Temporary Protected Status: New 18-month extension for Haitian immigrants in the United States

Emmanuel Paul
Emmanuel Paul - Journalist/ Storyteller

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced this morning the extension of Temporary Protected Status for Haiti and several other countries.

In a brief message posted on its website, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said, “Consistent with DHS practice over the past four years to comply with the preliminary injunction in Ramos, No. 18-cv-01554 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 3, 2018) and court orders in related cases, DHS is issuing an FRN announcing that beneficiaries under the TPS designations for El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Nepal, as well as the 2011 designation of Haiti and the 2013 designation of Sudan, will retain their TPS and that their TPS-related documents, including employment authorization documents, will continue until June 30, 2024.”

The decision will be published in the U.S. Federal Register on November 16. “During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries have the right to remain in the United States, may not be deported, and are authorized to work as long as they are alive. United States, cannot be deported, and are allowed to work as long as they continue to be TPS beneficiaries. They can apply for and receive EADs as proof of their employment authorization,” according to an unofficial document, a copy of which was sent to ZoomHaitiNews by immigration attorney Frandley Denis Julien.  Recipients will not need to submit a new application. The expiration date of their employment card is automatically extended to June 30, 2024 “provided they properly re-registered for TPS during the most recent registration period announced by DHS.”

For Haitian immigrants eligible for TPS as of August 3, 2021 who have not yet submitted an application, they have until February 3, 2023 to submit their file. “Although there is no need to pay a fee or file an application to benefit from this extension, in order to obtain TPS under the new designations of Haiti or Sudan, eligible individuals must file an application before the close of the registration period on February 3, 2023 for the new designation Haiti and October 19, 2023 for the new designation Sudan,” explained the Department of the Interior in the draft document to be formalized on November 16.

In the document, DHS emphasized that: “Any eligible beneficiary who does not currently have a pending [employment card] application under the TPS designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, or Nepal may file Form I-765 with the appropriate fee or a fee waiver request to obtain a new EAD with a printed expiration date of June 30, 2024. However, applicants under the new TPS Haiti 2021 and Sudan 2022 designations may also file Form I-821 for TPS and, if eligible, receive an EAD with a printed expiration date that matches those new designations.”

This extension is a relief for beneficiaries whose work cards were set to expire on February 3. However, it falls short of the expectations of some immigrant rights activists and U.S. officials. In an interview with ZoomHaitiNews and CaribbeanTelevisionNetwork on November 4, Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey advocated for the extension and redesignation of temporary protected status for Haiti.

In May 2021, the Biden administration decided to extend TPS for Haitians. It would reconsider this decision by re-designating Haiti for Temporary Protected Status. This allowed immigrants in the United States until August 3, 2021 to be eligible for TPS.

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