On December 15, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an article in the Federal Register detailing the procedure for the six-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Honduras. TPS for Honduras was set to expire on January 5, 2018. However, it was automatically extended through July 5, 2018, after the former acting Secretary of Homeland Security delayed a decision on Honduras’s designation, which had been expected by November 6, 2017. TPS for Honduras has been in place since just after Hurricane Mitch ravaged Central America in 1998, wiping out much of the infrastructure in Honduras. Many Hondurans, approximately 86,000, have enjoyed work authorization and protection from deportation under TPS since 1998, or for almost 20 years.
The now Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, will decide whether to terminate Honduras TPS sometime between May 5, 2018, and July 5, 2018. It is believed that she will decide to terminate TPS for Honduras. Therefore, it is important that TPS registrants meet with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible to see if any pathways to permanent residence are available in one’s specific situation. Because Tennessee is in the jurisdiction of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, it is more possible to move to permanent residence status here than in the rest of the country. See our previous article about TPS for Nicaragua and Honduras.
The rest of this blog article is directed at TPS registrants who now need to renew their TPS. The re-registration period runs from December 15, 2017, through February 13, 2018. To re-register for TPS, you must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. There is no filing fee for Form I-821, but there will be a biometric services fee for anyone over the age of fourteen.
During the re-registration period, you may choose whether you want to apply for a new work permit. Existing work permits issued under the TPS designation of Honduras with an expiration date of January 5, 2018, will automatically be extended through July 4, 2018. Therefore, to prove to your employer that you are authorized to work in the U.S., you only need to show your current work permit with the January 5, 2018, expiration date along with a copy of the Federal Register.
You do, however, have the option of applying for a new work permit. This work permit would have would have the expiration date of July 5, 2018, on its face. To apply for a new work permit, you would need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, in addition to the I-821 and pay the I-765 filing fee.