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[Federal Register: May 8, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 89)]
[Notices]               
[Page 23271-23273]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr08my01-89]                         
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

[INS No. 2136-01; AG Order No. 2426-2001]
RIN 1115--AE26

Extension of the Designation of Nicaragua Under the Temporary 
Protected Status Program

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Notice.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY: The designation of Nicaragua under the Temporary Protected 
Status (TPS) will expire on July 5, 2001. This notice extends the 
Attorney General's designation of Nicaragua under the TPS program for 
12 months until July 5, 2002, and sets forth procedures necessary for 
nationals of Nicaragua (or aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Nicaragua) with TPS to register for the 
additional 12-month period. 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 provisions. Persons 
who are eligible for late initial registration may register for TPS 
during this extension. Nationals of Nicaragua (or aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Nicaragua) who are eligible 
for late initial registration may register for TPS during this 
extension.

[[Page 23272]]


EFFECTIVE DATES: The extension of the TPS designation for Nicaragua is 
effective July 5, 2001, and will remain in effect until July 5, 2002. 
The 90-day re-registration period begins May 8, 2001, and will remain 
in effect until August 6, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rebecca K. Peters, 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 foreign 
state for which the designation is in effect. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). 
If the Attorney General does not determine that the foreign state no 
longer meets the conditions for designation, the period of designation 
is automatically extended for 6 months pursuant to section 224(b)(3)(C) 
of the Act, although the Attorney General may exercise his discretion 
to extend the designation for 12 or 18 months. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C). 
With respect to Nicaragua, such an extension makes TPS available only 
to persons who have been continuously physically present since January 
5, 1999, and have continuously resided in the United States since 
December 30, 1998.

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

    Since the date of the last extension of Nicaragua's TPS 
designation, the Departments of Justice and State have continued to 
review conditions in Nicaragua. Prior to making a decision, the 
Attorney General had consultations with the Department of State to 
determine whether conditions warranting the TPS designation continued 
to exist. Despite indications of progress in recovery efforts, the 
Attorney General determined that sufficient damage from Hurricane Mitch 
persists that makes Nicaragua temporarily unable to handle adequately 
the return of its nationals. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(B)(ii). For example, 
the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization designated 
Nicaragua as one of only four countries in the Western Hemisphere 
experiencing a food emergency. In addition, recovery efforts continued 
to be hamstrung by the delayed delivery on international aid.

Why Did the Attorney General Extend the TPS Designation for a 
Period of 12 Months?

    The Attorney General determined that a 12-month extension would 
afford Nicaragua a sufficient amount of time to substantially complete 
its recovery efforts. At the expiration of the current extension, 
Nicaragua will have been designated for TPS for a period of 30 months. 
During this period, Nicaragua will have made progress in recovering 
from the effects of Hurricane Mitch. Balancing the need for additional 
time for recovery efforts with the temporal nature of the TPS benefit, 
the Attorney General determined that a 12-month extension would provide 
Nicaragua sufficient time to complete its recovery efforts to the point 
that it can handle adequately the return of its nationals.

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

    If you have already been granted TPS through the Nicaragua TPS 
Program, your TPS will expire on July 5, 2001. Persons previously 
granted TPS under the Nicaragua program may apply for an extension by 
filing (1) a Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, 
without the fee, during the re-registration period that begins May 8, 
2001 and ends August 6, 2001, and (2) a Form I-765, Application for 
Employment Authorization, and by submitting two identification 
photographs (1\1/2\"  x  1\1/2\"). To determine whether or not you must 
submit the one hundred dollar ($100) filing fee with the Form I-765, 
see the chart below.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   If                                  Then
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying for employment          You must complete and file: (1)
 authorization through July 5, 2002.      Form I-765, Application for
                                          Employment Authorization, with
                                          the fee ($100).
You already have employment              You must complete and file: (1)
 authorization or do not require          Form I-765, with no filing
 employment authorization.                fee.
You are applying for employment          You must complete and file: (1)
 authorization and are requesting a fee   Fee waiver request and
 waiver.                                  affidavit (and any other
                                          information) in accordance
                                          with 8 CFR 244.20, and (2)
                                          Form I-765 with no fee.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Where Should I Submit the Application for an Extension of TPS?

    Nationals of Nicaragua (or aliens who have no nationality and who 
last habitually resided in Nicaragua) seeking to re-register for the 
extension of TPS must submit an application and accompanying materials 
to the INS service center that has jurisdiction over the applicant's 
place of residence.

When May I File for an Extension of TPS?

    The 90-day re-registration period begins May 8, 2001, and will 
remain in effect until August 6, 2001.

May I Apply for an Extension of My Work Authorization if I Have 
Been Granted Employment Authorization on the Basis of My Pending I-
821, and as of July 5, 2001, My Original Form I-821 Is Still 
Pending?

    Yes, you may apply for an extension of your employment 
authorization. Follow the instructions for re-registration above.

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

    An application for TPS does not affect an application for asylum or 
any other immigration benefit. A person 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 necessarily affect disposition of a separate TPS 
application, though grounds for denying one form of relief may serve as 
the basis for denying TPS, as well. For example, a person who has been 
convicted of a particularly serious crime is not eligible for asylum or 
TPS. 8 U.S.C. 1158(b)(2); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(2)(B).

[[Page 23273]]

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 re-designation for Nicaragua for TPS. An 
extension of TPS does not change the required dates of continuous 
residence and continuous physical presence in the United States and 
does not expand TPS availability to include nationals of Nicaragua (or 
aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Nicaragua) 
who arrived in the United States after the required dates for 
continuous physical presence, January 5, 1999, and continuous 
residence, December 30, 1998.

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). To apply for late initial registration an applicant must:
    (1) be a national of Nicaragua (or an alien who has no nationality 
and who last habitually resided in Nicaragua);
    (2) have been continuously physically present in the United States 
since January 5, 1999;
    (3) have continuously resided in the United States since December 
30, 1998; and,
    (4) 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 registration period from January 5, 1999, through July 5, 
2000, he or she:
    (1) was a nonimmigrant or had been granted voluntary departure 
status or any relief from removal,
    (2) 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,
    (3) was a parolee or had a pending request for reparole, or
    (4) 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 
conditions described above. 8 CFR 244.2(g).

Notice of Extension of Designation of Nicaragua Under the TPS 
Program

    By the authority vested in me as Attorney General under sections 
244(b)(1), (b)(3)(A), and (b)(3)(C) of the Act, I have consulted with 
the appropriate Government agencies concerning whether the conditions 
under which Nicaragua was designated for TPS continue to exist. As a 
result, I determine that the conditions for designation of TPS for 
Nicaragua continue to be met, specifically that the damage from 
Hurricane Mitch persists and Nicaragua remains temporarily unable to 
handle adequately the return of its nationals. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A).
    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 5, 2001, to July 
5, 2002. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
    (2) I estimate that there are approximately 5,300 nationals of 
Nicaragua (or aliens who have no nationality and 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 5, 
2001, to July 5, 2002, a national of Nicaragua (or an alien who has no 
nationality and who last habitually resided in Nicaragua) who has 
already received a grant of TPS under the Nicaragua TPS designation or 
who is eligible to file under the late filing provision of 8 CFR 
244.2(f)(2) must 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 90-day period 
beginning on May 8, 2001 and ending on August 6, 2001. Failure to 
register without good cause will result in the withdrawal of TPS. 8 CFR 
244.17(c).
    (4) At least 60 days before this extension terminates on July 5, 
2002, the Attorney General will review the designation of Nicaragua 
under the TPS program and determine whether the conditions for 
designation continue to be met. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). Notice of that 
determination, including the basis for the determination, will be 
published in the Federal Register. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A).
    (5) Information concerning the Nicaraguan TPS program 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 1, 2001.
John Aschroft,
Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 01-11537 Filed 5-7-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-M

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