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This Week in Immigration News: Validity of TPS EADs, Visa Guidance for Bahamians

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Validity of TPS EADs with a September 9, 2019 Expiration Date Remain Valid through January 2, 2020 for El Salvador, Sudan, Nicaragua, and Haiti

The DOJ has announced that Employment Authorization Cards received under the Temporary Protected Status country designation for El Salvador, Sudan, Nicaragua, and Haiti, with a September 9, 2019 expiration date will remain valid through January 2, 2020.

Earlier this year, the government published a notice in the Federal Register indicating that DHS would be automatically extending through January 2, 2020, the validity of TPS-related Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), Forms I-797, Notice of Action (Approval Notice), and Forms I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) (collectively “TPS-Related Documentation”), for beneficiaries under the TPS designations for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador, provided that the affected TPS beneficiaries remain otherwise individually eligible for TPS.

DHS has issued a notice reminding Salvadorians that EADs that show a category code of “A-12” or “C-19” and an expiration date of 09/09/2019 remain valid through January 2, 2020.

EAD holders do not need to present additional documentation for the automatic extension to apply. The automatic extension applies to several TPS-designated countries, including El Salvador, Sudan, Nicaragua, and Haiti.

Guidance for Bahamian Visa Applicants

In light of the recent devastation in the Bahamas, the U.S. Embassy in Nassau is open for emergency visa appointments. Additionally, U.S. CBP Ports of Entry are prepared to temporarily relocate Bahamians to the United States.

All travelers applying for admission to the United States via air or sea must meet the following document requirements for admission to ensure a lawful and orderly arrival to the United States:

  • Bahamians must be in possession of a valid, unexpired passport or a Bahamian Travel Document listing nationality as Bahamian.
  • Bahamians arriving to the United States by vessel must be in possession of a valid passport AND valid travel visa.
  • Detailed information on all visa application requirements and processes, as well as a step-by-step guide to visa applications for Bahamians, can be found at https://bs.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas (https://bs.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas)

Bahamian citizens may apply for admission to the United States without a visa at one of the CBP Preclearance facilities located in Nassau or Freeport International Airports, IF they meet the following requirements:

  1. Be traveling on a flight that CBP completes immigration and customs inspections in Nassau or Freeport. (*Note – Bahamians traveling on to another country and expecting to transit the United States on their return will need a visa);
  2. Be in possession of a valid, unexpired passport or a Bahamian Travel Document listing nationality as Bahamian;
  3. Have no criminal record nor any legal ineligibility or inadmissibility as defined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (click here (https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/About%20Us/Electronic%20Reading%20Room/Applican );
  4. Be traveling for business or pleasure (tourism, visiting relatives, shopping, etc.) purposes for a short duration;
  5. All persons 14 years of age and older must be in possession of a police certificate (https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Supplemental/RGA%20-%20Riga.pdf) issued within the past six months;
  6. Bahamians traveling through the United States to a third country must possess a valid visa for return travel through the U.S.