Temporary Protected Status for Haitian Nationals

Temporary Protected Status for Haitian Nationals

The U.S. will extend temporary protected status to Haitian Nationals. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced on March 22, 2021, that qualifying Haitians would receive TPS because of conditions in their country. Keep reading for more information.

Haiti

Haitians have been granted TPS in the past, specifically in January 2010, after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the country and caused mass chaos and destruction. Temporary status was revoked in 2019 as a part of an executive order from Former President Trump.

Several lawsuits alleging flaws and animosity toward non-white immigrants blocked Trump’s order from taking full effect. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, human rights abuses, and economic downturn, Haitians need sustainable help.

U.S. Representative Mondaire Jones says, “I am proud that the Biden Administration has heeded my call to redesignate Haiti for TPS. At a time when Haiti is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation humanitarian crisis, this redesignation will save lives.”

What Is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

The Secretary of Homeland Security can designate temporary protected status to a country or nation based on conditions that may prevent nationals from returning safely.

These conditions include:

  • Environmental disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, and epidemics
  • Ongoing armed conflicts
  • Other extraordinary conditions

During the designation period, nationals with TPS are not removable from the U.S., and they can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD) and travel authorization. Keep in mind that TPS is temporary – once the designated period is over, TPS no longer applies.

However, if you receive temporary protected status, you can apply for nonimmigrant status and file for additional immigration benefits. For example, you may apply for adjustment of status and lawful permanent residence.

Granting TPS

Secretary Mayorkas comments on the decision to extend TPS; “After careful consideration, we determined that we must do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may safely return home.”

Haitian advocacy groups like the New York Immigration Coalition are thankful for the order. They see the decision as evidence of the Administration’s commitment to humanitarian values. Haitian immigrants will be able to stay together and pursue new opportunities under the protection of the DHS.

The NYIC is a group of advocacy organizations in New York state who provide resources and support for Haitian nationals in the United States. They estimate that temporary protected status will benefit over 50,000 Haitians nationwide in addition to the more than 5,200 residing in New York.

Haitian TPS has already taken effect so that qualifying immigrants will file for TPS over the next 18 months. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will accept applications from current beneficiaries and individuals who want to register for the first time.

Applying for TPS

If you are a beneficiary of the TPS designation for Haiti and you live in Florida or New York, you can mail in your application to:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,

Attn: TPS Haiti P.O. Box 4464

OR

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,

Attn: TPS Haiti

131 South Dearborn, 3rd Floor

Chicago, IL 60603-5517

If you are a beneficiary living in another state, please mail your application to either of the following:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,

Attn: TPS Haiti P.O. Box 24047

Phoenix, AZ 85074-4047

OR

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Attn: TPS Haiti

1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S Suite 100,

Phoenix, AZ 85034

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