Haitian Temporary Protected Status
Following the devastating Haitian earthquake, the U.S. government granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitians who were in the United States on the day of the earthquake. The United States has now extended TPS to those Haitians who entered the US legally during the one year following the earthquake.
Although not commonly known about outside the immigration bar, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) has been used repeatedly to provide humanitarian relief to nationals of countries in distress.
The following provides a brief description of TPS, the procedure for obtaining TPS, and a list of free New York City immigration clinics that are willing to assist Haitians in applying for TPS.
What is Temporary Protected Status?
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) provides immigration status to individuals from nations suffering from armed conflicts, disasters, or other extraordinary conditions. The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security determines whether to grant TPS to nationals of certain countries and whether to extend a country’s period of TPS.
What does TPS provide?
Individuals with TPS have valid legal immigration status and are eligible to work in the United States until their country’s TPS expires. Additionally, although TPS does not improve an individual’s chance at gaining lawful permanent residency, TPS does toll an individual’s unlawful presence in the United States.
How long does TPS last?
TPS can be issued for an initial period of between 6 and 18 months. At the end of the initial period the Secretary of Homeland Security can extend a country’s TPS if conditions in the country have not improved. In the case of Haiti, the TPS period has been granted for 18 months, and has been extended multiple times.
What do I do if I am eligible for TPS?
TPS is not automatically granted to an individual from a TPS country. Instead, an eligible individual must apply to the USCIS and must provide necessary documentation and pay a fee (that can be waived).
Free New York City Haitian TPS Clinics
The immigration bar of New York City has teamed up with numerous community organizations to offer free clinics to those Haitians who think they may be eligible for temporary protected status (TPS). The following are just a few of the clinics:
- none at this time – search google to find information about next free clinic.