The US Department of Homeland Security has finally issued guidance on how Honduran nationals can apply for the 6-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that was announced on November 6.
Current TPS Honduran beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that starts on December 15, 2017. The draft of the Federal Register notice explains that
Through operation of this Notice, your existing EAD issued under the TPS designation of Honduras with an expiration date of January 5, 2018, is automatically extended for 180 days, through July 4, 2018. You do not need to apply for a new EAD in order to benefit from this 180-day automatic extension.
However, we recommend that people do apply for a new EAD, to avoid the need to explain the automatic extension to employers, driver's licence offices, etc. The FR notice describes how to explain the extension to employers until a new EAD arrives.
To reduce confusion over this extension at the time of hire, you should explain to your employer that the validity of your EAD has been automatically extended through July 4, 2018. You may also provide your employer with a copy of this Notice, which explains that your EAD has been automatically extended.
The 6-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD/work permit). Eligible TPS beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of July 4, 2018.
To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit:
Applicants may request a waiver of the government fees with evidence of inability to pay. To do so, applicants must file a Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or submit a written request. Fee waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject the TPS application of any applicant who fails to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee waiver request.
All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from the USCIS website at uscis.gov/forms or request them by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.
TPS beneficiaries are reminded that, prior to July 5, 2018, DHS will review the conditions in Honduras before July 5, 2018, and decide whether extension, redesignation, or termination of TPS is warranted.
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.