TPS is back for citizens of Haiti! USCIS announced that as of Friday May 21, 2021, Haitians in the United States may qualify for Temporary Protected Status, also known as TPS.
WHO WILL QUALIFY FOR THE NEW HAITIAN TPS?
Here are the likely TPS requirement for Haiti:
- Be a citizen or national of Haiti, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti;
- File an I-821 Application for TPS (register) during the open initial registration period which will begin soon;
- Be continuously physically present in the United States since May 21, 2021;
- Be continuously residing in the United States since approximately May 20, 2021;
So, if you are a citizen of Haiti and you have been living in the U.S. since May 20, 2021, you may qualify for Haitian TPS and should register as soon as the initial registration period opens.
THINGS THAT CAN MAKE THE GOVERNMENT DENY YOUR TPS APPLICATION.
There are some people, who may meet all of these requirements, but are not eligible for TPS. Here are some of the disqualifying factors for TPS:
- You have a conviction for any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States (and a withhold of adjudication counts as a conviction for immigration purposes);
- You are inadmissible under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;
- You 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;
- You do not meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements (you arrived in the U.S. after approximately May 20, 2021);
- You do not meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements (you did not register for TPS on time).
What does that mean? If you have been convicted of any felony (a crime punishable by more than a year imprisonment); or two misdemeanors (crimes punishable by a year or less imprisonment- even traffic offenses); you are not eligible. If you have been convicted of only one misdemeanor, but it was a drug offense, or domestic violence or child abuse or some other specific offenses, you are not eligible. If you have harmed anyone or threaten to harm them because of things like their religion, political opinion, race, etc. you are not eligible. If you have had anything to do with terrorists activities, you are not eligible. If you did not come to the U.S. by about May 20, 2021 you are not eligible Finally, If you do not register in time for TPS, you are not eligible, that is why it is very important to properly file your I-821 Application for TPS before the deadline. If you do not, you may never qualify for TPS.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TPS?
You cannot be deported from the U.S. if you have TPS. You will be eligible for a work permit and a travel permit if you have TPS. There is also the possibility that you if you have TPS, the U.S. government will pass a law in the future that gives people with TPS the ability to apply for green cards simply because they have TPS.
HOW DO YOU FILE/ REGISTER FOR TPS?
You will need to file a Form I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status, along with an I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. The fee should be $545 for both applications ($50 TPS initial registration fee, $85 biometrics fee, $410 work permit fee). After you file, you will receive a receipt notice from USCIS showing that your application was accepted (not approved, just filed properly). Then you will receive a biometrics notice to go and have your fingerprints and your photograph taken for background checks.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE A DECISION ON MY TPS APPLICATION?
After that, it is a waiting game for USCIS to approve your work permit and TPS. It can take 4-12 months for a decision on TPS and work authorization. Usually, TPS is good for 6-18 month periods (along with the work permit) and TPS is usually renewed or extended many times by the government. It is important to renew your TPS and work permit every time they are going to expire so you do not fall out of status.
DO I NEED A LAWYER TO FILE FOR TPS?
If you think you are eligible for TPS, you should contact a qualified immigration attorney (not a paralegal or notario) immediately to discuss your options. If you do not file for TPS correctly, you may lose your eligibility for TPS. If you do not respond to a request for more evidence from the government, you may have your TPS denied. If you have a criminal history, the government can deny your TPS application.
An experienced immigration attorney can help you avoid all of these problems, so it is usually better to have an attorney help you than to do it yourself. Don’t forget, just because you have an asylum application pending or you are in immigration court does not mean you should not apply for TPS. If you qualify for TPS, you can and probably should apply for TPS unless you already have lawful permanent resident status or you are a U.S. citizen.
Call the experienced immigration attorneys at Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon today to see if you qualify for Haitian TPS. We offer free consultations for people looking to file for Haitian TPS!