If you are a citizen of El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, or Nepal living in the US, you may have heard the good news: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended your Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for another 18 months. This means you can stay and work in the US legally until 2025.
But what is TPS and why is it important? How can you reapply for it and renew your work permit? And what are the implications of this decision for the future of immigration policy?
What is TPS and Why Does It Matter?
TPS is a humanitarian program that grants temporary legal status and work authorization to people from countries that are experiencing armed conflict, natural disasters, or other extraordinary conditions that make it unsafe for them to return. TPS does not lead to permanent residency or citizenship, but it protects beneficiaries from deportation and allows them to live and work in the US without fear.
TPS matters because it provides relief and security to thousands of people who have fled violence, poverty, and instability in their home countries. Many of them have lived in the US for years, contributing to the economy, paying taxes, and raising families. According to a report by the Center for American Progress, TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti alone have over 270,000 US-born children.
How Can You Reapply for TPS and Renew Your Work Permit?
If you are a current TPS beneficiary from one of the four countries mentioned above, you need to re-register with DHS to maintain your status and work permit. The re-registration period varies depending on your country of origin, but it generally lasts for 60 days. You can find the specific dates and requirements for each country on the Federal Register notices.
To re-register, you need to submit Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status) and Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) along with the required fees and supporting documents. You can also request a fee waiver if you cannot afford to pay. You can find more information on how to re-register on the USCIS website.
If you re-register on time and your application is approved, you will receive a new work permit that is valid until the end of your TPS designation. If your current work permit expires before you receive a new one, you can use the Federal Register notice as proof of your continued authorization to work.
What Does This Decision Mean for the Future of Immigration Policy?
The decision to extend TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Nepal is a welcome relief for many immigrants who have been living in uncertainty and fear for years. However, it is not a permanent solution. TPS can be terminated or extended by the DHS secretary at any time, depending on the conditions in the designated countries.
That is why many advocates and lawmakers are pushing for a more permanent solution that would allow TPS holders to apply for permanent residency or citizenship. Several bills have been introduced in Congress to provide a pathway to citizenship for TPS holders, such as the American Dream and Promise Act, which passed the House of Representatives in March 2021 but has not been voted on by the Senate yet.
The Biden administration has also expressed support for creating a pathway to citizenship for TPS holders as part of its broader immigration reform agenda. However, it remains unclear whether such legislation will pass in the current political climate.
In the meantime, TPS holders can continue to enjoy their temporary protection and work authorization until 2025. They can also seek legal advice from immigration attorneys or nonprofit organizations if they have any questions or concerns about their status or eligibility.