On May 22, 2021, The Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas designated Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. This designation allows eligible Haitian nationals and residents currently living in the United States as of May 21, 2021 to file initial applications for TPS.
Secretary Mayorkas said that Haiti is going through a humanitarian crisis, creating extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent nationals from safely returning to their homeland. In January 2010, Former Secretary Janet Napolitano initially designated Haiti for TPS after the country experienced a 7.0-magnitude earthquake. The designation was then extended in 2011, once again for 18 months between 2013 and 2015, and then for another six months in 2017.
Remember, the TPS designation only applies to Haiti nationals who are already residing in the U.S. as of May 21. Anyone who tries to travel to the U.S. after this announcement will not qualify for TPS.
Once a Federal Register Notice for Haiti’s TPS designation is published, the 18-month deadline will go into effect. For current beneficiaries with Haiti’s TPS designation, they must file a new application to register for TPS to make sure they do not lose designation or experience a gap in coverage.
Additionally, eligible Haitians are also eligible for work and travel authorization. To determine eligibility, they must also undergo background and security checks.
TPS is a temporary status given to eligible nationals of specific countries—who are present in the U.S.—that are impacted by a natural disaster, armed conflict, or another type of humanitarian crisis. This designation gives eligible immigrants the ability to temporarily live and work in the country.