By Liliana Gallelli, Esq.

The US government may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely for reasons such as ongoing armed conflict or an environmental disaster.    Persons who are TPS beneficiaries are not removable from the US, can get a work permit and may be able to travel abroad. Those persons also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States. Currently more than 435,000 people from 10 countries hold TPS status including approximately 2,550 Nicaraguans, 57,000 Hondurans,  195,000 Salvadoreans and 46,000 Haitians.

On November 6, 2017 the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced the termination of TPS for Nicaraguan nationals.  To allow for transition, the effective date of the termination of TPS for Nicaragua is January 5, 2019.  In the meantime, individuals with TPS must seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible, or, if necessary, arrange for their departure.

TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status but it does not prevent the immigrant from seeking any relief he or she may be eligible for such as applying for legal permanent residence through a family member.

With regard to Honduras, the DHS has not made a determination at this time, thereby automatically extending the current TPS designation for Honduras for six months – through July 5, 2018. However, given the information currently available to the DHS Secretary, it is possible that the TPS designation for Honduras will be terminated at the end of the six-month automatic extension with an appropriate delay.

All persons with temporary status should seek counsel to explore possibilities for permanent status in the United States.



This article is not intended as legal advice and is for general information only.  Author of this article: Liliana Gallelli, Esq.  Ms. Gallelli has been practicing law over 13 years.