Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, announced this week that Haiti has been re-designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and its current designation has been extended for an additional 18 months. USCIS is strongly urging Haitian nationals who are affected by their nation’s TPS status to carefully review the federal notice regarding re-designation and to follow the instructions in that notice for initial applications for TPS. Any person who does not have TPS or pending TPS may begin applying right away, says USCIS. Requests for TPS status must be filed on or before November 15, 2011. Any Haitian national who currently has TPS status should wait to file for re-registration until a notice describing re-registration steps has been published by USCIS.
Haiti was first designated for TPS on January 15, 2010, just after the country was devastated by major earthquakes. In the original designation, applicants were required to show that they had continuously resided in the U.S. since January 12, 2010. Under this new re-designation, qualified Haitian nationals who arrived in the U.S. up to one year after the earthquakes may now apply for TPS. Please note, however, that any person who entered the U.S. illegally will not be granted TPS.