Update (May 22, 2017): Secretary John Kelly announced that TPS for Haiti will be extended for six months. The extension will be in effect from July 23, 2017 through January 22, 2018. Please see our updated article for more information [see article].
On April 22, 2017, the American Immigration Lawyers Association reported that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had recommended not extending Haiti's Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation (see AILA Doc. No 17042460).
Haiti's TPS designation is slated to expire on July 22, 2017. The USCIS Memo, authored by Acting Director James W. McCament on April 10, 2017, recommended not extending Haiti's TPS designation past that date. McCament stated that the USCIS had concluded that conditions in Haiti no longer support its designation for TPS. The Memo recommended delaying the effective date of the expiration of Haiti's TPS designation until January 22, 2018. This extension would give beneficiaries of Haiti TPS time either to prepare to depart the United States or to seek a lawful status in order to remain after the termination of TPS.
McCament noted that the USCIS had consulted with the Department of State (DOS) under the Obama Administration. The DOS under President Obama had recommended extending Haiti's TPS designation. However, the current Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, offered no recommendation regarding Haiti's TPS designation.
First, it is important to note that no final decision has been reached regarding Haiti's TPS designation beyond July 22, 2017. However, the fact that the USCIS recommends allowing it to terminate indicates that there is a good chance that Haiti's TPS designation will not continue beyond January 22, 2018 (if it was allowed to terminate after a six-month extension).
Beneficiaries of Haiti TPS should prepare for the strong possibility that Haiti's TPS designation will be allowed to expire. The expiration of TPS would not have a bearing on any other lawful immigration status. Accordingly, if a beneficiary of Haiti TPS is maintaining a separate lawful nonimmigrant status at the time Haiti's TPS designation expires, he or she would be allowed to remain in the United States under such status. An individual whose only status is TPS would not be permitted to remain in the United States upon the expiration of TPS.
Beneficiaries of Haiti TPS should consult with an experienced immigration attorney immediately. An attorney will be able to assess the facts and circumstances of each case and determine what options may be available for the individual Haiti TPS beneficiary going forward. If a beneficiary of Haiti TPS does not plan to seek a separate immigration status beyond the expiration of Haiti TPS, he or she should begin preparing for the possibility that Haiti's TPS designation will not be renewed.
We will update the website with more information on Haiti's TPS designation as it becomes available. To learn about TPS generally, please see our section of articles [see category].
In unrelated TPS news, TPS beneficiaries from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone should be aware that the TPS designations for those countries will expire on May 21, 2017. Please see our full article to learn more about what this means [see article].