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Temporary Protected Status Has Been Extended Until October 4, 2021!


On Monday, December 7, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security announced a Federal Register notice extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS was established in 1990 by congress and was put into place to aid nationals of a country which temporarily need protection due to the fact that their native country is unsafe and unable to handle the return of these individuals. A country may be designated for TPS if there is an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or if there are extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state that prevent its nationals from returning to the state in safety.

On Monday, September 14, 2020, a 3- judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that President Donald Trump has the right to end TPS and could phase out protections for hundreds of thousands of families that have been living and working legally in the U.S., many of them for decades. The Trump administration had been trying to end TPS throughout his entire presidency and did so on September 14th.

The future of TPS wasn’t looking bright until DHS announced the Federal Register notice on Monday, December 7th which extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and the validity of TPS-related documentation for beneficiaries under the TPS designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. The notice automatically extends through Oct. 4, 2021, the validity of Employment Authorization Documents; Forms I-797, Notice of Action; and Forms I-94, Arrival/Departure Record (collectively, TPS-related documentation) for beneficiaries under the TPS designations for these six countries.

Current beneficiaries under the TPS designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan do not need to pay a fee or file any application, including Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765), to maintain their TPS benefits through October 4, 2021, provided that they have properly re-registered for TPS during either the most recent DHS-announced registration period for their country, or any applicable previous re-registration period. TPS beneficiaries who have failed to re-register properly for TPS during any of these re-registration periods may still file an Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) but must demonstrate “good cause” for failing to re-register on time, as required by law. Any currently eligible beneficiary who does not presently have a pending Employment Authorization application under the TPS designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, or Sudan may file Form I-765 with the appropriate fee.

The Biden Administration plans to immediately review every TPS decision made by the Trump administration and overturn all those that do not appropriately consider the facts on the ground. Additionally, Biden wants to extend TPS to Venezuelans seeking relief from the humanitarian crisis brought on in recent years. TPS has taken a major shift in the last 4 years, but this extension which was granted by DHS allows the individuals who are protected by TPS to feel safer for now and it allows more time to carefully review TPS and implement the proper modifications to benefit everyone!

Patricia Elizee is the managing partner of Elizee Law Firm, an immigration and family law firm located at 1110 Brickell Avenue, Suite 315, Miami, Florida 33131. She can be reached at Ph: 305-371-8846