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On December 8, 2020 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that Temporary Protected Status (TPS)-related documentation for beneficiaries under the TPS designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Sudan will be valid until October 4, 2021.

What is TPS?

TPS is a temporary immigration status. The Immigration and National Act (INA) designates certain countries for TPS, and eligible nationals of those countries or individuals without nationality who last regularly lived in those countries may receive TPS. During the TPS designation period, beneficiaries may remain in the United States, may not be removed, are authorized to obtain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), and may travel abroad temporarily with the prior consent of DHS.

Why the extension?

DHS previously attempted to terminate the TPS for these countries, but those efforts were blocked by various federal courts. DHS issued its notice of extension to ensure its compliance with those orders. The notice basically amounts to DHS acknowledging the validity of district court orders and making it clear it won’t violate them.

Which documents are affected?

DHS’s order will extend the validity of the following documents:

  • EADs

  • Forms I-797, Notice of Action (Approval Notice)

  • Forms I-93, Arrival/Departure Record

Are there any exceptions?

Depending on the ultimate resolutions of the relevant court cases, the validity of TPS-related documentation may expire prior to October 4, 2021 and DHS’s termination of TPS status for certain countries may end up going into effect.  However, the different lawsuits involve the TPS designations for different countries, so the ultimate resolutions may vary depending on the country and the relevant court case.

Impact on your employees & the I-9?

Employees impacted by this extension will likely need to have their I-9s updated.  To do this you may write “EAD EXT DEC 8, 2020” in Section 2 or 3 to indicate the date the federal register published the extension.  This will work to document the extension of their work authority. Once they have obtained a new work authorization card you can update Section 3 with the new document.

Thompson Coe and myHRgenius Tip of the Week is not intended as a solicitation, does not constitute legal advice, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


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