On January 15, 2010, the Department of Homeland Security said it would offer Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for 18 months to Haitian nationals, who were already here in the United States when the earthquake struck in Haiti.
This means that during the period of time that the TPS program is in effect, Haitian nationals in the U.S. who qualify for TPS benefits may remain in the United States and obtain work authorization. TPS does not lead to permanent resident status. Once the TPS program ends for Haiti, TPS beneficiaries will revert to the same immigration status they maintained before TPS (unless that status had since expired or been terminated) or to any other status they may have acquired while registered for TPS. So, if you were here without a valid visa prior to gaining TPS and did not obtain any status during the TPS period, then your status will revert back to the same unlawful status you had prior to becoming a TPS beneficiary upon the termination of the TPS designation. DHS, however, may grant extensions of TPS benefits indefinitely.
Please note, however, that you will not automatically qualify for TPS. You must first apply for it.
Who is Eligible for the Temporary Protected Status?
If you are a Haitian national, then you may qualify for TPS benefits if you:
- Can establish continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the U.S. prior to January 10, 2010,
- Are not subject to one of the criminal, security-related, or other bars to TPS; and
- Timely apply for TPS benefits.
You will not qualify for TPS benefits if you:
- Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the U.S;
- Are a persecutor, terrorist or otherwise subject to one of the bars to asylum; or
- Are subject to one of several criminal-related grounds of inadmissibility for which a waiver is not available.
To learn more about the program, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.