On Thursday the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finally announced the procedures for renewal of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Hondurans. Six weeks ago the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security announced that TPS for Honduras would be extended for six months. In normal times, this would have been followed by an official notice in the Federal Register the same day. This being the Trump Era, there was radio silence for more than a month. Today, the Homeland Security Ombudsperson held a national conference call with some of the details about renewing TPS. The official notice still has not been published, but it is expected to come out on December 15.
So here is the takeaway from the call and a draft version of the Federal Register announcement.
- Hondurans with TPS will have their work authorizations automatically extended until July 4th, 2018.
- These Hondurans must file to renew their TPS over the next 60 days or else they will be out of status and subject to arrest if they encounter ICE. Also, if they do not renew in the next 60 days, they will not be eligible to renew in July for the next round of TPS work authorizations.
- When they renew, Hondurans need to file the renewal forms, but they only have to pay the 85 dollar biometrics fee, not the fee for the work authorization. This is a considerable savings since the $410 employment fee does not have to be filed.
The question I am being asked most is “Why bother to apply for renewal of TPS since there is an automatic work authorization extension?” The quick answer is, if a person does not renew in the next sixty days, he or she will be permanently out of the program. We expect that TPS will be renewed at least one more time in July of 2018. If you don’t file for renewal now, you will not be able to file for the renewal in July.
I expect the Department of Homeland Security to issue additional information over the next several days. I will post it here as it becomes available.
Both Catholic Charities (631) 789-8339 and CARECEN (516) 489-8330/(631) 273-8721 provide legal assistance for TPS for a fee.
UPDATE: Homeland Security published a page explaining the Honduran TPS Renewal Period.