May 3, 2001
WASHINGTON ó As part of the Administrationís efforts to assist countries affected by Hurricane Mitch, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) announced today the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Honduras and Nicaragua for a period of 12 months until July 5, 2002. The extension of TPS for Hondurans and Nicaraguans is effective July 5, 2001 and will remain in effect until July 5, 2002.
This extension applies to approximately 105,000 Hondurans and 5,300 Nicaraguans who have already registered for TPS. The re-registration period begins upon publication of the rule in the Federal Register, which is expected next week, and continues for 90 days from the publication date.
"While Honduras and Nicaragua continue to make progress in recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Mitch, the environmental disaster has resulted in substantial disruption of living conditions and both countries remain unable to handle adequately the return of its nationals," said Acting INS Commissioner Kevin Rooney. "This one-year extension reflects the Administrationís continued commitment to provide assistance to the countries devastated by Hurricane Mitch."
Hondurans and Nicaraguans currently registered under TPS who desire an extension must re-register by filing both the TPS application (Form I-821) and an application for employment authorization (Form I-765) with an INS Service Center. For re-registration, there is no fee for Form I-821. However, a $100 fee must accompany Form I-765 if an applicant requests employment authorization. If the applicant does not require employment authorization or already has employment authorization, Form I-765 is still required but no fee is necessary. These forms are available from the toll-free INS Forms line, 1-800-870-3676, and from the INS Web site, www.ins.gov.
An applicant may request a waiver of TPS-related application fees by submitting proper documentation of inability to pay.
This extension does not allow Nicaraguans or Hondurans who entered the United States after December 30, 1998 to file for TPS. This extension covers only Nicaraguans and Hondurans who have been continually present in the United States as of January 5, 1999 and who have continually resided in the United States since December 30, 1998. An extension of TPS does not change the required dates of continuous physical presence and residence in the United States. However, late initial registration is possible in some circumstances. In order to qualify for late initial registration, applicants must meet the original continuous physical presence and residency requirements of the initial registration period and they must demonstrate that during the initial registration period they:
Applications for late initial registration must be submitted no later than 60 days from the expiration or termination of the alienís previous status.
Section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes the Attorney General to grant or extend TPS to aliens in the United States who are nationals of countries where armed conflict, natural disaster or other extraordinary conditions have created a temporary situation to which return is either unsafe or unfeasible.