What Should Haiti Nationals Do Next?
For Haitians living in the United States under the Temporary Protected Status granted to Haiti after the catastrophic earthquake in 2010, there are important changes to be aware of. On May 24, 2017, United States Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly extended the availability of that protected status for an extra six months. It will now continue until at least January 22, 2018.
However, the extension is NOT automatic for individuals. There are important steps you must take to protect yourself and your rights. To read the official statement from the Department of Homeland Security, click here.
Haitians wishing to extend their temporary protected status MUST re-register no later than July 24, 2017. To re-register, you’ll need to submit the following:
• An application for temporary protected status (Form I-821)
• An application for employment authorization (Form I-765)
• A service fee
• An additional fee if you want an Employment Authorization Document, or “work permit”.
Application Must Be Supported by Evidence.
Your applications will need to be supported by evidence. For example, you’ll need to be able to prove that you came from Haiti, when you arrived in the United States, and that you haven’t left the US since you arrived here. It’s best if you have official documents, like a Haitian passport. You should also have copies of documents like employment records from your job, as well as a lease agreement, rent receipts, and utility bills to show where you’ve been living and working. If you don’t have these documents there are other ways you can prove the information contained in your application, but you should speak with a qualified immigration lawyer if you’re thinking of submitting alternate documents.
There are additional forms that must be submitted if you can’t pay the fees and want the Department of Homeland Security to process your application for free. It is critically important that all of the forms are submitted correctly and on a timely basis; failure to do so could result in your temporary protected status being terminated, which could ultimately end with you being forced to leave the United States.
Temporary Means Temporary.
Additionally, even if your application for temporary protected status is granted, it is temporary in every sense of the word. The Department of Homeland Security is recommending that even those who extend their protected status to remain in the United States begin preparing to return to Haiti, including getting travel documents in order. Secretary Kelly will be evaluating Haiti’s progress over the next six months, and will reconsider his decision sometime around November. At that time, he may decide to end Haiti’s protected status, meaning those Haitians living and working in the United States under TPS would have to return to Haiti.
Staying in the U.S. Indefinitely.
If you are interested in remaining in the United States on a more permanent basis, there may be other options available. For example, you may be eligible for a visa or to become a legal permanent resident.
If you should have any questions or need more information about the way that the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mail us at email@example.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107) or by visiting our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com.