The Department of Homeland Security has announced an extension of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians. Nationals of Haiti who re-register will be given another 18 months of TPS status, from July 23, 2014 to January 22, 2016.
The TPS status for Haiti was designated in 2010, after the disastrous earthquake in that country that claimed as many as 200,000 lives and left many areas in shambles. While many players in the international community lent support to Haiti, the United States’ close proximity presented an opportunity of refuge from the dangerous aftermath.
The state of Florida was particularly responsible for offering asylum, making the TPS extension particularly relevant in our corner of the country. South Florida is home to the largest percentage of Haitian Americans in the country, and Haiti lies just 692 miles away from Miami.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, countries are given TPS status when conditions in that country make it unsafe for nationals to return. This could be the result of an armed conflict, and epidemic, or in the case of Haiti, an environmental disaster. Those registered for TPS status may not be removed from the country by immigration services, and are authorized to work or travel in the country.
To be granted the extension, Haitians in the United States need to re-register during a 60-day window from March 3, 2014 to May 2, 2014. Applicants will need to fill out Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, and if they wish, Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. For more information on the TPS program can be found at the USCIS website.
As new rules and regulations arise, the lawyers at Stok Folk & Kon keep immigration law at the forefront of the conversation. We’re proud to use our expertise as a means to keep families together and to help immigrants secure employment here in the United States. For assistance with immigration law issues, contact our office today.