Immigration Minute: TPS for Haiti

Hi.  I’m Ame Coats.  I’m an immigration attorney with Bashyam Spiro in Raleigh.  Welcome to our first weekly Immigration Minute.  For those of you who have lost a loved one in Haiti, we are sorry for your loss.  For those of you who are trying to protect a loved one from Haiti, we’d like to tell you about one of the humanitarian benefits that the U.S. government is offering to some Haitians.  It’s called ‘Temporary Protected Status, or TPS for short.

It’s not common, but sometimes the U.S. government will designate a country for TPS because of an environmental disaster, an armed conflict, or some other country condition that makes it impossible for nationals of that country to return home safely.  The great thing about TPS is that you get employment authorization, but it truly is just a temporary immigration benefit.  It’s not going to lead to a green card.

The idea is that once the country condition improves, TPS ends, and the foreign nationals who are here in the United States will return home.  If you are citizen of Haiti, here in the United States, and wish to apply for TPS, the number one thing you have to prove is that you were here on the day the earthquake happened.  For those who arrived in the U.S. following the earthquake, TPS is not going to work.

To apply for TPS, you must submit form I-821 and form I-765, along with the appropriate filing fees.  The application deadline is July 20th, 2010.  For those of you who are out of status or have criminal issues; for those cases in particular, I strongly recommend that you contact an immigration attorney for advice before you file anything.  For those of you who are approved for Temporary Protected Status, if you would like to travel outside the United States, I also strongly advise that you contact an immigration attorney before you make any concrete travel plans.

If you would like more information on TPS for Haitians, please visit our website or http://www.uscis.gov.

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