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Haiti Designated for Temporary Protected Status

Haiti Designated for Temporary Protected Status

PUBLISHED ON: June 22

UPDATE: On July 30, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security announced that the registration process for TPS designation for Haitians would open on August 3, 2021. For more details, please see the Federal Registrar notice, or consult with a knowledgable local immigration attorney.

 

After years of debate and legal challenges, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in May 2021 that Haiti will again be granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. The new designation will allow Haitian nationals to apply for TPS if they meet the eligibility requirements and they resided in the United States on or before May 21, 2021.

The announcement brings relief and new legal options to many Haitians currently living in the U.S. If you or a loved one believe you may be eligible for TPS status under the new designation, a skilled Chicago immigration attorney may be able to help.

Eligibility and Filing Requirements for TPS

Full details on Haiti’s TPS designation will be released soon, including the date the TPS designation goes into effect and how and when to apply. However, if you intend to seek TPS status, it is highly recommended that you consult with an immigration lawyer as soon as possible to determine your eligibility and begin gathering the documentation you’ll need to apply.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the following TPS eligibility requirements will apply to all beneficiaries, including:

  • You must be a national of a TPS designated country or a person without nationality who last lived in a designated country.
  • You must file during the open registration period, a re-registration period, or meet requirements for late filing.
  • You must have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since the effective date of the designation and continuously residing in the U.S. since the date specified for your country.

You may NOT be eligible for TPS, or could risk losing your current TPS status, if any of the following are true:

  • You are convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors in the U.S.
  • You are found to be inadmissible as an immigrant under INA section 212(a), which may include non-waivable criminal activity or security-related grounds.
  • Any of the mandatory bars to asylum apply to you, which may include participating in terrorist activity or persecution of others.
  • You fail to meet the continuous physical presence and/or residency in the U.S. requirements
  • You fail to meet the initial or late initial requirements for registration, or fail to re-register for TPS without good cause.

Benefits of Temporary Protected Status

TPS, as the name suggests, is temporary and does not result in any permanent change to your immigration status. However, TPS beneficiaries are eligible to receive other protections and benefits, such as:

  • Prevention from being removed or deported while TPS status is maintained
  • Eligibility for employment authorization document (EAD)
  • Ability to request and receive travel authorization
  • DHS may not detain TPS beneficiaries based on their immigration status

Why Did the United States Give Haiti TPS Designation?

America’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, granted the TPS designation due to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti that make it unsafe for Haitians to return home. DHS’s news release on the subject states that those conditions include “a political crisis and human rights abuses; serious security concerns; and the COVID-19 pandemic’s exacerbation of a dire economic situation and lack of access to food, water, and healthcare.”

Talk to an Experienced Immigration Attorney to Begin Your TPS Application

Even though the full details of Haiti’s most recent TPS designation are not available yet, those who plan to apply should not wait to act. The documentation you’ll need to complete your application can be difficult to gather, and you should prepare now. A knowledgeable immigration attorney can review your case, determine your eligibility for various immigration benefits, and help you submit the most complete application possible.

Sverdloff Law Group is a trusted source of high-quality legal guidance for Chicago immigrants and their families, and we are here to help. Our founding attorney, Julia Sverdloff, is an immigrant herself and understands the immigration process from all angles. Call our office today to request a consultation, or use our online form to submit your request now.

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