[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 227 (Monday, November 24, 2008)]
[Pages 71021-71022]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-27703]



U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2454-08; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2008-0032]
RIN 1615-ZA77

Extension of the Re-Registration Period and Automatic Extension 
of Employment Authorization Documentation for Nicaraguan Temporary 
Protected Status Beneficiaries

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: On October 1, 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
published a Notice in the Federal Register extending the designation of 
Nicaragua for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through July 5, 2010. 
USCIS has decided to extend the re-registration period through December 
30, 2008. Beneficiaries of TPS for Nicaragua are required to re-
register and obtain new Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), when 
an EAD is

[[Page 71022]]

requested by the beneficiary. Since, USCIS will not be able to process 
and re-issue new EADs for all such beneficiaries by the January 5, 
2009, expiration date, USCIS has decided to automatically extend the 
validity of EADs issued to Nicaraguan nationals (or aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Nicaragua) until July 5, 
2009. This Notice announces that extension and also explains how TPS 
beneficiaries and their employers may determine which EADs are 
automatically extended.

DATES: This notice is effective November 24, 2008. The re-registration 
period will be extended through December 30, 2008. The automatic 
extension of EADs will begin on January 6, 2009, and will remain in 
effect until July 5, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: TPS Operations Program Manager, Status 
and Family Branch, Office of Service Center Operations, U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 
20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20529, telephone (202) 
272-1533. This is not a toll-free call. Further information will also 
be available at local USCIS offices upon publication of this Notice and 
on the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov. Note: The phone number 
provided here is solely for questions regarding this TPS notice. It is 
not for individual case status inquiries. Applicants seeking 
information about the status of their individual case can check Case 
Status Online available at the USCIS Web site listed above, or 
applicants may call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-
800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).


Why is USCIS extending the re-registration period for Nicaraguan TPS 

    In order to provide greater uniformity and avoid potential 
confusion between the re-registration periods for the three Central 
American countries currently designated for TPS, USCIS has decided to 
extend the re-registration period through December 30, 2008.

Why is USCIS automatically extending the validity of EADs for 
Nicaraguan TPS beneficiaries?

    Considering the large number of applications, it is likely that 
many re-registrants will not receive their new EAD until after the 
expiration date of their current EAD. In order to prevent a gap in 
employment authorization for qualified re-registrants, DHS will 
automatically extend the validity of applicable EADs for Nicaraguan TPS 
beneficiaries until July 5, 2009.

Who is eligible to receive an automatic six-month EAD extension from 
January 6, 2009, to July 5, 2009?

    You are eligible to receive an automatic six-month extension of an 
EAD if you:
     Are a national of Nicaragua (or an alien having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Nicaragua);
     Applied for and received an EAD under the designation of 
Nicaragua for TPS; and
     Have not had TPS withdrawn or denied.
    This automatic extension is limited to EADs issued on Form I-766, 
Employment Authorization Document, bearing an expiration date of 
January 5, 2009. These EADs must also bear the notation ``A-12'' or 
``C-19'' on the face of the card under ``Category.''

How may employers determine whether an EAD has been automatically 
extended for six months, through July 5, 2009, and is therefore 
acceptable for completion of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility 

    An EAD that has been automatically extended for six months by this 
Notice through July 5, 2009, will bear the notation ``A-12'' or ``C-
19'' on the face of the Form I-766 under ``Category,'' and have an 
expiration date of January 5, 2009, on the face of the card. New EADs 
or extension stickers showing the July 5, 2009, expiration date of the 
six-month automatic extension will not be issued. Employers should not 
request proof of Nicaraguan citizenship.
    Employers should accept an EAD as a valid ``List A'' document and 
not ask for additional Form I-9 documentation if presented with an EAD 
that has been extended pursuant to this Federal Register Notice, and 
the EAD reasonably appears on its face to be genuine and to relate to 
the employee. This extension does not affect the right of an applicant 
for employment or an employee to present any legally acceptable 
document as proof of identity and eligibility for employment.

    Note to Employers: Employers are reminded that the laws 
requiring employment eligibility verification and prohibiting unfair 
immigration-related employment practices remain in full force. This 
Notice does not supersede or in any way limit applicable employment 
verification rules and policy guidance, including those setting 
forth re-verification requirements. For questions, employers may 
call the USCIS Customer Assistance Office at 1-800-357-2099. 
Employers may also call the U.S. Department of Justice Office of 
Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices 
(OSC) Employer Hotline at 1-800-255-8155. Employees or applicants 
may call the OSC Employee Hotline at 1-800-255-7688 for information 
regarding the automatic extension. Additional information is 
available on the OSC Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/osc/index.html.

How may employers determine an employee's eligibility for employment 
once the automatic six-month extension expires on July 5, 2009?

    Eligible TPS aliens will possess an EAD on Form I-766 with an 
expiration date of July 5, 2010. The EAD will bear the notation ``A-
12'' or ``C-19'' on the face of the card under ``Category,'' and should 
be accepted for the purposes of verifying identity and employment 

What documents may a qualified individual show to his or her employer 
as proof of employment authorization and identity when completing Form 

    Qualified individuals who have received a six-month automatic 
extension of their EADs by virtue of this Federal Register Notice may 
present their TPS-based EADs to their employers, as described above, as 
proof of identity and employment authorization through July 5, 2009. To 
minimize confusion over this extension at the time of hire or re-
verification, qualified individuals may also present a copy of this 
Federal Register Notice regarding the automatic extension of employment 
authorization documentation through July 5, 2009. After July 5, 2009, a 
qualified individual may present a new EAD valid through July 5, 2010.
    In the alternative, any legally acceptable document or combination 
of documents as listed on the Form I-9 may be presented as proof of 
identity and employment eligibility.

    Dated: November 11, 2008.
Jonathan R. Scharfen,
Acting Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
 [FR Doc. E8-27703 Filed 11-21-08; 8:45 am]