DHS Extends and Redesignates Haiti for Temporary Protected Status, Extends Relaxed Employment Options for Haitian F-1 Students
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended and redesignated Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), from February 4, 2023 through August 3, 2024. The initial registration period for new TPS applicants will run from January 26, 2023 through August 3, 2024. Eligible individuals will also be able to apply for TPS-related employment authorization documents (EADs) and travel permission during this time. Current Haitian TPS beneficiaries who wish to extend their benefits will be required to re-register by March 27, 2023. Those whose EADs expire on February 3, 2023 will receive an automatic extension, through February 3, 2024. DHS is also extending the suspension of certain employment authorization rules for Haitian students in F-1 status who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the crisis in Haiti.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended its 2021 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti and redesignated the country for 18 months, from February 4, 2023 through August 3, 2024, according to a notice scheduled for publication in the Federal Register. Current Haitian TPS beneficiaries will have 60 days, from January 26, 2023 through March 27, 2023, to request an 18-month extension of status and work authorization. New applicants will have from January 26, 2023 through August 3, 2024 to apply for initial TPS status and related employment authorization documents (EADs) and travel permission.
DHS has determined that conditions in Haiti warrant continued and renewed Temporary Protected Status (TPS), due to the ongoing political, economic, security, and humanitarian crises that prevent Haitian nationals from safely returning to their country. This extension and redesignation are separate from an earlier 2010 Haiti TPS designation that has been subject to litigation and was recently extended to June 30, 2024. DHS encourages eligible individuals to apply for all TPS designations available to them.
Relatedly, DHS is also extending the suspension of certain employment authorization rules for Haitian nationals in F-1 status who are experiencing severe economic hardship due to the continuing crisis Haiti.
TPS eligibility and application process for new applicants
Newly eligible Haitian nationals can apply for initial TPS status if they can demonstrate continuous residence in the United States since November 6, 2022, and continuous physical presence in the United States since February 4, 2023. Applicants must file a Form I-821 application with appropriate fee(s) (or request for fee waiver) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during the initial registration period, which runs from January 26, 2023 through August 3, 2024. Applicants may also apply for EADs and travel authorization during this time, by submitting the corresponding forms and fee(s) or fee waiver request. TPS and its related work authorization will be approved with an August 3, 2024 expiration date.
All individuals applying for TPS undergo security and background checks as part of determining eligibility. Biometrics collection (fingerprinting) is generally required for applicants ages 14 and older.
Re-registration process for current TPS holders
Current Haitian TPS beneficiaries can continue to extend their status and work authorization provided that they previously registered for TPS under the designation for Haiti and their application was granted.
- Who may re-register: Re-registration is limited to those who previously registered for and were granted TPS under the designation for Haiti.
- When to re-register: Current Haitian TPS beneficiaries must submit Form I-821 to USCIS between January 26, 2023 and March 27, 2023.
- Extending employment authorization: Beneficiaries who wish to extend their employment authorization must also submit a timely Form I-765application for an employment authorization document (EAD) and the applicable fees (or a fee waiver application).
- Pending TPS and/or EAD applications from prior registration period: There is no need for a foreign national with a pending TPS and/or EAD application to file a second application in order to benefit from the extension. For applications that are pending when the re-registration period begins on January 26, 2023, approval notices and document expiration dates will reflect the latest expiration date of August 3, 2024.
- Automatic EAD extensions: As DHS recognizes that re-registrants may not receive new EADs before their current cards expire, DHS is providing an automatic extension, through February 3, 2024, for EADs bearing a Category code of A-12 or C-19 and an expiration date of February 3, 2023. The Federal Register notice provides specific instructions on proper completion of an I-9 form to reflect an automatically extended TPS EAD.
Extension of relaxed employment options for certain Haitian students in F-1 status
Separately, DHS is renewing its suspension of certain employment authorization rules for Haitian students in F-1 status who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a result of the crisis in Haiti. The relaxed employment authorization rules for such students, which were set to expire on February 3, 2023, have been extended through August 3, 2024.
Under the relaxed rules, qualifying Haitian F-1 students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load, while continuing to maintain their F-1 nonimmigrant student status. DHS will deem students who obtain employment authorization under this policy to be engaged in a “full course of study” if the student maintains the minimum course load requirements described in the Federal Register notice extending the policy.
To qualify, F-1 students must establish that they:
- Are citizens of Haiti (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti);
- Were lawfully present in the United States in F-1 status on January 26 , 2023;
- Are enrolled in an academic institution that is Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified;
- Are currently maintaining F-1 status; and
- Are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the current crisis in Haiti.
F-1 students who receive authorization from their Designated School Official (DSO) to work off campus may apply for an EAD by submitting the required application form and corresponding fee (or fee waiver request). F-1 students employed on campus do not need to apply for an EAD but do require DSO authorization.
The extension and redesignation of TPS for Haiti means that beneficiaries who submit a timely application and receive an approval may work and remain in the United States through August 3, 2024. Prior to the conclusion of the 18-month extension, DHS will review conditions to determine whether the TPS designation for Haiti should be extended again or terminated.
Haitian nationals in F-1 status should contact their school’s DSO to determine whether they can avail themselves of the relaxed employment authorization standards.