USCIS has announced that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for both Honduras and Nicaragua. have been extended for 18 months effective July 6, 2016, allowing for benefits effective through January 5 of 2018.
Employment Authorization is one of the benefits of TPS and, when TPS is extended, it is possible that eligible individuals, with Employment Authorization Documents (EAD)s that appear expired on their face, may still have valid employment authorization through this extension. The EAD of TPS beneficiaries generally have the "category code" of A-12 or C-19. Employers do not need to know in advance whether an employee is a TPS beneficiary and it is important that employers not require employees, who are providing acceptable employment authorization documentation to satisfy the Form I-9, what their status is. Employers must only ensure that expiring documents are reverified timely (in advance of expiration). A TPS beneficiary from Honduras or Nicaragua may provide their EAD expiring July 5, 2016 and the Federal Register Notice as evidence of the extension of their employment authorization through January 5, 2018. It is important for employers to understand that instructions for updating the Form I-9 for TPS beneficiaries is included in the Federal Register Notice whenever TPS is extended and they should therefore follow those instructions closely.