18-Month Extension of Temporary Protected Status for HondurasUpdate
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Honduras from the current expiration of Jul. 5, 2010, to the new expiration date of Jan. 5, 2012. During the past year, DHS and the Department of State have reviewed the conditions in Honduras. Based on this review, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has determined that an 18-month extension is warranted because the conditions that prompted the TPS designation in 1999 following the environmental disaster caused by Hurricane Mitch persist and prevent Honduras from adequately handling the return of its nationals.
Under the extension, individuals who have been granted TPS are eligible to re-register and maintain their status for an additional 18 months provided they remain otherwise eligible for TPS. There are approximately 66,000 nationals of Honduras (and people having no nationality who last habitually resided in Honduras) who may be eligible for re-registration. TPS does not apply to Honduran nationals who entered the United States after Dec. 30, 1998.
To maintain TPS status, Honduran TPS beneficiaries must re-register during the re-registration period from May 5 until July 5, 2010. It is important to re-register as soon as the re-registration period opens to allow sufficient time for USCIS to complete all the routine background checks and further application processing. Applications from Honduran TPS beneficiaries will not be accepted before May 5, 2010.
USCIS will issue a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to eligible TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. However, USCIS will automatically extend the validity of existing EADs held by Honduran TPS beneficiaries for six months, through Jan. 5, 2011. This automatic extension will allow sufficient time for eligible TPS beneficiaries to re-register and receive new EADs without any lapse in employment authorization. The Federal Register Notice explains how TPS beneficiaries and their employers may determine which EADs are automatically extended.
TPS beneficiaries must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, to re-register. Applicants seeking an extension of employment authorization must file an Application for Employment Authorization, Form I-765, with the required fee. If an individual is only seeking to re-register for TPS, the applicant must still file Form I-765 for data-gathering purposes; the filing fee is not required. Re-registrants age 14 and older must submit the biometric fee. Applicants who are able to demonstrate an inability to pay may request a fee waiver for the application, biometric service fees or both. Failure to submit the required application and biometric fees or a properly documented fee waiver request will result in the rejection of the re-registration application. For information on fee waivers, visit the Fee Waiver Guidance Web page at www.uscis.gov.
Further details on the extension of TPS for Honduras, including the application requirements and procedures, are available at www.uscis.gov and in the Federal Register Notice. TPS forms are available online or by calling the toll-free USCIS Forms line, 1-800-870-3676. For additional information, applicants may also contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center toll-free number, 1-800-375-5283.