Haitian Tips: temporary protected status
TPS for Haitian Nationals Extended – Apply Now!
Extension of Haiti TPS Anounced – NEW applications and EXTENSIONS granted through January 22, 2013
The Department of Homeland Security has announced that they are both extending TPS for Haitian nationals for an additional 18 months and they are redesignating the cutoff date for applicants to January 12, 2011. That means that if you are a national of Haiti and you are in the United States currently and you entered on or before January 12, 2011, you may be eligible to apply for TPS and work authorization.
Also, if you previously applied for TPS and work authorization you may be eligible to renew both for validity periods through January 22, 2013. Both of these applications – whether it’s a new application or a renewal application – will be valid until January 22, 2013.
The TPS designation will allow eligible nationals of Haiti in the United States to continue living and working in the United States through January 22, 2013 (extensions may be announced at a future date).
New Applications – USCIS has begun accepting new TPS applications for Haitian nationals and will continue accepting them until November 15, 2011.
Renewal Applications – TPS renewal applications will be accepted from May 23, 2011 through August 22, 2011.
Our immigration law office is helping all Haitians navigate the TPS process at a reduced fee. In addition, our law firm will be donating 10% of all fees related to TPS to the Red Cross Haiti relief efforts.
***10% of all legal fees connected with Haitian TPS & work authorization will be donated to the Red Cross Relief Efforts***
How We Can Help.
We can be available to discuss options for you and/or your family and friends at no cost or obligation. You may or may not qualify, but regardless you should clarify your options with an experienced TPS lawyer.
The recent earthquake is unfortunately one of many tragedies that has devestated Haiti over the years and our immigration law firm would like to be able to offer the Haitian community as much help as possible. If you should decide to retain our immigration law firm for the processing of your TPS application and work authorization application, we will offer you a significantly reduced fee and donate 10% of all proceeds from legal fees in connection with TPS and work authorization to the Red Cross Haiti relief efforts.
Frequently asked questions about TPS for Haitians
The following is a list of FAQ on Haitian TPS that we think will be helpful:
What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
Temporary Protected Status or “TPS” is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a certain country designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security because that country has experienced temporary negative conditions, such as an environtmental disaster or armed conflict, that prevents nationals of the country from returning safely. TPS beneficiaries are allowed to remain in the United States and can legally work for a set period of time.
I am a national of Haiti and I’m currently in the United States. Do I qualify for TPS?
Yes, as long as you have been in the United States since January 12, 2011, and you are not ineligible for any other reasons.
What if I entered the United States illegally?
Haitians who entered the United States illegally are still able to benefit from TPS as long as they entered the United States on or before January 12, 2011.
When can I submit my application for TPS?
USCIS has already begun accepting new applications and will continue to do so until November 15, 2011. If you are renewing your previously approved TPS and work authorization, you must apply between May 23, 2011 and August 22, 2011.
What are the filing fees to apply for a NEW TPS application?
The filing fee for applying for TPS is $50. If you are over the age of 14 there is a separate biometrics fee in the amount of $85. If you would like to also apply for work authorization, there is an additional fee of $380. The total filing fees are $515 if you would like to apply for TPS and work authorization.
What are the filing fees to apply for a RENEWAL or EXTENSION TPS application?
If you have previously been approved for TPS, the $50 application fee is waived, but you still must pay the $85 biometrics fee if you are over the age of 14 and the work authorization fee of $380 if you want work authorization. Total fees for TPS and work authorization in this scenario is $465.
How long will TPS for Haitians last?
At the present time, TPS for Haitians will last until January 22, 2013. There may be an extension at a later date if conditions in Haiti do not permit Haitian nationals to safely return. It is important to note that if you want to apply for TPS for the first time you must do so by November 15, 2011. If you are renewing/extending your current TPS, you must apply by August 22, 2011.
What if I arrived in the United States after January 12, 2011?
Unfortunately, at the present time Haitians who arrived to the United States after January 12, 2011, are not eligible for TPS. However, you may have other immigration options and it is important to discuss the matter with an immigration attorney.
Can I use TPS as a basis for obtaining permanent resident status (aka a green card)?
No. Unfortunately, TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to a green card by itself or confer any other immigration status. You may be eligible for a green card via some other route while in TPS, but TPS itself doesn’t provide any benefit other than allowing you to remain in the United States until January 22, 2013.
Is it possible to apply for another immigration benefit while on TPS?
Yes, it is possible. TPS registration does not prevent you from applying for nonimmigrant status, filing for a green card, or applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible. If you think you may have other immigration options now or in the future, it is important for you to discuss the matter with your immigration lawyer.
Will filing for TPS affect my application for asylum?
A TPS application will have no impact on your application for asylum.
Assuming I meet all other requirements, what else could make me ineligible for TPS?
An individual who has been convicted of any felony, or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States is not eligible for TPS. An individual subject to several other criminal and security related bars to asylum is also ineligible. This would include participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity. If you think this might impact you, please discuss the matter with your immigration lawyer.
What can a TPS lawyer do for me?
A TPS lawyer can do the following for you: clarify options; determine if you’re eligible; explain the TPS process in detail; explain whether or not you will face any risks in applying for TPS; assist and guide you in collecting all necessary information for your application; prepare all applications and supporting materials to meet the highest standards of immigration law; submit your application, oversee the processing of your case, and communicate with USCIS if necessary; notify you of any issues or appointments; and ensure that your TPS and work authorization is granted expeditiously.
Finally, after engaging a TPS lawyer you will have an opportunity to clarify any questions regarding your status and options both during the process and after the process. We can’t speak for all immigration attorneys on this, but we can promise you that this is the level of service you will receive at Lightman Law Firm.
What documents do I need for Haitian TPS?
One or more of the following documents are necessary to prove identity and nationality:
- Birth Certificate accompanied by photo identification; or
- Any national identity document from Haiti bearing your photo and/or fingerprint.
One or more of the following documents are necessary to prove your date of entry to the United States:
- I-94 Arrival/Departure Record;
- Visa stamp in your passport;
- Plane tickets; or
- See documents pertaining to residence below.
The following documents should be considered in proving you have been living in the United States:
- Employment records, such as pay stubs, W-2 forms, Federal and State tax returns, letters from employers, or if self-employed, letters from banks and other companies with whom you have done business.
- Rent receipts, utility bills (gas, electric, phone, cable, etc.), receipts, or letters from companies showing the dates during which you received service.
- School records (letters, report cards, transcripts, bills, diplomas, etc.) from the schools that you nad your children have attended in the United States, showing the name of the school and periods of attendance.
- Hospital or medical records.
- Attestations by churches, unions, or other organizations to your residence identifying you by name. The attestation must be signed by an official (whose title is shown); show dates of membership; state the address where you resided during membership period(s); include the seal of the organization impressed on the letter or the letterhead of the organization, if the organization has letterhead; establish how the author knows you; and establish the origin of the information being attested to.
- Additional documents may include money order receipts for money sent in or out of the country; passport entries; birth certificates of children born in the United States; dated bank transactions; correspondence between you and another person or organization; United States social security card; selective service card; automobile license reciepts, title, vehicle registration, etc.; deeds, mortgages, contracts to which you have been a party; tax receipts; insurance policies; receipts; letters, etc.
- Any other relevant document.
***Each case is different and it is important for you to fully discuss your situation with your TPS lawyer to ensure that your application will be properly prepared.