Secretary Mayorkas Designates Haiti for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months!
By: Patricia Elizee
On May 22, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas officially announced the new 18 Month designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in which over 100,000 Haitian’s may qualify for. The new TPS order will allow Haitian nationals currently living in the United State as of May 22,2021, or those who last resided in Haiti and have no nationality, to file their initial application if they meet the eligibility requirement.
Requirements for the 18-month TPS:
Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country.
File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation
Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country; and
Have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country.
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 USCIS of all absences from the United States since the CPP and CR dates. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.
Due to deteriorating conditions in Haiti, Secretary Mayorkas stated “After careful consideration, we determined that we do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may return home.” The 2010 earthquake has also played as a major role in the announcement of the new TPS given the fact that Haiti is still rebuilding, and conditions are not safe for certain Haitian nationals to return back to their homes. Back in 2011, the TPS was extended to Haitian Nationals due to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the country. Soon after, the TPS was once again extended for an additional 18 months in 2013 and 2015 as well as an additional 6 months in 2017.
Unfortunately, not all Haitian nationals will qualify under this new condition. Those who are already residing in the United States as of May 21, 2021, will qualify as long as the eligibility requirements have been met. Those who come to the US after the announcement, will not be eligible and may be sent back to their home country. The new order has many benefits to those who qualify. The following will restrict eligibility to TPS:
Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States.
Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds
Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum. These include, but are not limited to, participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity
Fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements
Fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements; or
If granted TPS, you fail to re-register for TPS, as required, without good cause.
The Federal Register previously announced on July 22, 2019, that the TPS for Haiti will be terminated. However, due to multiple lawsuits, the TPS will remain in effect for pending cases. The Federal Register will soon publish the new TPS notice for those beneficiaries who are eligible to apply for the 18-month TPS. Existing beneficiaries may retain their TPS or TPS related documents until October 4, 2021.
If you believe you may qualify under this new TPS announcement, please contact our office to set up a consultation with Patricia Elizee at (305) 371-8846