Here is information about Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from El Salvador. You will learn: about the TPS extension; if you need to re-register; your employment authorization; late registration; what happens when TPS expires; how to get legal help; changing your immigration status; help if you become undocumented; and how to contact the Embassy of El Salvador.
Is there a TPS extension?
The US government published a Federal Register notice. The notice says that TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan is extended until TPS court cases have been settled.
If you have TPS for El Salvador, your TPS documents are automatically extended to December 31, 2022.
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.
Are my employment authorization documents (EAD) extended?
The notice says the automatic extension applies to your work permit. You can continue to work in the United States.
Questions about registering late?
USCIS may accept a late registration or re-registration application if you have good cause and were not able to register during the registration period. 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.
How can I get legal help?
You can meet with a lawyer
If you can, the best thing to do is meet with a lawyer or BIA accredited representative. You can search for a lIf you can, the best thing to do is meet with a lawyer. You can search for a low-cost lawyer on ImmigrationLawHelp.com or on the CLINIC legal directory.
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. In immigration law there are also many providers who are non-profits who receive training in immigration law. They go through a process with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to become BIA accredited representatives. These representatives must work for a non-profit organization and most have low cost or no cost services.
You can search for an accredited representative in the Department of Justice.
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.
Can I change my immigration 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 application based on an immigrant petition
- On June 7, 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that TPS holders cannot apply (under most circumstances) for a green card if they entered the U.S. without inspection at the border.
- If you are a TPS holder and entered the U.S. with a visa and then overstayed your visa, you can still apply for a green card.
- Applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible
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.
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.
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.
What will happen if I stay in the country without documents? (What if I become an undocumented 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.
Freedom for Immigrants has a list of resources that may help you and your family if you are facing deportation or are at risk.
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.
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.