New 18-month Designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status
On August 3, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued a new 18-month designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”). This new TPS designation enables Haitian nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Haiti) who have continuously resided in the United States since July 29, 2021 to file applications for TPS, so long as they meet other eligibility requirements.
What are the Benefits of TPS?
During the designated period, TPS holders are:
- Not removable from the U.S. and not detainable by DHS on the basis of immigration status;
- Eligible for an employment authorization document (EAD); and
- Eligible for travel authorization.
Why was Haiti Newly Designated for TPS?
DHS has determined that an 18-month TPS designation is warranted because of “extraordinary and temporary conditions” in Haiti, including a political crisis, violence, human rights abuses, and threats to public health, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department estimates that approximately 155,000 individuals are eligible to apply for TPS under this designation.
Am I Eligible?
To be eligible for TPS, you must:
- Be a Haitian national, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti;
- File a TPS application during the open initial registration or re-registration period (or meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of Haiti’s TPS designation);
- Have been continuously physically present (“CPP”) in the United States since August 3, 2021; and
- Have been continuously residing (“CR”) in the United States since July 29, 2021.
- The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When you apply or re-register for TPS, you must inform U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) of all absences from the United States. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.
Certain criminal record or security-related conditions may disqualify applicants.
How to Apply
Individuals eligible for TPS under Haiti’s new designation must file an application for TPS with USCIS within the registration period that began on August 3, 2021 and ends on February 3, 2023. The application can be found here.
Applicants must sign the application and include a fee of $50 or submit a fee waiver request.
Do I Need to Re-Apply if I am a Current TPS Holder?
Yes. Current beneficiaries under Haiti’s TPS designation need to file a new application to register for TPS to ensure they do not lose TPS or experience a gap in coverage.
Does My Spouse, Child, or Parent Have to Apply?
Each person seeking TPS must apply separately. Your spouse, children or parents cannot obtain TPS as a result of your approval for TPS. They must each qualify for TPS individually.
What Happens After I Apply?
USCIS will review your application for completeness and for the proper fees or a fee waiver request. You will be notified if your application is complete or if USCIS needs additional information. After the application is complete, USCIS may need to collect the applicant’s biometrics (your photograph, signature, and fingerprints) and determine your eligibility for work authorization. All individuals applying for TPS undergo security and background checks as part of determining eligibility. More information on the post-application process can be found here.
Where Can I Find More Information?
For further information on TPS, including guidance on the registration process and additional information on eligibility, visit the USCIS webpage at uscis.gov/tps. Specific information about Haiti’s TPS designation can be found by selecting “Haiti” from the menu on the left side of the TPS webpage.
If you have additional questions about TPS, you can visit uscis.gov/tools. If you are unable to find answers there, you may also call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283.