TPS Extension for Salvadorans

A recent announcement from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has allowed eligible nationals of El Salvador to enjoy Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The TPS for these qualified nationals is extended for an added 18 months as a result of the announcement. As a result, the TPS status will be extended beginning March 10, 2012, ending Sept. 9, 2013.

If you are a national of El Salvador under TPS you can extend your status by re-registering during a 60-day term for re-registration. This term ends March 12, 2012 and after that you may not re-register to extend your status. As a result, the USCIS is encouraging eligible nationals of El Salvador who qualify for the extended TPS to re-register as early as possible, to ensure that their status is extended. USCIS has also announced that it will continue to accept re-registration applications through March 12, 2012. There is some confusion about this, since the Federal Register mistakenly reported that re-registration applications are only accepted through March 9, 2012. This is not the correct date and re-registration applications submitted through March 12, 2012 will be accepted. The USCIS is trying to correct the error to avoid confusion about the cut-off dates.

Under the new extension, those who re-register for TPS will also be able to get a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Those who re-register for TPS by March 12, 2012 under the new extension will get a new EAD. The expiration date on this new document will be Sept. 9, 2013. TPS beneficiaries who apply for re-registration under the new extension may have their current EADs expire before a new EAD is sent to them. To resolve the issue, the USCIS has announced that El Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries will have their current EADs with an expiration date of March 9, 2012 extended through Sept. 9, 2012.

Qualified El Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries who wish to re-register need to file USCIS Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status) and USCIS Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) by March 12, 2012. It is important to note that everyone applying for re-registration under the new extension will need to submit both forms – even those who are not need an EAD. In addition to filing the forms, applicants will need to submit the biometrics fee or a fee waiver for Form I-821. The usual application fee for Form I-821 will not need to be submitted. However, those applicants who do need a new EAD will need to submit all regular filing fees for Form I-765.