U.S. Department of Homeland Security Announces Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Nepal

On October, 26, 2016, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, announced the extension of Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for certain Nepalese nationals in the United States nepal-pokara-1475073through June 24, 2018. Prior to Secretary Johnson’s announcement, TPS was only available to Nepalese nationals through December 24, 2016.

On April 25, 2015, Nepal was struck by a devastating 7.8 earthquake. The earthquake left thousands dead and devastated the capital city of Kathmandu and nearby towns and villages. In response to the earthquake, on June 24, 2015, Secretary Johnson designated Nepal for TPS. This designation allowed Nepalese nationals in the United States on June 24, 2015, to temporarily remain in the country, with work authorization, through December 24, 2016.

On October 26, 2016, Secretary Johnson extended Nepal’s TPS designation through June 24, 2018. Secretary Johnson also automatically extended work authorization for Nepalese nationals on TPS through June 24, 2017, in order to give U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) time to issue new Employment Authorization Documents (“EAD”). Until a TPS beneficiary receives their new EAD, they may work for any employer by providing their employer with their old TPS-related EAD; and a copy of the Federal Register notice announcing the automatic extension.

Nepalese nationals currently enjoying TPS must re-register for TPS between October 26, 2016, and December 27, 2016, in order to continue to remain and work in the United States. In order to re-register, TPS beneficiaries must: (1) file Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status; (2) file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; (3) pay a $85.00 biometrics fee (if fourteen years of age or older); and (4) pay a $380.00 filing fee if requesting work authorization. Because of current USCIS processing times, USCIS currently recommends re-registering for TPS as soon as possible.

Certain Nepalese nationals who have not previously applied for TPS may be eligible to apply for TPS for the first time between October 26, 2016, and December 27, 2016. In order to apply, an individual must: (1) be a Nepalese national; (2) have been a continuous resident of the United States since June 24, 2016; and (3) have had a continuous physical presence in the United States since June 24, 2015.

In addition, Nepalese nationals filing for TPS for the first time, must demonstrate that they did not register for TPS during the initial TPS registration period (June 24, 2015 through December 21, 2015) because during the registration period: (1) they were a nonimmigrant, were granted voluntary departure, or granted any other relief from removal; (2) they had a pending change of status application, adjustment of status application, asylum application, or were in removal proceedings; (3) They were a parolee or had a pending request for re-parole; (4) are currently the spouse of an individual currently eligible for TPS;  or (5)  are a child of an individual currently eligible for TPS.

If you or someone you know is in need of registering or re-registering for TPS, Hartmzan Law Firm is here to help. Our principal immigration attorney, Daniel Hartzman, has helped numerous individuals and families obtain TPS. If you have questions about TPS or would like more information on how Hartzman Law Firm can help you, please contact Pittsburgh immigration lawyer Daniel at dhartzman@hartzmanlawfirm.com or by calling (412) 495-9849.