Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure
The secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) if conditions in the country meet statutory requirements regarding ongoing armed conflict, natural disasters (including epidemics), or other extraordinary and temporary conditions in the country that temporarily prevent its nationals from returning safely. See 8 U.S.C. section 1254a(b)(1). USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of a designated country, and eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country and are already in the United States. Individuals who are granted TPS are authorized to work. For additional information on TPS designations, please visit the TPS webpage.
The president may authorize Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) in his discretion and as part of his constitutional power to conduct foreign relations. Individuals covered by DED are not subject to removal from the United States for a designated period of time. Individuals may also request employment authorization if it is provided as a benefit of DED. There are no countries covered by DED at this time. Please see information on past DED for Liberia below.
Employees do not have to provide proof they are a national of a country that has been designated for TPS or DED.
Completing Form I-9 When an Employee Presents an Unexpired EAD or Other Acceptable Documents
USCIS issues a Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document (EAD), to TPS beneficiaries and individuals covered by DED who request one. While TPS beneficiaries are authorized to work as long as they maintain TPS, they are not required to get an EAD; however, they do need to provide acceptable evidence of identity and work authorization for Form I-9 purposes like all new employees. These employees may present an unexpired EAD or any other combination of documents from the Lists of Acceptable Documents to complete Form I-9. You and your employee should complete Form I-9 as you would for any employee presenting an unexpired document.
Completing Form I-9 When an Employee Presents an Automatically Extended EAD
When the secretary of Homeland Security extends an expiring TPS designation under the TPS statute or DED as directed by the president, the secretary may also automatically extend the validity of certain, specified expiring EADs associated with TPS or DED to give USCIS time to issue new EADs. Information about automatic extensions is published in the Federal Register and on the USCIS website. When an employee presents an EAD whose original “Card Expires” date has passed, employers should determine if it is a TPS or DED EAD that has been automatically extended and is therefore valid for Form I-9 purposes. Look at the “Category” section on the expired EAD. “A-12” or “C-19” indicate TPS and “A-11” indicates DED. Use the links below to check the USCIS website for information about which TPS or DED country’s EADs have been automatically extended. Accept the EAD if it has been automatically extended and the extension is still in effect.
In the attestation section, TPS or DED employees should:
- Check “An alien authorized to work;”
- Enter the EAD automatic extension date provided in the appropriate TPS/DED country’s Federal Register notice as the expiration date in that field. Use the links for each TPS or DED country below to access the Federal Register notice and other information for that TPS/DED country; and
- Write their Alien Number (A-Number) in the space for Alien Registration Number/USCIS Number under Box 4 of this section. A-Numbers are printed on EADs, but can also be found on notices from USCIS.
For New Employees
If a TPS or DED employee presents an EAD that is expired but has been automatically extended, you should:
- Enter EAD in the Document Title field;
- Record the issuing authority;
- For a TPS employee, enter the document number from the EAD with Category A-12 or C-19. For a DED employee, enter the document number from the EAD with Category A-11; and
- Enter the automatic extension date provided in the Federal Register notice as the document expiration date.
If an existing TPS or DED employee presented an EAD when first completing Form I-9 and DHS has automatically extended the EAD, you must enter EAD EXT along with the EAD automatic extension date from the Federal Register notice in the Additional Information field in Section 2. For example, EAD EXT mm/dd/yyyy.
For more information on completing Form I-9 for TPS or DED employee who presents an automatically extended EAD, see Section 4.4 of the M-274, Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9.
You must reverify employees when their automatic extension ends, no later than the date their work authorization expires. You can reverify them before the automatic extension ends if they present any document that shows current employment authorization, such as any document from List A or C.
For specific information on the TPS designation and EAD extension information for a specific country, select the country below:
For specific information on the DED designation and Employment Authorization Document (EAD) extension information for a specific country, select the country below:
Liberian nationals that were covered by DED through Jan. 10, 2021, may still be eligible to apply for adjustment of status under the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) legislation and receive an EAD in association with their LRIF application. See the LRIF page for more information.