On May 4, 2018, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen announced her determination to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras [PDF version
]. Honduras initial TPS designation date was January 5, 1999. It was designated for TPS due to the effects of Hurricane Mitch. Secretary Nielsen reached her decision due to her determination “that the disruption of living conditions in Honduras from Hurricane Mitch that served as the basis for its TPS designation has decreased to a degree that it should no longer be regarded as substantial.”
The current TPS designation for Honduras runs through July 5, 2018. However, instead of immediately terminating Honduras TPS on July 5, 2018, Secretary Nielsen opted to delay the termination for 18 months to ensure an orderly transition, meaning the termination of TPS for Honduras will occur on January 5, 2020.
The termination of TPS for Honduras is significant in that there is an estimated 57,000 current Honduras TPS beneficiaries. The large number of current Hondura TPS beneficiaries is likely why Secretary Nielsen opted for an 18-month delay in the termination of TPS for Hondurans instead of a 12 month delay.
Beneficiaries of Honduras TPS who have a separate legal basis to remain in the United States will be able to do so beyond January 5, 2020. Those who already have such a status or are pursuing such status should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for case-specific guidance. Those who lack a separate legal basis for remaining in the United States but who wish to explore their options should consult with an experienced immigration attorney immediately. Beneficiaries of Honduras TPS who intend to return to Honduras upon the expiration of Honduras TPS or who otherwise lack the ability to gain a separate legal status in the United States should use the 18-month period to set their affairs in order.
Beneficiaries of Honduras TPS will be required to re-register for TPS in advance of July 5, 2020, in order to retain benefits for the subsequent 18 months. The same applies for seeking employment authorization for that period. The Department of Homeland Security will post details on re-registering for Honduras TPS in the Federal Register. We will update the site with more information as it becomes available.
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1. Rosenberg, Mica and Gustavo Palencia. “Trump administration moves to expel some 57,000 Hondurans.” Reuters. May 4, 2018. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-honduras/trump-administration-moves-to-expel-some-57000-hondurans-reports-idUSKBN1I52DW