Some Salvadorans Here Can Breathe a (Temporary) Sigh of Relief

If you're a Salvadoran whose Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is about to expire, you're in luck.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that the Department of Homeland Security will extend the TPS for eligible nationals from the current Sept. 9, 2010, date through the new expiration date of March 9, 2012.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano explains her reason after the jump--in triplicate!

July 9, 2010

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18-Month Extension of Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador
Automatic 6-Month Extension for Employment Authorization Documents Included

WASHINGTON--U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of El Salvador from the current expiration of Sept. 9, 2010, through the new expiration date of March 9, 2012. During the past year, DHS and the Department of State have reviewed the conditions in El Salvador. Based on this review, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has determined that an 18-month extension is warranted because the conditions that prompted the 2001 TPS designation of El Salvador following a series of severe earthquakes persist and temporarily prevent El Salvador from adequately handling the return of its nationals.

Under the extension, individuals who have been granted TPS are eligible to re-register and maintain their status for an additional 18 months. There are approximately 217,000 nationals of El Salvador (and people having no nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador) who may be eligible for re-registration. TPS does not apply to Salvadoran nationals who first entered the United States after Feb. 13, 2001.

To maintain TPS status, Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries must re-register during the re-registration period from July 9 until Sept. 7, 2010. It is important to re-register as soon as the re-registration period opens to allow sufficient time for USCIS to complete all the routine background checks and further application processing. Applications from Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries will not be accepted before July 9.

USCIS will issue a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to eligible TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. However, USCIS will automatically extend the validity of existing EADs held by Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries for six months, through March 9, 2011. This automatic extension will allow sufficient time for eligible TPS beneficiaries to re-register and receive an EAD without any lapse in employment authorization. The Federal Register explains how TPS beneficiaries and their employers may determine which EADs are automatically extended.

TPS beneficiaries must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, to re-register.

Applicants seeking an extension of employment authorization must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with the required fee. If an individual is only seeking to re-register for TPS, the applicant must still file Form I-765 for data-gathering purposes; the filing fee is not required.

Re-registrants age 14 and older must submit the biometric fee. Applicants who are able to demonstrate an inability to pay may request a fee waiver for the application, biometric service fees or both. Failure to submit the required application and biometric fees or a properly documented fee waiver request will result in the rejection of the re-registration application.

For information on fee waivers, visit the Fee Waiver Guidance Web page at

Further details on the extension of TPS for El Salvador, including the application requirements and procedures, are available at and in the Federal Register .

TPS forms are available online or by calling the toll-free USCIS Forms line, 1-800-870-3676. For additional information, applicants may also contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center toll-free number, 1-800-375-5283.

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