What is happening with TPS and can I get a new or extended Employment Authorization Document

Clients have recently been asking about obtaining an extension of their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and work authorization.  There is much pending litigation concerning TPS and we just don’t know what will happen with these cases. This update is written to provide my clients and their employers as much information as possible at this time. 

In one case – Ramos vs Nielson, the court enjoined (prohibited) the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from implementing and enforcing the decisions to terminate Temporary Protected Status for persons from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador.  As long as the injunction remains in place TPS will continue. Those with current TPS status from these countries do not need to re-register and employment authorization has been auto-extended through Jan 4, 2021. 

There is a different court case that applies to Nepal and Honduras but persons with TPS from those countries also are working with TPS status until Jan 4, 2021 

For those with TPS from Haiti, the Ramos case applies as well as another case that applies only to those from Haiti. 

These injunctions are being appealed in the courts and final decisions have not yet been made. If final court decisions are not made soon, the TPS status will probably be automatically extended. We expect to hear around Nov. 20, 2020 that the TPS and work authorization will be extended past Jan, 4, 2021.  

USCIS announcements tell us what they plan to do if they are successful in terminating TPS. This is summarized below 

Should the government prevail in its challenge to the Ramos preliminary injunction, the DHS determination to terminate TPS for Nicaragua and Sudan will take effect no earlier than 120 days from the issuance of the decision in the Ramos case. It will also terminate for Haiti 120 days from the issuance of the decision in both the Ramos case and the decision in another case that is specific to Haiti. The secretary’s determination to terminate TPS for El Salvador will take effect no earlier than 365 days from the issuance of any final decision in the Ramos case in order to allow for an orderly transition for affected TPS beneficiaries. TPS for Nepal and Honduras will have a 120-180 day transition period. These 120 day, 180 day and 365 day transition periods will not start automatically from the time of the court decision. USCIS will announce when the 120, 180 or 365 day transition periods will start. 

I have not heard whether work authorization will be extended through the transition periods but I would hope that this would be the case. More importantly, we hope that TPS will not be terminated at all and that it will continue to be extended until we have a Congress and a President that will tackle immigration law reform and provide a permanent solution for those who with TPS and DACA. 

Linda M Kaplan