Employers Heads Up! – Spotting TPS Beneficiaries of the March 2019 Automatic Extension

On March 1, 2019, a notice was published by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)[1] announcing that beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from:

Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador

will continue to retain their TPS status while the preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Ramos v. Nielson, No. 18-cv-01554 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 3, 2018) remains in effect, if the person’s TPS is not otherwise withdrawn.  In addition, USCIS announced in the same notice that it was AUTOMATICALLY extending the validity of TPS-based employment authorization documents (EADs) and I-94s (arrival/departure records) for such foreign nationals, through January 2, 2020, if they remain otherwise eligible for TPS status.

How can I determine if the automatic extension applies?

EADs affected will have the category codes of A-12 or C-9 and one of the expiration dates noted below:











This automatic extension also applies to TPS beneficiaries from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti or El Salvador who have a pending EAD application, who have yet to receive the new EAD, if their current EAD reflects one of the expiration dates noted in the chart above.

What documents might a TPS beneficiary present to show their qualification for the automatic extension?

TPS beneficiaries may present the Federal Register notice referenced above and their EAD with the required dates to establish work authorization for the additional nine months.  Note that 30 days before January 2, 2020 (Dec. 3, 2019), USCIS will issue another Federal Register notice either extending the TPS-related documents again for another nine months from January 2, 2020 or provide information regarding how to obtain renewed TPS documentation, as applicable.

How do you update the Form I-9 for such TPS Automatic Extensions?

As to Section 2 of the Form I-9, USCIS provide the following:

New Employees

If a TPS or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) employee presents an EAD that is expired but has been automatically extended, the employer should:

  • Record the document title
  • Record the document number
  • Record the issuing authority
  • Record the date the EAD has been automatically extended to as the expiration date

Existing Employees

If an existing TPS or DED employee presented an EAD when first completing Form I-9 and the EAD has been automatically extended, by the expiration date on the card, the employer should:

  • Draw a line through the expiration date for the EAD written in Section 2
  • Write the new date to which that the EAD has been extended above the previous date
  • Write “TPS Ext.” or “DED Ext.” in the Additional Information area in Section 2
  • Initial and date the correction in the Additional Information area in Section 2

About the Author:

Kathleen Campbell Walker is a member of Dickinson Wright PLLC and serves as a co-chair of the Immigration Practice Group. She is a former national president and general counsel of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  She serves on the AILA Board of Governors.  In 2014, she received the AILA Founder’s Award, which is awarded from time to time to the person or entity, who has had the most substantial impact on the field of immigration law or policy in the preceding period (established 1950).  She has testified several times before Congress on matters of immigration policy and border security. She may be reached in our El Paso, TX office at 915-541-9360 and you may view Kathleen’s bio here.


[1] 84 Fed. Reg. 7103 (March 1, 2019).