Over the weekend, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced a new 18-month designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This new TPS designation enables Haitian nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Haiti) currently residing in the United States as of May 21, 2021 to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements.
Mayorkas cited, “serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” when making the determination to support Haitian nationals in the U.S. until conditions improve in their native land.
If you are a Haitian citizen currently residing in the U.S. on TPS, here is what you need to know:
- Haiti’s 18-month designation will go into effect on the publication date of the Federal Register notice which is scheduled to be released shortly. The notice will provide instructions for applying for TPS and employment authorization documentation.
- Individuals eligible for TPS under Haiti’s new designation must file an application for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the registration period that will begin upon publication of the Federal Register notice.
- This includes current beneficiaries under Haiti’s TPS designation, who will need to file a new application to register for TPS to ensure they do not lose TPS or experience a gap in coverage.
- Individuals filing for TPS may also request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and travel authorization. All individuals applying for TPS undergo security and background checks as part of determining eligibility.
- Existing TPS Haiti beneficiaries keep their TPS and TPS-related documents through October 4, 2021, and DHS will continue to extend the benefit and documents if required to comply with court orders. These beneficiaries may also be eligible to apply under the new designation of Haiti to receive TPS for the entire 18-month period that will be described in the soon-to-be published Federal Register notice.
We will be updating our blog as the situation progresses. If you have any questions regarding whether you qualify for TPS status, please call our office at 248-932-0990 and schedule a consultation.