Employment Authorization Extended for Some Hondurans / Nicaraguans under TPS

A new INS announcement on July 2, 2001 marks good news for current Honduran and Nicaraguan TPS class members. INS announced an automatic extension of the expiration date of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from July 5, 2001 to December 5, 2001.

There is no need to apply for this extension. However, the extension is only temporary. Beneficiaries will need to get a valid EAD card after December 5, 2001 for employment authorization.

The extension is valid ONLY for EADs that are issued to Honduran and Nicaraguan nationals currently registered under TPS designations for those two countries. The card must expire on July 5, 2001. If the EAD was issued on a Form I-766, the card must bear “A-12” or “C-19” under “Category”. If the EAD was issued under a Form I-688B, the card must bear “274A.12(A)(12)” or “274A.12(c)(19) under “Provision of Law”.

INS Begins Premium Processing Service

The INS announced in early June that American businesses will have the ability to obtain faster processing rates for employment-based applications. The Premium Processing Service was passed by legislation in December 2000. As of June 1, 2001, businesses are eligible to file a completed Form I-907 for both pending and new non-immigrant employment petitions.

INS will issue either an approval notice or denial within 15 days of filing. If INS misses the 15-day deadline, it will refund the entire $1000 while continuing to work on the pending application. Companies may also check on the status of their application(s) via a dedicated phone line and e-mail address.

Businesses may request for premium processing for their application(s) by filing Form I-907 and paying the $1000 fee. This fee should be paid by check or money order, and can not be added into the regular visa application fee.

INS has presently designated Form I-129 for premium processing for the following visas: E-1, E-2, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-2, P-3 and Q-1.

The H-1B, R-1 and TN Visas will be added to the Premium Processing program on July 30, 2001.

INS expects the new program to generate an annual revenue of $80 million. This added revenue will be used to hire additional staff and make improvements in INS infrastructure.