What can you do if your TPS expires? Here is information about TPS for people from El Salvador.
TPS El Salvador – when does my TPS expire?
Update November 4, 2019: TPS for El Salvador has been extended.
The US government published a notice in the Federal Register. The notice says that TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras and Nepal is extended until TPS court cases have been settled. If you have TPS for El Salvador, your TPS documents are automatically extended to January 4, 2021.
What happens next?
This notice is because of a court case. You will need to wait for the court decision to know that final outcome. We will update this page as soon as we have more information.
Do I need to re-register?
The notice says that the extension is automatic. Look for further updates on the USCIS El Salvador information page.
What about my employment authorization documents (EAD)?
The notice says the automatic extension applies to employment authorization documents (EADs).
Questions about registering late?
USCIS may accept a late registration or re-registration application if you have good cause. Go to this USCIS page and click on “Filing Late” to find out if you qualify.
What happens when TPS expires?
When your TPS expires, your legal status will go back to what it was before. You can apply to change your status or you can leave the United States. This is called adjusting your status.
Most Salvadorans with temporary protected status arrived in the United States without legal authorization. If you stay without any legal status, you will risk being arrested and/or deported.
El Salvador’s government announced it is negotiating with Qatar to accept Salvadorans expelled from the United States, permitting them to live and work temporarily in the Gulf country. Bolivia has also emerged as a contender among a range of countries under consideration to receive Salvadorans.
What can I do?
You can meet with a lawyer
What if I can’t meet with a lawyer? What if I can’t afford a lawyer?
We know many individuals cannot meet with a lawyer. Here is more information to help you understand your options. This is not legal advice but instead information to help you consider your choices.
Find help online
Immi helps immigrants understand their legal options. You can use their online screening tool to guide you to your best options. Take the immi interview to see if you qualify for a different immigration status. Immi’s legal information and referral advice are always free.
You can also download a factsheet about Temporary Protected Status in the United States for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti from the American Immigration Council.
You can try to change your status
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says:
“TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status. However, registration for TPS does not prevent you from:
- Applying for non-immigrant status
- Filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition
- Applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible”
Of the approximately 262,500 Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries, more than 42,700 have been granted lawful permanent resident status, according to USCIS.
Applying for non-immigrant status
Even if TPS is considered a qualification to adjust status, you must be eligible to apply. You may apply for a green card if you entered lawfully and meet other requirements. These may be because of your family or your job. Find out how to apply for citizenship.
Applying for asylum
Every year people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
TPS holders can apply for asylum status, especially if they have been here a year or less. If you have been here for less than a year, you should APPLY NOW. However, it is very important that you know the USCIS has recently changed how asylum applications are processed. Now, they are reviewing the most recent applications first. Once you submit an application for asylum, it might be a very short time before your case is heard. So, you must only apply for asylum if you do qualify because otherwise you risk having your case heard and then being deported. You can fill in the form to apply for asylum (this is a legal form and it would be best if you had a lawyer to help you complete the form).
If you have been in the U.S. more than one year, you can still apply for asylum but it will be more difficult (and it is already hard to win an asylum case). Find out more about how to apply for asylum.
If you do decide to apply for asylum, you should try to find a pro-bono (low cost or free attorney) to help you. You can search for a pro-bono or low-cost lawyer on ImmigrationLawHelp.com or on the CLINIC legal directory.
Applying for other protected status
Some TPS holders may stay in the United States under special visas. There are visas for victims of human trafficking, battered spouses, children or parents and victims of other crimes.
If you are a woman and think you might qualify for a special visa because of violence, abuse or another reason, you can contact the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project.
If you entered without documents
Depending on where you live, you may be able to apply for change of status even if you entered the United States without paperwork. This is because gaining TPS counts as admission in some parts of the United States.
Can I ask my work to sponsor me?
It is possible for your employer to help you stay lawfully in the United States by sponsoring you. Your employer will have to go through a long process with USCIS. Depending on the kind of work you do, your employer may be able to get you a special visa or permit. If they want to help you, they should start the process now to find out if you are eligible. Employers can find more information from USCIS. However, normally only immigrants who are highly skilled are able to find employers who will sponsor them. These might include doctors, engineers, and tech workers. If you work at a basic or entry level job, do not ask your employer for this option.
What will happen if I stay in the country without documents? (What if I become an illegal immigrant?)
If you stay in the country without documents, you risk being deported or arrested. Here are some pages with more information to help you understand your rights and what to do if you are detained.
Do you know your rights? These easy-to-use resources about different situations were created by the ACLU so you can have your rights at your fingertips.
Arabic, English, Spanish, Somali, Urdu, Mandarin, French, Hindi, and Punjabi languages. Manuals for LGBTQ immigrants, adults, and unaccompanied children.
How to contact the Embassy of El Salvador in the USA
The address of the embassy is 1400 16th Street NW Suite 100, Washington DC 20036.
The phone number is: (202) 595-7500.
Are you looking for information to advocate for TPS holders?
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition offers resources to help you take action.
Information provided with the support of CWS and CLINIC. Other information on this page comes from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Register, USCIS and other trusted sources. It is intended for guidance and is updated as often as possible. USAHello does not give legal advice, nor are any of our materials intended to be taken as legal advice. If you are looking for a free or low-cost lawyer or legal help, we can help you find free and low-cost legal services.