Haiti is experiencing security issues, social unrest, increasing human rights violations, rampant poverty, and a lack of basic necessities. The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened these extraordinary and temporary conditions.
As a result, on May 22, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced a new 18-month Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti. This means that eligible Haitian nationals and individuals without nationality who last resided in Haiti as of May 21, 2021, can file an initial application for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Specific dates in which the designation period will go into effect and instructions TPS application will be included in the upcoming Federal Register notice on TPS Haiti, so keep an eye out for updates by clicking here. Keep in mind that current beneficiaries of Haiti’s TPS designation must file a new application to ensure they do not lose TPS status or suffer a gap in coverage. Currently, existing TPS Haiti beneficiaries can retain their TPS and TPS-related documents through October 4, 2021, which is subject to extension according to court orders.
Understanding TPS Designations
A foreign country may be designated for TPS if its conditions temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or the country cannot adequately handle the return of its nationals. As such, a country may be designated for TPS based on one or more of the following statutory grounds:
- Ongoing armed conflict
- Environmental disasters
- Extraordinary and temporary conditions
During a TPS designation period, preliminarily eligible beneficiaries get the following benefits:
- They are not removable from the United States
- They can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
- They may be authorized to travel
With the recent announcement of Haiti’s new 18-month TPS designation period, our attorneys invite you to learn how this designation may impact you as a current TPS beneficiary or TPS applicant. We are available to clarify any questions or concerns you may have, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us online or by calling (713) 839-0639!