Attention Nicaraguans and Hondurans

TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS EXTENDED FOR NICARAGUANS AND HONDURANS

We have talked in the past about Temporary Protected Status. Temporary protected status or “TPS” is a temporary immigration status to the United States, granted to eligible nationals of designated countries. The following countries are currently under TPS: Honduras, Nicaragua, Burundi, El Salvador, Haiti (due to last year’s earthquake), Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Sudan.

TPS is an immigration status granted to immigrants in the United States who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

 

During the period for which a country has been designated for TPS, TPS beneficiaries may remain in the United States and may obtain work authorization. However, TPS does not lead to permanent resident status or “green card” holder status. When the United States terminates a TPS designation, beneficiaries revert to the same immigration status they maintained before TPS unless that status had since expired or been terminated or to any other status they may have acquired while registered for TPS. Accordingly, if Patricia, a Nicaraguan, did not have lawful status prior to receiving her TPS and did not obtain any other lawful status during the TPS designation (i.e., adjustment of status through a family petition), Patricia reverts to unlawful status upon the termination of that TPS designation.

It is really important to understand that TPS is not granted to persons that try to register after the first registration period ends, so if a person of a country that is currently under TPS did not register the first time TPS was assigned, then that person does not qualify for TPS. However, a person may be eligible to file late. For this reason, it is really important you talk to a lawyer about your case.

On November 4, 2011, the United States granted the tenth extension for the TPS to Honduras and Nicaragua. The extension grants an additional 18 months, which would provide status to thousands of Hondurans and Nicaraguans until July 5, 2013. 

As you may recall, the designation of Honduras and Nicaragua as TPS countries took place on December 29, 1998, for humanitarian reasons after the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch in Central America.

Timeframe for the extension:

TPS Extension Re-Registration Deadline: January 3, 2012

TPS Expiration Date: July 5, 2013

Employment Authorization Cards (EADs) Auto-extended through: July 5, 2012

TPS Designation Date: January 5, 1999

Mauricio Funes, the President of El Salvador, expressed to President Obama the need to extend the TPS for approximately 220,000 Salvadorians, who are currently in the United States under that immigration status. The status of Salvadorians will expire on March 9, 2012, if no extension is granted.

You should keep in mind that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about the TPS.  Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in connection with the filing of a TPS petition.  Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.

Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet, P.C. handles immigration cases and TPS petitions.  If you have any questions or concerns about an immigration case or immigration petition, you can call me at (315) 474-2911, (315) 480-5085, or 800-675-001, send me a fax at (315) 474-6015, or e-mail me at jperez@smithsovik.com.  My office is located at 250 South Clinton Street, Suite 600, Syracuse, New York13202.  Please look for my next article in the January edition. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2012!!!

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