On May 22, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security announced its intention to redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Although Haiti had already been designated for TPS, that only applied to Haitians who had been residing in the United States since January 12, 2011. The redesignation will now extend TPS to Haitians who have lived in the United States since May 21, 2021. This designation will be effective as soon as notice is published in the Federal Register. In short, this means that most Haitians present in the United States can now apply for protection from removal and a work permit.
What is Temporary Protected Status?
TPS is a designation countries can receive if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) believes that conditions in that country make it too dangerous to return there. Some common reasons for countries to receive TPS are natural disasters, such as earthquakes or hurricanes, civil war, or other widespread conflict. At the time a country receives TPS designation, any foreign national from that country present in the United States at the time can apply for TPS.
As the name suggests, TPS is temporary. It is generally granted for periods of 12 to 18 months, at which point DHS decides whether or not to renew TPS for that country. Because TPS is based on conditions in the home country, if DHS believes that conditions have improved, it can choose not renew TPS for that country.
The History of Haitian TPS:
Haiti was originally designated for TPS due to a massive earthquake that occurred on January 12, 2010, which prevented Haitians present in the United States from returning to Haiti. This allowed Haitians present in the United States at the time to apply for TPS, but it was not extended to Haitians who arrived after 2011.
On May 22, 2021, DHS determined that numerous factors have again made it unsafe for Haitians to return home. These factors include human rights abuses, security concerns, COVID-19, and a lack of access to food, water, and healthcare. As a result of the current situation in Haiti, the country was redesignated for TPS, allowing all Haitians residing in the United States since May 21, 2021 to apply for TPS.
What are the Basic Requirements to Obtain Temporary Protected Status?
In order to obtain TPS, you must meet the following basic conditions:
What are the Benefits of Temporary Protected Status?
TPS holders receive the following benefits:
Unfortunately, TPS does not currently provide a direct path to obtaining a green card or citizenship, but it can certainly make it easier to obtain a green card or citizenship in the future.
If you wish to learn more about your eligibility for TPS, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 427-6163.
The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation. The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.
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