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[Federal Register: May 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 92)]
[Notices]               
[Page 30440-30442]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr11my00-96]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

[INS No. 2064-00; AG Order No. 2301-2000]
RIN 1115-AE26

 
Extension of Designation of Nicaragua Under Temporary Protected 
Status Program

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice extends the Attorney General's designation of 
Nicaragua under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program until July 
5, 2001. Eligible nationals of Nicaragua (or aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Nicaragua) may re-register 
for TPS and an extension of employment authorization. Re-registration 
is limited to persons who registered during the initial registration 
period, which ended on August 20, 1999, or who registered after that 
date under the late initial registration provision. Persons who are 
eligible for late initial registration may register for TPS during this 
extension.

EFFECTIVE DATES: The extension of the TPS designation for Nicaragua is 
effective July 6, 2000, and will remain in effect until July 5, 2001. 
The 30-day re-registration period begins May 11, 2000 and will remain 
in effect until June 12, 2000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Hardin, Residence and Status 
Services Branch, Adjudications, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 
Room 3214, 425 I Street, NW., Washington, DC 20536, telephone (202) 
514-4754.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:  

What Authority Does the Attorney General Have To Extend the 
Designation of Nicaragua Under the TPS Program?

    Section 244(b)(3)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act) 
states that at least 60 days before the end of an extension or a 
designation, the Attorney General must review conditions in the 
designated foreign state. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). If the Attorney 
General determines that the foreign state continues to meet the 
conditions for designation, the period of designation is extended, 
pursuant to section 244(b)(3)(C) of the Act. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C). 
Through such an extension, TPS is available only to persons who have 
been continuously physically present since January 5, 1999, and have 
continuously resided in the United States from December 30, 1998.

Why Did the Attorney General Decide To Extend the TPS Designation 
for Nicaragua?

    On January 5, 1999, the Attorney General initially designated 
Nicaragua for TPS for a period of 18 months. 64 FR 526 (Jan. 5, 1999). 
The Departments of State and Justice have recently reviewed conditions 
within Nicaragua. The review resulted in a consensus that a 12-month 
extension is warranted. The reasons for the extension are explained in 
a State Department memorandum that states: ``The conditions which led 
to the original designation are less severe, but continue to cause 
substantial disruption to living conditions in Nicaragua.'' The 
memorandum also states that ``a significant portion of the U.S. and 
international aid promised for assisting in reconstruction is still 
being delivered.''
    The State Department memorandum concludes that reconstruction 
efforts should accelerate during the 2000 calendar year. An Immigration 
and Naturalization Service memorandum concurs with the State 
Department, finding that although Nicaragua has made some progress in 
recovering from Hurricane Mitch, the recovery has been very slow, 
especially in the areas of housing and infrastructure. For example, the 
memorandum reports that ``[a]ccording to [a] Nicaraguan non-
governmental umbrella organization * * * of the tens of thousands of 
houses destroyed by Mitch, only 2,500 had been replaced a year after 
the storm struck.''
    Based on these recommendations, the Attorney General finds the 
situation in Nicaragua meets the conditions for extension of TPS under 
section 244(b)(3)(C) of the Act. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C). There 
continues to be a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living 
conditions in Nicaragua as a result of an environmental disaster, and 
Nicaragua continues to be unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the 
return of its nationals. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(B)(i)-(ii). Therefore, 
the review failed to show that country conditions have improved to a 
degree that supports termination. Even in cases where conditions have 
improved, the Act provides for automatic extension in the absence of a 
determination by the

[[Page 30441]]

Attorney General that country conditions no longer support a TPS 
designation. Since the Attorney General did not determine that the 
conditions in Nicaragua no longer warrant TPS, the designation must be 
extended.
    On the basis of these findings, an extension of the TPS designation 
for Nicaragua is warranted for an additional 12-month period. 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(3)(C).

If I Currently Have TPS, How Do I Register for an Extension?

    Only persons previously granted TPS or those with applications 
pending under the initial Nicaragua designation may apply for an 
extension by filing a Form I-821, Application for TPS, without the fee, 
during the re-registration period that begins May 11, 2000 and ends 
June 12, 2000. Additionally, you must file a Form I-765, Application 
for Employment Authorization. See the chart below to determine whether 
you must submit the one-hundred dollar ($100) filing fee with the Form 
I-765.

                                 Chart 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    If                                  Then
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying for employment             You must complete and file
 authorization through July 5, 2001.         the Form I-765, Application
                                             for Employment
                                             Authorization, with the one-
                                             hundred dollar ($100) fee.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You already have employment authorization   You must complete and file
 or do not require employment                the Form I-765 with no fee.
 authorization.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying for employment             You must complete and file
 authorization and are requesting a fee      Form I-765, a fee waiver
 waiver.                                     request, and the requisite
                                             affidavit (and any other
                                             information), in accordance
                                             with 8 CFR 244.20.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

To re-register for TPS, you also must include two identification 
photographs (1\1/2\"  x  1\1/2\").

Is Late Initial Registration Possible?

    Yes. In addition to timely re-registration, late initial 
registration is possible for some persons from Nicaragua under 8 CFR 
244.2(f)(2). Late initial registration applicants must meet the 
following requirements:
     Be a national of Nicaragua (or an alien having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Nicaragua);
     Have been continuously physically present in the United 
States since January 5, 1999;
     Have continuously resided in the United States since 
December 30, 1998; and
     Be admissible as an immigrant, except as otherwise 
provided under section 244(c)(2)(A) of the Act, and not ineligible 
under section 244(c)(2)(B) of the Act.
    Additionally, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that, 
during the initial registration period from January 5, 1999, through 
July 5, 1999, he or she:
     Was in valid nonimmigrant status, or had been granted 
voluntary departure status or any relief from removal;
     Had an application for change of status, adjustment of 
status, asylum, voluntary departure, or any relief from removal pending 
or subject to further review or appeal;
     Was a parolee or has a pending request for reparole; or
     Was the spouse or child of an alien currently eligible to 
be a TPS registrant.

8 CFR 244.2(f)(2).
    An applicant for late initial registration must register no later 
than sixty (60) days from the expiration or termination of the 
qualifying condition. 8 CFR 244.2(g).

Where Should I File for an Extension of TPS?

    Persons seeking to register for an extension of TPS must submit an 
application and accompanying materials to the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service's service center that has jurisdiction over the 
applicant's place of residence.
    If you live in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, 
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, 
Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West 
Virginia, or in the U.S. Virgin Islands, please mail your application 
to: Vermont Service Center, Attn: TPS, 75 Lower Welden Street, St. 
Albans, VT 05479.
    If you live in Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii or Nevada, please 
mail your application to: California Service Center, Attn: TPS, 24000 
Avila Road, 2nd Floor, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677-8111.
    If you live in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, 
Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South 
Carolina, Tennessee, or Texas, please mail your application to: Texas 
Service Center, P.O. Box 850997, Mesquite, TX 75185-0997.
    If you live elsewhere in the United States, please mail your 
application to: Nebraska Service Center, P.O. Box 87821, Lincoln, NE 
68501-7821.

When Can I Register for an Extension of TPS?

    The 30-day re-registration period begins May 11, 2000 and will 
remain in effect until June 12, 2000.

Can I Apply for an Extension of My Work Authorization if I Have 
Been Granted Employment Authorization on the Basis of My Pending 
Form I-821, and as of July 5, 2000, My Form I-821 Is Still Pending?

    Yes, you can apply for an extension of your employment 
authorization. Follow the instructions in Chart 1 and submit your 
application to the service center that has jurisdiction over your place 
of residence during the 30-day registration period listed above.

How Does an Application for TPS Affect My Application for Asylum or 
Other Immigration Benefits?

    An application for TPS does not preclude or affect an application 
for asylum or any other immigration benefit. A national of Nicaragua 
(or alien having no nationality who last habitually resided in 
Nicaragua) who is otherwise eligible for TPS and has applied for or 
plans to apply for asylum, but who has not yet been granted asylum or 
withholding of removal, may also apply for TPS. Denial of an 
application for asylum or any other immigration benefit does not affect 
an applicant's ability to register for TPS, although the grounds of 
denial may also be grounds of denial for TPS. For example, a person who 
has been convicted of an aggravated felony is not eligible for asylum 
or TPS.

Does This Extension Allow Nationals of Nicaragua (or Aliens Having 
No Nationality Who Last Habitually Resided in Nicaragua) Who 
Entered the United States After December 30, 1998, To File for TPS?

    No. This is a notice of an extension of the TPS designation for 
Nicaragua, not a notice of redesignation of Nicaragua under the TPS 
program. An extension of TPS does not change the required dates of 
continuous physical presence and residence in the United States, and 
does not expand the TPS program to include nationals of Nicaragua (or 
aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Nicaragua) 
who arrived in the United States after the date of the initial 
designation, in this case, January 5, 1999, or the date designated for

[[Page 30442]]

continuous residence, in this case, December 30, 1998.

Notice of Extension of Designation of Nicaragua Under the TPS 
Program

    By the authority vested in me as Attorney General under sections 
244(b)(3)(A) and (C), and (b)(1) of the Act, I have consulted with the 
appropriate agencies of the Government concerning whether the 
conditions under which Nicaragua was initially designated for TPS 
continue to exist. As a result, I determine that the conditions for the 
initial designation of TPS for Nicaragua continue to be met. 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(3)(A) and (C), (b)(1). Accordingly, I order as follows:
    (1) The designation of Nicaragua under section 244(b) of the Act is 
extended for an additional 12-month period from July 6, 2000, until 
July 5, 2001. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
    (2) I estimate that there are approximately 6,000 nationals of 
Nicaragua (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided 
in Nicaragua) who have been granted TPS and who are eligible for re-
registration.
    (3) In order to be eligible for TPS during the period from July 6, 
2000, through July 5, 2001, a national of Nicaragua (or an alien having 
no nationality who last habitually resided in Nicaragua) who received a 
grant of TPS (or has an application pending) during the initial period 
of designation from January 5, 1999, until July 5, 2000, must re-
register for TPS by filing a new Application for Temporary Protected 
Status, Form I-821, along with an Application for Employment 
Authorization, Form I-765, within the 30-day period beginning May 11, 
2000 and ending on June 12, 2000. Late re-registration will be allowed 
only for good cause pursuant to 8 CFR 244.17(c).
    (4) Pursuant to section 244(b)(3)(A) of the Act, the Attorney 
General will review, at least 60 days before July 5, 2001, the 
designation of Nicaragua under the TPS program to determine whether the 
conditions for designation continue to be met. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). 
Notice of that determination, including the reasons underlying it, will 
be published in the Federal Register.
    (5) Information concerning the TPS program for nationals of 
Nicaragua (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided 
in Nicaragua) will be available at local Service offices upon 
publication of this notice and on the INS website at http://
www.ins.usdoj.gov.

    Dated: May 5, 2000.
Janet Reno,
Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 00-11787 Filed 5-10-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-M


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