The US Department of Homeland Security has issued guidance on how nationals of Haiti and El Salvador can apply for the final extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that was announced earlier this month.
Current TPS beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS must re-register before March 19, 2018. The Federal Register notice on El Salvador explains that
"Through operation of this Federal Register notice, your existing EAD issued under the TPS designation of El Salvador with the expiration date of March 9, 2018, is automatically extended for 180 days, through September 5, 2018. You do not need to apply for a new EAD in order to benefit from this 180-day automatic extension."
The wording for Haiti is almost identical:
Through operation of this Federal Register notice, your existing EAD issued under the TPS designation of Haiti with the expiration date of January 22, 2018, is automatically extended for 180 days, through July 21, 2018.
However, we recommend that people do apply for a new EAD, to avoid the need to explain the automatic extension to employers, driver's licence offices, etc. The FR notice describes how to explain the extension to employers until a new EAD arrives.
To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit:
Applicants may request a waiver of the government fees with evidence of inability to pay. To do so, applicants must file a Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or submit a written request. Fee waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject the TPS application of any applicant who fails to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee waiver request.
All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from the USCIS website at uscis.gov/forms or request them by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.
USCIS page for El Salvador TPS:
USCIS page for Haiti TPS
The US Department of Homeland Security has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Haiti for an additional 6 months, effective July 23, 2017 to January 22, 2018.
TPS was first granted to Haitians in 2010, following the devastating earthquake in the country. There have been threee 18-month extensions of the status since then. However, Homeland Secretary John Kelly's statement yesterday suggests that another extension (beyond January 2018), is doubtful. He said:
"I believe there are indications that Haiti – if its recovery from the 2010 earthquake continues at pace - may not warrant further TPS extension past January 2018. TPS as enacted in law is inherently temporary in nature, and beneficiaries should plan accordingly that this status may finally end after the extension announced today.”
He urged Haitian TPS holders to "..attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States."
Additional information on TPS for Haiti - including guidance on eligibility, the application process, late filing, and where to file - is available online at uscis.gov/tps. More information should be published soon, and we will update this post when available.
Click here for USCIS forms.
For more information on this or any immigration topic, feel free to contact us.
The US State Department has issued a travel warning for Haiti. The full text of the warning is reprinted below:
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The State Department alerts U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Haiti to exercise caution and remain abreast of the security situation throughout the current electoral period. The Haitian government has rescheduled the final round of elections, which were originally scheduled for December 27, 2015. The new date is January 24, 2016. This Travel Alert supersedes the Alert dated August 7, 2015, and reflects the announcement of the final round of elections. This Travel Alert expires on April 7, 2016.
Tensions remain high and we strongly urge U.S. citizens to exercise caution and remain abreast of the security situation as the electoral process progresses to a resolution. Particular possible flashpoints would be the period leading up to and immediately following the date of the election, the date results are announced, and the inauguration of a new President – constitutionally set for February 7, 2016.
There may be restrictions on traffic circulation, either imposed by the authorities or caused by ad hoc political rallies. The Embassy Security Office has advised Embassy employees not involved in election monitoring to avoid unnecessary movement outside of their residences on the day of elections. Because of this, and as a general matter of emergency preparedness, you should maintain adequate supplies of food, water, essential medicines, and other supplies that will allow you to shelter in place for at least 72 hours.
Monitor local media for any changes in the election schedule. The U.S. Embassy may update this Travel Alert as the schedule or circumstances change. For more information about security conditions in Haiti, please see the Country Specific Information page for Haiti or the Haiti Travel Warning.
The U.S. Embassy is located in Port-au-Prince at Boulevard du 15 Octobre, Tabarre 41, Tabarre, Haiti, telephone: (509) 2229-8000, facsimile: (509) 2229-8027, email: firstname.lastname@example.org American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit office hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Consular Section is closed on U.S. and local holidays. After hours, on weekends and on holidays, please call (509) 2229-8000 and an automated attendant will connect you with the Embassy duty officer. U.S. citizens can also stay informed about conditions in Haiti by following the Embassy and ACS on Twitter and Facebook.
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.