011