Guidance on Late Initial Registration for TPS Applicants

This fact sheet focuses on the requirements for filing a late initial registration application for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended TPS for 18 months, through Jan. 5, 2012, to eligible nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua (and people having no nationality who last habitually resided in these countries). This extension does not apply to Hondurans and Nicaraguans who entered the United States after Dec. 30, 1998.

The re-registration period for Hondurans and Nicaraguans who already have TPS started on May 5, 2010 and will end on July 6, 2010. Further details on this extension of TPS for Honduras and Nicaragua appear in the Federal Register notices published on May 5, which announced the extension of these two designations. In addition, certain nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua who have not previously applied for TPS may be able to register under the late initial registration provisions.

Questions & Answers

Q1.  Can a Nicaraguan or Honduran who was in the United States as of Dec. 30, 1998, but did not register for TPS during the initial designation of Nicaragua and Honduras in 1999, register for TPS now?
A1. Yes, late initial registration is available in limited circumstances if you:

  • are a national of Honduras or Nicaragua, or an alien without nationality who last habitually resided in Honduras or Nicaragua; AND
  • have continuously resided in the United States since Dec. 30, 1998; AND
  • have been continuously physically present in the United States since Jan. 5, 1999; AND
  • satisfactorily complete the routine background checks required of all applicants; AND
  • meet certain other admissibility and eligibility criteria as specified in section 244(c) of the INA, 8 USC 1254a(c), and regulations at 8 CFR 244.1-244.9; AND
  • Meet the qualifying conditions listed below for late initial TPS registration.

Q2. What requirements or qualifying conditions do I need to meet to qualify for late initial registration?
A2. To qualify for a late initial TPS registration application, you must also demonstrate that at the time of the initial registration period of the TPS designation for Nicaragua or Honduras (Jan. 5, 1999 through Aug. 20, 1999), you:

  • were in a valid nonimmigrant status, or had been granted voluntary departure, or any relief from removal; OR
  • had a pending application for:

o Change of status;
o Adjustment of status;
o Asylum; OR

  • had voluntary departure; OR
  • had any relief from removal pending or subject to further review or appeal; OR
  • were a parolee or had a pending request for re-parole; OR
  • were the spouse or child of an alien currently eligible to be a TPS registrant. (see 8 CFR 244.2(f)(2).

If you are applying for TPS for the first time under the  late initial registration provisions, you must register while one of the above qualifying conditions still exists, or no later than 60 days after the expiration or termination of the qualifying condition. The qualifying condition you seek to use for eligibility under late initial filing must have existed during the initial TPS registration period for Nicaragua or the initial TPS registration period for Honduras TPS (January 5, 1999 through August 20, 1999).

Q3. If I didn’t have a qualifying condition during the initial TPS registration period, but had it during the last re-registration (extension), am I eligible to submit a late initial filing for TPS now?
A3. No. One of the qualifying conditions must have applied to you during the initial 1999 TPS registration periods for Honduras and Nicaragua.

Q4. If I am currently the spouse or child of someone granted TPS, but I did not apply for TPS during the initial registration period, can I submit a late initial filing now?
A4. The family relationship must also have existed during the 1999 initial registration period. You must also meet all the basic TPS eligibility requirements.

Q5. How do I learn more about TPS?
A5. Please contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (TTY). You may also visit the USCIS’ Web site’s TPS page by clicking here.  To learn more about USCIS’ programs, visit