Photo: Haitians Here Due to Earthquake Allowed to Stay Longer
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti beneficiaries. This extension will be effective July 23, 2011 and is for an additional 18 months. It will allow these TPS beneficiaries to remain in the United States through Jan. 22, 2013. The designation of TPS for eligible Haitian nationals who had continuously resided in the United States since Jan. 12, 2010 was originally announced by Secretary Napolitano on Jan. 15, 2010 and became effective on Jan. 21, 2010.
Currently, approximately 48,000 Haitian nationals with TPS reside in the United States.
This re-designation of TPS applies only to those Haitians who have continuously resided in the United States since Jan. 12, 2011. Haitians who are not currently in the United States will not qualify for TPS under this new TPS announcement and should not attempt to enter the United States illegally to try to take advantage of this benefit. Both the extension and re-designation are effective July 23, 2011. No individual who arrived in the United States after Jan. 12, 2011, will be eligible for TPS.
A person who has been convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors in the United States, or is subject to one of the criminal, or security-related bars to admissibility under immigration law, is not eligible for TPS. In addition, an applicant cannot obtain TPS if he or she is subject to one of the mandatory bars to asylum, such as committing a particularly serious crime that makes the person a danger to the U.S. community or persecuting others.
ICE is prepared to aggressively investigate and present for prosecution those who seek to defraud the U.S. government in an attempt to gain TPS or engage in immigration benefit fraud as the result of the expansion of this program. ICE will also pursue human smugglers whose only goals are to profit at the expense of others.
In addition to the extension and re-designation of TPS for Haiti, DHS has taken a number of other actions to provide humanitarian assistance to Haitian nationals in the United States. DHS will soon publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing the continued suspension of regulatory requirements related to certain F-1 students who have suffered severe economic hardship as a result of the earthquake in Haiti. Originally announced in September 2010, the continued suspension of these requirements through Jan. 22, 2013, allows eligible F-1 students to obtain employment authorization, to work an increased number of hours during the school term, and if necessary, to reduce their course load while continuing to maintain their F-1 student status. F-1 students granted employment authorization will be deemed to be engaged in a full course of study if they meet the minimum course load requirements.