DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced on November 10, 2022 the re-designation and extension of the TPS for Haiti. Those who meet the eligibility requirements can still apply for the Temporary Protected Status.
The following article explains who can apply for TPS for Haiti under this designation and what to do if you are not eligible. This guide was written by the legal experts from the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon, but it does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal counsel or representation, do not hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.
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What is TPS?
TPS or Temporary Protected Status is an immigration benefit that allows individuals of certain nationalities to live and work in the United States. Specifically, once you get TPS, you:
- Are no longer removable from the US
- Can obtain work authorization (EAD)
- Can apply for travel authorization
Who can apply for TPS?
The Secretary of Homeland Security – in this case, Alejandro Mayorkas – may designate the citizens of a country for TPS if there are circumstances that make it unsafe for them to return home (wars, natural disasters, severe economic crisis, etc). Once a country is designated for TPS, eligible citizens (or individuals without nationality who last resided in said country) who meet the eligibility criteria may file for TPS.
Why was Haiti designated for TPS?
Recent events in Haiti have made it very difficult for Haitians abroad to return home. Haiti is experiencing several crises at once: from political instability to climate disasters and economic recession, more and more Haitians are desperate to leave the island or delay their return home until conditions improve.
TPS eligibility requirements
- You are a national of the designated country/a person without nationality who last resided in that country
- You have been continuously physically present in the US since the date of the designation (if there were multiple designations, this applies to the latest one) and have been continuously residing in the US.
TPS for Haiti
The most recent TPS designation for Haiti was announced on August 3, 2021. The country has been re-designated for another 18 months last November, meaning beneficiaries will get TPS until February 2023. Eligible Haitians can still apply for TPS if they meet the eligibility requirements. Below we leave the relevant dates for those looking to apply.
Additionally, Haitians who received TPS under the 2011 designation and are covered by the Ramos Injunction can register for TPS under the 2021 designation.
Political instability, economic crisis and climate disasters are preventing Haitians abroad from returning home.
Important Dates for TPS Eligibility (Haiti only)
The following dates apply only for those filing for TPS for Haiti under the 2021 designation.
- Continuous Residence in the United States (CR requisite): since July 29, 2021
- Continuous Physical Presence in the United States (CPP requisite): since August 3, 2021
If you are eligible for TPS for Haiti, you can still register until February 2023. Do not hesitate to file your application if you meet the criteria, as TPS, unlike asylum, does not require that you prove that you cannot return home.
If you are Haitian but are not eligible for TPS, there are still other options you can pursue to lawfully stay in the United States:
- If you have a close relative or spouse who is a US resident or legal permanent resident, you may apply for a family-based Green Card
- You can apply for asylum and present your case before the immigration court
- If you were the victim of a crime, you can apply for a U Visa
Before applying for any immigration benefit, you should take a moment to explore your options and make an informed decision. Most immigration cases require the legal assistance of an experienced immigration attorney; they can help you navigate the system, prepare your paperwork and gather reliable evidence when required.
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