Following the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for certain nationals of Nicaragua and Honduras, the Department of Homeland Security has extended the program for El Salvadorans.  Currently, TPS status for qualifying El Salvadoran nationals expires on September 9, 2013.  With the extension, Temporary Protected Status for eligible El Salvadoran nationals is extended through March 9, 2015.

TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of designated countries because the country has experienced temporary negative conditions, such as armed conflict or an environmental disaster, that prevent nationals of that country from returning safely or prevent the country from handling their return adequately.  There are currently several countries designated for TPS, including Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras.   Qualified nationals of the designated countries may remain in the United States and are given authorization to work.

El Salvadoran nationals already in TPS status must re-register with DHS during the 60 day re-registration period that runs through May 30, 2013 through July 29, 2013.  These individuals can also file Form I-765 application for employment authorization.  However, because it is unlikely that they will receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before the current EAD expires, the DHS has automatically extended the EADs of these TPS registered El Salvadorans for six months, through March 9, 2014.  (The EADs would otherwise expire on September 9, 2013.)

Employers may accept the expired EAD card that has been automatically extended for proof of work authorization or continued work authorization through March 9, 2014, for Form I-9 purposes.  Employers can recognize the automatically extended EAD because the notation “A-12” or “C-19” will appear on the face of the card under the word “Category.”  In the case of qualified El Salvadoran nationals, the EAD will have an expiration date of September 9, 2013.  When updating the Form I-9 for a current employee, in Section 1 and in Section 2, the employer should draw a line through the September 9, 2013 expiration date, write March 9, 2014 above the crossed-out expiration date, write “TPS Ext.” in the margin, and date and initial the change.  Employers will need to reverify the employee’s work authorization on or before March 9, 2014.  The employee may present any List A or List C document to establish his or her continued work authorization.  The employer may not specify that the employee present a new EAD as proof of work authorization.  When reverifying the employee’s work authorization, employers must use the new Form I-9 and cannot use the expired version of the form.