Here is information about Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from Haiti. You can find information about what happens if you already have TPS, if you need to re-register, your work permit, how to avoid scams, how to get legal help, how a new court decision can impact you if you want to apply for a green card, applying for asylum, applying for other protected status, and how to contact the Embassy of Haiti in the U.S.
New TPS announcement
On May 22, 2021, the Biden Administration announced a new 18-month Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti. This applies to people who are Haitian nationals or people who do not have a nationality and their last country of residence was Haiti.
This TPS is for people from Haiti who have been in the USA as of May 21, 2021, and meet other requirements.
The TPS will be valid for 18 months. The 18-month period will begin after the Federal Register notice is published. The notice in the Federal Register will provide instructions on how to apply for TPS and employment authorization documentation.
The new announcement will help over 100,000 new Haitians become eligible to apply for TPS.
What happens if I already have TPS?
TPS for Haitians was first designated in 2010 due to the effects of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake. It was extended for 18-months in 2011, 2013 and 2015, and another 6 months in 2017.
In January 2018, the Federal Register announced the termination of TPS for Haiti. However, four separate lawsuits were filed to challenge the termination. Under a court order, people with existing TPS can keep their TPS documents until October 4, 2021.
People from Haiti who already have TPS can also register for TPS in the new 18-month TPS program. More information on how to apply will become available once it is published in the Federal Register.You can also stay-up-to-date on the USCIS TPS for Haiti webpage.
Do I need to re-register?
More information will be provided when the Federal Register publishes the specific requirements. You can look for further updates on the USCIS Haiti information page.
What about my employment authorization documents (EAD)?
If you currently have a work permit, it will continue to be valid until October 4, 2021. More information will soon be provided.
How to avoid scams?
USCIS recommends that you do not use unauthorized individuals, like notarios, to help you file the TPS forms. These individuals usually ask for a high amount of payment in exchange for their services.
There are reports of people posing as attorneys or pastors who are not qualified to fill out immigration documents. If you do not know the person who is offering to help you with your TPS, make sure to search about them online or ask someone you trust if they know about them.
You can report immigration scams by calling 877-388-3840 or emailing [email protected]
What if I need legal help?
What if I can’t meet with a lawyer? What if I can’t afford a lawyer?
We know many individuals cannot meet with a lawyer. In immigration law there are also many providers who are non-profits who receive training in immigration law. They go through a process with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to become accredited representatives. These representatives must work for a non-profit organization and most have low cost or no cost services.
You can search for an accredited representative in the Department of Justice.
Here is more information to help you understand your options. This is not legal advice but instead information to help you consider your choices.
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Find help online
Immi helps immigrants understand their legal options. You can use their online screening tool to guide you to your best options. Take the immi interview to see if you qualify for a different immigration status. Immi’s legal information and referral advice are always free.
Applying for a green card as a TPS holder
On June 7, 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that TPS holders cannot apply (under most circumstances) for a green card if they entered the U.S. without inspection at the border. This ruling does not impact your TPS status. It is still valid until the expiration date.
If you are a TPS holder and entered the U.S. with a visa and then overstayed your visa, you can still apply for a green card.
Applying for asylum
Every year people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
TPS holders can apply for asylum status, especially if they have been here a year or less. If you have been here for less than a year, you should APPLY NOW.
It is very important that you know the USCIS has recently changed how asylum applications are processed. Now, they are reviewing the most recent applications first.
Once you submit an application for asylum, it might be a very short time before your case is heard. Only apply for asylum if you do qualify because otherwise you risk having your case heard and then being deported.
You can fill in the form to apply for asylum (this is a legal form and it would be best if you had a lawyer to help you complete the form).
If you have been in the U.S. more than one year, you can still apply for asylum but it will be more difficult (and it is already hard to win an asylum case).
Find out more about how to apply for asylum.
If you do decide to apply for asylum, you should try to find a pro-bono (low cost or free attorney) to help you. You can search for a pro-bono or low-cost lawyer on ImmigrationLawHelp.com or on the CLINIC legal directory.
Applying for other protected status
Some TPS holders may stay in the United States under special visas. There are visas for victims of human trafficking, battered spouses, children or parents and victims of other crimes.
If you are a woman and think you might qualify for a special visa because of violence, abuse or another reason, you can contact the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project.
How to contact the Embassy of Haiti in the United States
Your embassy may post new information about TPS. You can find your country’s US embassy website here.
The address of the embassy is 2311 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008.
The phone number is:(202) 332-4090
Here is a link to news and events on the embassy website, including information about TPS.
The Embassy of Haiti also has consulates in other cities. Here is a list of consulates.
USAHello does not give legal advice, nor are any of our materials intended to be taken as legal advice. If you are looking for a free or low-cost lawyer or legal help, we can help you find free and low-cost legal services.