DOJ Grants 12-Month extension of Temporary Protected Status for eligible El Salvadorans

As part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to assist El Salvador in recovering from the devastating earthquake that affected the nation, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week an extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador for a period of 12 months until September 9, 2003. This TPS extension, which covers more than 260,000 Salvadoran registrants, is effective September 9, 2002 and will remain in effect until September 9, 2003. Salvadorans with TPS who have TPS applications pending must re-register during the re-registration period. The re-registration period begins September 9, 2002 and will remain in effect until November 12, 2002. Re-registration applications will not be accepted before September 9, 2002.

“As a direct result of the devastating earthquakes last year, there continues to be a substantial disruption of living conditions in El Salvador that has caused havoc to that country. Although El Salvador continues to make progress in the recovery, the environmental disaster makes it difficult for the country to handle adequately the return of its nationals,” said Attorney General John Ashcroft. “This one-year extension reflects the Administration’s continued commitment to assist El Salvador in its hour of need,”

Re-registration is available only to persons who registered under the initial El Salvador TPS designation, which ends on September 9, 2002. Nationals of El Salvador (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador) who previously have not applied for TPS may be eligible to apply for TPS under late initial registration provisions.

This extension does not allow Salvadorans who entered the United States after February 13, 2001 to apply for TPS.

This extension covers only Salvadorans who have been continually present in the United States as of March 9, 2001 and who have continually resided in the United States since February 13, 2001. An extension of TPS does not change the required dates of continuous physical presence and residence in the United States.

TPS beneficiaries who need to travel outside the United States during the coming year must receive advance parole from their local INS office prior to departing the

United States. Failure to do so may jeopardize their ability to return to the United States. Advance parole allows an individual to travel abroad and return to the United States. Advance parole is issued on a case-by-case basis. Individuals who are granted TPS may apply for advance parole by filing Form 1431 at their local INS district office

Section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes the Attorney General to grant or extend TPS to aliens in the United States who are nationals of countries where armed conflict, natural disaster or other extraordinary conditions have created a temporary situation to which return is either unsafe or unfeasible.