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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:

  • Look at the “Category” section on the expired EAD.
    • Only “A-12” or “C-19” indicate TPS.
  • Check the USCIS website to see which EADs have been automatically extended. 
  • Accept the EAD if it has been automatically extended and the extension is still in effect.

Employees do not have to provide proof that they are a national of a country that has been designated for TPS.

Completing Section 1

New Employee

Employees should:

  • Check “An alien authorized to work.”
  • Write their alien number in the first space (alien numbers are printed on EADs, but also can be found on notices from USCIS).
  • Write the date the EAD expires, or the automatic extension date if the EAD has been auto-extended  in the second space.

Existing Employee

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:

  • Crossing out the expiration date of his or her employment authorization noted in the attestation
  • Writing in the date that the automatic extension of employment authorization ends
  • Initialing and dating the correction in the margin of Section 1. 

Completing Section 2

 New Employees

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:

  • Record the document title
  • Record the document number
  • Record the date the EAD has been automatically extended to as the expiration date

Existing Employees

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:

  • Draw a line through the expiration date for the EAD written in Section 2
  • Write the new date to which that the EAD has been extended above the previous date
  • Write “TPS Ext.” in the margin of Section 2
  • Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 2

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