United States: DHS To Terminate TPS for Nicaragua; Temporarily Extends for Honduras

TPS for Nicaragua will be terminated effective January 5, 2019. TPS for Honduras will be extended temporarily through July 5, 2018 while DHS considers a final decision on redesignation of that country.

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Nov 09, 2017

The situation
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced changes concerning Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaragua and Honduras.

A closer look

  • TPS will be terminated for Nicaragua effective January 5, 2019. DHS advises beneficiaries to seek another U.S. immigration status or depart by the expiration date.
  • DHS has deferred a final decision on TPS for Honduras, and will grant a temporary extension through July 5, 2018 while it gathers more information on country conditions.
  • Honduran and Nicaraguan TPS beneficiaries will be required to reapply for employment authorization documents. DHS is to issue instructions and announce the re-registration period in the coming days.
  • DHS is expected to announce its decision on the future of TPS for Haiti and El Salvador in the near future.

Temporary Protected Status: Background
DHS may temporarily designate a foreign country for TPS when its nationals in the United States are unable to safely return. Eligible TPS beneficiaries are not removable from the United States and may apply for work and travel authorization for the designated TPS period. After a country is initially designated for the program, DHS typically grants renewals in 18-month increments. Beneficiaries must re-register accordingly in order to maintain TPS status.

The following countries are currently designated for TPS: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

DHS announced in October that TPS for Sudan will terminate on November 2, 2018.

TPS in the Trump Administration

  • The Trump administration has signaled that it believes TPS as it currently exists should be curtailed.
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently advised Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke of the State Department’s view that conditions in Central America and Haiti no longer warrant continued extensions of TPS.
  • DHS has called on Congress to “enact a permanent solution for this inherently temporary program.”

Looking ahead
The termination of TPS for Nicaragua means that beneficiaries will lose work authorization and the ability to remain in the United States unless they are able to obtain another lawful status by January 5, 2019.

Fragomen is closely tracking the future of TPS for beneficiaries from Haiti, Honduras and other countries with approaching TPS expirations, and will provide updates as developments occur.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.

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Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates, (collectively known as “Fragomen Worldwide”) is the world’s largest firm dedicated to corporate immigration, and is recognized as the leading global immigration services provider.

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