On November 6, 2017, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced the termination of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Nicaragua with a delayed effective date of 12 months to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on January 5, 2019. It was also announced that additional time is necessary to obtain and assess supplemental information pertaining to country conditions in Honduras in order to make an appropriately deliberative TPS designation determination. As a result, the TPS designation for Honduras will be automatically extended for six months from the current January 5, 2018 date of expiration to the new expiration date of July 5, 2018.
Based on all available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, Acting Secretary Duke has determined that the substantial but temporary conditions caused in Nicaragua by Hurricane Mitch no longer exist, and thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated. As such, according to the announcement, the effective termination date, January 5, 2019, of TPS designation for Nicaragua, provides time for individuals with TPS to seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible, or, if necessary, arrange for their departure. It will also provide time for Nicaragua to prepare for the return and reintegration of their citizens.
The announcement also notes that although the current TPS for Honduras has been automatically extended for six months, through July 5, 2018, given the information currently available to Acting Secretary Duke, it is possible that the TPS designation for Honduras will be terminated at the end of the six-month automatic extension with an appropriate delay.
Nicaraguans and Hondurans with TPS will continue to be required to reapply for Employment Authorization Documents in order to continue working legally in the United States until the end of the respective termination or extension periods. Further details about this renewal for TPS will be provided in a Federal Register notice.
Recognizing the difficulty facing citizens of Nicaragua and potentially citizens of other countries, who have received TPS designation for close to two decades, Acting Secretary Duke calls on Congress to enact a permanent solution for this inherently temporary program.
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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.
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