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Extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) For Haiti

Due to Haiti’s extraordinary and temporary conditions, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, has approved the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals for an additional 18 months from February 4, 2023, until August 3, 2024.

Haiti’s unsafe and prolonged conditions, including political and economic instability, and lack of access to food, water, and healthcare services as a result of an outbreak in the country, promoted Secretary Mayorkas to rededicate Haiti for TPS. This redesignation is available to Haitian nationals who have been in the U.S. as of  November 6, 2022, and will be available to these individuals until August 3, 2024. TPS for Haitian nationals was originally designated in 2011 and is likely to remain in effect until the conditions in Haiti improve. 

Individuals who have been residing in the U.S. as of November 6, 2022, and who meet all the requirements for TPS may apply for this status. Otherwise, those who entered the U.S. after November 6, 2022, will not be eligible to apply under this designation and may face removal and deportation from the U.S.

What is TPS?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary grant of immigration status for the nationals of certain countries who are experiencing unsafe and prolonged conditions in their home country, thus, making it difficult or dangerous for the residents to be deported back to those countries. These unsafe and prolonged conditions include, but are not limited to, countries that are facing an ongoing army conflict, environmental disaster, or any extraordinary country conditions. 

It is important to note that a grant of TPS does not lead to permanent resident status (otherwise known as a “Green Card”). However, TPS does provide qualified applicants with lawful authorization to work in the U.S. upon approval of their Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (work permit). These individuals will also be granted a stay of deportation during the duration of their approved TPS status. In February of 2022, about 354,625 people with approved TPS status resided in the United States. 

The Secretary of Homeland Security has the authority to decide when a country merits a TPS designation. A TPS designation can be made for 6, 12, or 18 months. The Secretary must decide whether to extend or terminate a country’s designation of TPS based on the current conditions of the foreign country. If a decision to extend or terminate TPS is not published within 60 days of the designation’s expiration, the designation will automatically be extended for up to six (6) additional months.


TPS designation History for Haiti

The Secretary of Homeland Security originally designated TPS to Haiti in 2010 when a massive earthquake devastated the country and caused severe destruction. The natural disaster further resulted in Haitian nationals having to perpetuate their residences and flee to neighboring countries to avoid the extreme and uninhabitable conditions in their country. Haitian nationals in Haiti were living below the poverty line at 80 percent, thus, resulting in a rapid decline in the country’s social and economic status. Despite the assessments and efforts of the government, it may take decades for Haiti to recuperate its services, habitability, and basic commodities in a thriving and suitable manner for its residents. 

The Secretary of Homeland Security redesignated Haiti for TPS in 2021, permitting nationals of Haiti who were residing in the U.S. as of August 3, 2021,  to apply for TPS through the new designation period of August 3, 2021, to February 3, 2023. This redesignation of Haiti’s TPS in 2021 allowed thousands of Haitian nationals who were not previously eligible for TPS under the prior 2011 designation to then gain lawful status and eligibility to work in the U.S. This decision by the Secretary of Homeland Security arrived at a crucial time for Haitian nationals, as the country of Haiti experienced a declining political crisis followed by the untimely assassination of the country’s President, Jovenel Moïse. Addedly, Haiti experienced an increase in violence and human rights abuses, rising food insecurity, malnutrition, waterborne disease epidemics, and high vulnerability to natural disasters, thus, preventing Haitian nationals and residents from safely returning to Haiti.

As the conditions in Haiti have yet to improve and continue to decline, the Secretary of Homeland Security has yet again redesignated Haiti for TPS in 2022, permitting nationals of Haiti who were residing in the U.S. as of November 6, 2022,  to apply for TPS through the new designation period of November 6, 2022, to August 3, 2024. Another win for the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, as he provides extended avenues for Haitian nationals seeking shelter from unsafe and uninhabitable conditions abroad. Nationals who have not yet applied for Haiti’s TPS under the November 6, 2022 designation can still apply during the 18-month registration period which is valid from November 6, 2022, to August 3, 2024. Applications after August 3, 2024, will not be accepted unless the Applicant qualifies for late initial filing or if the Secretary of Homeland Security publishes notices of another redesignation through the Federal Register Notice. However, nationals of Haiti who are still residing abroad may qualify for parole in the United States based on the parole expansion program for Haitians, Venezuelans, Cubans, and Nicaraguans

TPS: What are the Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for TPS, you must:

  • Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;
  • File your TPS application during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation
  • Have been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country; and
  • Have been continuously residing in the United States since the date specified for your country. The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. 

You may NOT be eligible for TPS or to maintain your existing TPS if you:

  • Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States;
  • Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;
  • Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum. These include, but are not limited to, participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity;
  • Fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements;
  • Fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements; or
  • If granted TPS, you fail to re-register for TPS, as required, without good cause.

TPS for Haiti: What Documentation is Required for the Application

Identity and Nationality Evidence:

Applicants must demonstrate their identity and establish that they are a national of a country designated for TPS (or that they have no nationality and they last habitually resided in a country designated for TPS).

    • A copy of your passport;
    • A copy of your birth certificate, accompanied by photo identification; 
    • Any national identity document bearing your photograph and/or fingerprint  issued by your country, including documents issued by your country’s Embassy or Consulate in the United States, such as a national ID card or naturalization certificate;
    • Nationality documentation, such as a naturalization certificate, even if it does not have your photograph and fingerprint;
    • Your baptismal certificate if it indicates your nationality or a parent’s nationality;
    • Copies of your school or medical records if they have information supporting your claim that you are a national from a country designated for TPS;
    • Copies of other immigration documents showing your nationality and identity; or
    • Affidavits from friends or family members who have close personal knowledge of the date and place of your birth and your parents’ nationality. The person making the affidavit should include information about how he or she knows you or is related to you, and how he or she knows the details of the date and place of your birth and the nationality of your parents.  The nationality of your parents is important if you are from a country where nationality is derived from a parent.

Date of Entry Evidence:

Applicants must demonstrate when they entered the United States to ensure that they entered on or before the cut-off date.

    • A copy of your passport;
    • I-94 Arrival/Departure Record; or
    • Any other additional/helpful evidence

Continuous Residence Evidence:

Applicants must demonstrate that they have been in the United States since the continuous residence date specified for their country.

    • Hospital or Medical records;
    • Employment records (i.e., pay stubs, employer letters, W-2, federal and/or state
    • tax returns);
    • Rent receipts, lease agreements, deeds, mortgages, etc.;
    • Paid utility bills;
    • Paid phone bills;
    • School records;
    • Sworn, notarized affidavits from individuals who can attest to your U.S. residence;
    • Birth certificates of children born in the U.S.;
    • Automobile title receipts, title, vehicle registration, etc.;
    • Insurance policy receipts/letters; or
    • Any other additional/helpful evidence.

Additional Documentation

    • Two (2) passport-style photographs (if applicable)
    • USCIS Filing Fees (if applicable)
    • TPS and EAD application form(s)

TPS for Haiti: Obtaining Legal Representation

The TPS process seems relatively easy, but in some cases, an application may become complex—criminal history, status violations, and even minor application mistakes or lack of supporting documents can result in a delay or denial of your application.

While it is not mandatory, it is always highly recommended to hire a knowledgeable Immigration Attorney to assist you with the preparation of your immigration application(s) and to accompany you during your USCIS interviews and/or immigration court appearances. 

A reputable Immigration Law Firm, such as the Law Office of Olivia C Cummings, will have an experienced attorney review your entire case to determine what process is best for you moving forward. A case review by an Immigration Attorney will help to weed out any possible issues that may arise in an attempt to eliminate the possibility of an application denial, or worse, an immigrant being placed into deportation and removal proceedings.

If you would like to schedule a consultation with our Immigration Attorney, you may contact our office today via phone at (772)236-0148 or via email at office@cummingslawpractice.com. You can also visit our website at www.cummingslawpractice.com.

Attention: This article was written to provide general information, which should not be construed as legal advice. If you are seeking advice on a specific legal matter, you are encouraged to contact our law firm directly and schedule a consultation with our Immigration Attorney for a thorough review of your case.

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