The Department of Homeland Security announced Friday that is will be extending Temporary Protected Status to nationals from Honduras and Nicaragua for an additional 18 months and instituting a new program to bring thousands of Haitian immigrants to U.S. 

Temporary Protected Status is a designation the DHS secretary may declare for certain foreign countries if “conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.”

The status allows the protected nationals — in this case those from Honduras and Nicaragua — to remain and be eligible to work in the United States.

Honduran and Nicaraguan nationals must apply to extend their TPS between Oct. 16, 2014 through Dec. 15, 2014 and the 18 month extension will run from Jan. 6, 2015, through July 5, 2016. They will also need to re-apply for work authorizations. 

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