U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua from July 5, 2010 to January 5, 2012. To maintain TPS status, Honduran and Nicaraguan TPS beneficiaries must re-register during the re-registration period from May 5 until July 6, 2010. Qualified TPS Hondurans and Nicaraguans receive an automatic employment authorization from July 6, 2010 through January 5, 2011. More information on TPS can be found on the USCIS website.

Employers need to be mindful of the automatic six-month extension of employment authorization when hiring these TPS beneficiaries or reverifying the employment authorization of affected TPS employees on Form I-9. Automatically-extended Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) will bear the annotation “A-19” or “C-12” under “Category” and an expiration date of July 5, 2010 for Nicaraguan and Honduran TPS beneficiaries. These individuals ARE employment authorized through January 5, 2011 according to the Federal Register announcements for Honduras and Nicaragua. Honduran and Nicaraguan TPS beneficiaries are encouraged to present a copy of the applicable Federal Register notice to employers to establish employment authorization during the six-month extension period.

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