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DHS announces 18Month TPS extension for Honduras and Nicaragua
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua until July 5, 2006. Under this extension, those who have already been granted TPS are eligible to live and work in the United States for an additional 18-months and continue to maintain their status. There are approximately 81,875 nationals of Honduras and 4,309 nationals of Nicaragua (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Honduras and Nicaragua) who are eligible for re-registration.

The extension of TPS for nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua is effective January 5, 2005, and will remain in effect until July 5, 2006. Nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua who have been granted TPS must re-register for the 18-month extension during the 60-day re-registration period, which begins the week of November 1, 2004 and will remain in effect for 60 days there after. USCIS sought to give TPS beneficiaries a full 60 days to re-register. However, those Honduras and Nicaragua TPS beneficiaries who are applying for a new employment authorization document (EAD) should do so before their current EAD expires.

A TPS extension is also pending with DHS for El Salvador, which suffered damage similar to that of Honduras and Nicaragua. DHS is favorably disposed to considering an extension for El Salvador if the country conditions there warrant. The current TPS extension for El Salvador expires in March of 2005.

Section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to grant TPS to aliens in the United States who are nationals of countries that are subject to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. On September 16, 1991 and September 4, 2001, the Attorney General (who retained authority over TPS designations prior to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003) designated TPS for Honduras and Nicaragua based on the devastation resulting from Hurricane Mitch and subsequently extended four times. The most recent extension expires on January 5, 2005. Due to continued reconstruction of infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Mitch, the U.S. Government has determined that an 18-month extension of the TPS designation is warranted because Honduras and Nicaragua remain unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return of its nationals.

To re-register for TPS under the extension, a TPS applicant must submit Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status) without the filing fee, Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization), two identification photographs (full face frontal, 2”x2”) and a $70 biometrics services fee for each applicant age 14 and older to the local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) district office. Both the Form I-765 and I-821 must be submitted for re-registration. If the applicant is only seeking to re-register for TPS and not seeking an extension of employment authorization, there is no filing fee for the Form I-765. However, all applicants seeking an extension of employment authorization until July 5, 2006 must submit a $175 filing fee with Form I-765. Applicants may request a fee waiver in accordance with the regulations. The biometric fees, however, cannot be waived. All applicants age 14 and older are required to submit the $70 biometric service fee. Failure to submit the required photographs and filing fees will result in the rejection of the re-registration application.

USCIS has published a revised Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. This form is available on the USCIS web site and will be made available at local USCIS offices. USCIS will no longer accept the former I-821 Form. More information can be obtained from the USCIS National Customer Service Center toll-free number: 1-800-375-5283. TPS forms are available from the toll-free USCIS Forms line, 1-800-870-3676, or from the USCIS Web site

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