18 months added to Haiti’s protected status

18 months added to Haiti’s protected status
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson listens as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 14, 2015, before the House Judiciary Committee hearing to examine the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement of the immigration laws.
Associated Press / Manuel Balce Ceneta

United States Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Haiti’s designation for Temporary Protected Status for an additional 18 months, Citizenship and Immigration Services reports.

The agency said on Tuesday that the extended designation is effective Jan. 23, 2016, through Jul. 22, 2017.

The U.S. urged current Haiti beneficiaries seeking to extend their status to re-register during a 60-day period that runs from Aug. 25, 2015, through Oct. 26, 2015.

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins,” the statement said.

The agency said the 18-month extension also allows re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document.

It said eligible Haiti beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new authorization will receive one with an expiration date of Jul. 22, 2017.

“USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current EADs expire,” the statement said. “Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS Haiti EADs bearing a Jan. 22, 2016, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs are now valid through Jul. 22, 2016.”

Haiti was initially designated for temporary protected status on Jan. 21, 2010, after a major earthquake devastated the country.

Following consultations with other federal agencies, the Department of Homeland Security said it determined that current conditions in Haiti support extending the designation period for current beneficiaries.

To re-register, current beneficiaries must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee.

Beneficiaries must also pay the biometric services fee, or a fee waiver request, if they are 14 years old or older.

Additionally, beneficiaries must submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether they want an authorization, and Form I-765 application fee, or a fee waiver request, but only if they want an EAD.

If the re-registrant does not want an authorization, no application fee is required, the agency said.

It said applicants may request that the agency waive the Form I-765 application fee and/or biometrics fee based on an inability to pay.

To do so, the agency said applicants must file a Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or submit a written request.

It said fee waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation.

The agency said it will reject the applications of any applicant who fails to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee waiver request.

It said all forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from its website at uscis.gov/forms or request them by calling USCIS toll-free at (800) 870–3676.

Additional information on TPS for Haiti—including guidance on eligibility, the application process, and where to file—is available online at uscis.gov/tps.

Further details about this extension of TPS for Haiti, including the application requirements and procedures, appear in a Federal Register notice published on Tuesday.

Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check My Case Status Online, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at (800) 375–5283 or TTY (800) 767–1833.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, visit uscis.gov. You can follow the agency on Facebook (/uscis), Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and its blog “The Beacon.”

More from Around NYC