On May 24, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the six-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti [see 82 FR 23830 (May 24, 2017)]. The six-month extension period for TPS for Haiti will run from July 23, 2017, through January 22, 2018. To learn about the reasoning behind the six-month extension for TPS for Haiti and what may happen after the extension period terminates, please see the full article we wrote on the subject [see article]. In this post, we will use the FR notice to examine the procedures for obtaining a six-month extension of TPS as a qualifying Haitian national.
For further information, please see the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) news alert as well [PDF version].
A beneficiary of TPS for Haiti must re-register for TPS by July 24, 2017. A re-registration applicant may also apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) along with the re-registration application.
The FR notice explains that the type of application filed will depend on the applicant.
If the applicant is submitting a timely application for re-registration by filing on or before July 24, 2017, he or she can file the Form I-821, Application for Temporary protected Status, without the filing fee for the Form I-821.
The re-registrant must also file the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. If the re-registrant is seeking a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or to renew his or her EAD, he or she must file the Form I-765 with fee, or with a fee waiver request. To file a fee waiver request, the applicant may file the Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or submit a personal letter accompanied by satisfactory documentation to establish eligibility for a fee waiver. Please see our full article on eligibility for fee waivers to learn more [see article]. If the applicant is not seeking an EAD, he or she will not be required to pay the filing fee for the Form I-765. However, it is important to remember that the filing fee or a fee waiver is required if the applicant is aged 14 through 65 and is seeking an EAD.
Applicants aged 14 or older must also submit the biometrics services fee, or a request for a fee waiver in lieu of such fee. The biometric services fee is $85.
If the applicant is filing an application for late initial registration after July 24, 2017, he or she must file the Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, with fee. An applicant may be eligible for late initial filing only if he or she can show good cause for filing after the end of his or her re-registration period. However, as we noted at the top, Haitian TPS beneficiaries are well-advised to file for re-registration as soon as possible. Regarding the Form I-765, late re-registrants under the age of 14 or aged 66 or older do not need to submit a filing fee for the Form I-765.
All applicants filing for re-registration must follow the applicable form instructions and submit evidence to establish eligibility for re-registration.
The USCIS encourages Haitian TPS re-registration applicants to file for re-registration as soon as possible within the 60-day filing window. This will allow the USCIS to process applicants and issue EADs promptly. This is especially important for applicants who are filing fee waiver requests in lieu of the filing fees. Applicants who are denied fee waivers may receive the denial soon enough to re-file the re-registration application before July 24, 2017. In the event that an applicant is unable to re-file before the re-registration deadline after being denied a fee waiver, the applicant may still re-file after the deadline. The USCIS will review the case to determine if the applicant established good cause for the late filing. The FR notice advises Haitian TPS re-registration applicants who re-file after the deadline after having been denied a fee waiver to re-file within 45 days of the date on the USCIS fee waiver denial notice.
Re-registration applicants who timely file their applications for TPS and new EADs within the 60-day re-registration period may be eligible for automatic extensions of their EADs. For their EADs to be automatically extended, the EAD must have an expiration date of July 22, 2017, and have the notation A-12 or C-19 (TPS-related EAD categories). The automatic extension provision allows applicants who file their applications on time to avoid lapses in their EADs. An individual relying on the automatic extension may show his or her employer the expired EAD in conjunction with the Form I-797C Receipt Notice showing that a new EAD request was filed for in the A-12 or C-19 category and that employment authorization was automatically extended. Haitian-TPS beneficiaries may also show their employer the FR notice as guidance for filling out the Form I-9. An automatic extension is effective until a new EAD is issued, until TPS is withdrawn, or until the EAD application is denied (in which case the individual would no longer be employment authorized under a TPS-related EAD).
Those seeking to re-register for Haitian TPS are encouraged to apply expeditiously and no later than July 24, 2017. In general, TPS beneficiaries and applicants are well advised to consult with an experienced immigration attorney for assistance in the filing process.
We have discussed on site that there appears to be a strong chance that the DHS will not renew TPS for Haiti following the six-month extension period for TPS that terminates on January 23, 2018 [see article]. Re-registrants should make preparations accordingly. Those who intend to stay in the United States should either maintain a separate status or work with an attorney to apply for a separate status in advance of the potential termination of TPS for Haiti. Applicants who may not have a separate status that would allow them to remain in the United States in the event that TPS for Haiti is terminated should ensure that they will be prepared to depart.