Haiti Designated for TPS Status

What is TPS?

TPS is an acronym which stands for “Temporary Protected Status.”

The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may designate citizens of a foreign country eligible for TPS for several reasons. These reasons could be any conditions in a country that temporarily prevents citizens from that country from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its citizens securely.

TPS may be granted to eligible citizens of certain countries who are already in the United Sates.

TPS is not a law. Thus, it can effectively be reversed at any time. It is typically issued by the Department of Homeland Security and then published in the Federal Regulations.

Who designates the countries?

The Secretary of Homeland Security has the authority to decide when and how long a country is eligible for a TPS designation. The Secretary of Homeland Security must also consult with other government agencies to determine eligibility.

There are currently twelve countries designated for TPS (Burman “Myanmar”, El Savador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen). There are countries like Syria, and El Salvador, who have kept their TPS designation for more than 10 years.

Haitians living in the US who are at risk of seeing their legal status expire should strongly consider the importance of registering for TPS.

TPS For Haiti – What are the requirements

  • It is unclear at this point in time what the requirements will be for Haitian citizens to properly file for a TPS.
  • The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not yet communicated what these requirements will be.
  • Based on the past requirements for Haitian TPS we know that previous applicants had to:
    • Be a citizen of Haiti
    • File during the open registration period
    • Continuously be Physically Present in the US since the effective designation date
    • Continuously be Residing in the US since the date specified for each individual country

For Haitians who have already been approved for TPS, below is a copy of the previous date requirements:

Re-registration period for people who already have TPS Jan. 18, 2018 through March 19, 2018
Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Auto- Extended through Oct. 4, 2021
Continuous residence date in U.S. Since Jan. 12, 2011
Continuous physical presence in U.S. Since July 23, 2011
TPS Designation date Jan. 21, 2010
TPS Re-Designation July 23, 2011

Benefits of TPS for Haitians

  • Work Authorization: TPS allows you to work, but you need to be very careful not to violate other statuses that you may have and want to preserve. For example, if you are a student on F1 status and you want to preserve it, you cannot work, or you would violate your F1 visa status.
  • Advance Parole Document: An advance parole document allows you to travel internationally even if your visa expired in your passport. This means that Haitians that apply for TPS and are approved, will be allowed to visit Haiti or any other country if they obtain an Advance Parole Document. You cannot travel until your TPS status has been approved and this document has been approved too. Otherwise, your application can be denied.
  • Protection from removal
  • Preserving status: Eligible people who have been approved for TPS have the ability to adjust their status in the United States.

    For example, if your family is in the US on a tourist visa or you are present in the US on an F1, if the same status is maintained on the tourist visa or the F1 until the TPS is approved, USCIS will consider you or your family in lawful status. This would put your previous status on a “pause” or what is called “tolling” as to what status you had at the time you were approved for TPS.

    What this all means is that as long as you did not violate your status, and you were approved for TPS, then you are in status.

Deferred Enforced Departure DED for Haitians

What is DED? What is Better, TPS or DED?

DED allows a foreign person to obtain a work permit and prevents people from Haiti to be removed because of the situation in that country.

Our recommendation would be to still register for TPS because the work permit is valid for a longer time, 18 months, and also because TPS is constantly being renewed, while DED was an executive order under Trump’s administration instead of a public regulation. DED is likely not to be renewed by Biden’s administration.

Applying for Haitian TPS

We strongly encourage you to speak to a qualified immigration attorney before applying for the Haitian TPS. If you miss the initial registration, you will likely lose the opportunity forever. You will need the following forms:

  • Form I-821
  • Form I-765 (work authorization)
  • Form G-1145

You can download the forms from USCIS's website.

USCIS filing fees (Ages 14 – 65)

  • Form I-821 (TPS registration form) - $135
  • Form I-765 (Work permit, optional) - $410

Total (IF you need the work permit): $545


Please remember: You don't have to get the work permit if you're going to preserve your status. You don't want to violate your F1 status.

You may choose to get the work permit now; however it is important to remember that that you cannot work while you are on a F1 status or else you will be in violation of your status.

If you already have an asylum case pending and you already have a work permit under asylum you do not need to get a work permit either.

Can I do my TPS application with a Notary?

Avoid immigration scams! In the U.S., anyone can be a notary. Their job is to attest that the people signing papers are indeed who they say they are, by verifying their identity.

If you go to an office and see signs promoting many services such as “immigration”, “taxes”, “divorce”, just to name a few, you should be very wary. These signs should be taken as a red flag. Their fees might be “cheaper”, but nothing prevents those people from taking your money and doing a poor job on your behalf. If the registration does not go well, you would need an attorney to work on you case and try to fix the damage done. We have seen this problem many times within the Haitian community.

Ultimately, an attorney not only would have saved you four or five hundred dollars, but the attorney would have obtained different results for you. We have also seen notaries complete USCIS forms with any type of information in order to get the application approved. If the form is signed, and is eventually approved, these mistakes are going to stay with you for the rest of your life in the United States. 

Contact our TPS Lawyer Today

If you are a Haitian Citizen living in the United States, and have been physically present in the US since May 2021, call us today to find out if you are eligible for Haitian TPS. If you don’t register for TPS now, you can lose the ability to obtain the benefit forever. Please call us at (407) 502 3000 or fill out the online form provided on this page and we will contact you shortly.

TPS For Haitians in the United States