The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will be extending Haitian Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until November 2022. It also has officially set out the application procedures for Burmese TPS, which the Secretary of DHS announced in March 2021, but had not yet issued implementing instructions.
Based on pending litigation, Haitian TPS had been extended through October 4, 2021. With the new announcement, Haitians who have been in the United States continuously since May 21, 2021, will be eligible to apply for, or extend, TPS until November 2022. Approximately 55,000 Haitians currently hold TPS, which was initially designated in January 2010 following the devastating earthquake in Haiti. That TPS designation was extended several times until in January 2018, when DHS issued a Federal Register notice announcing termination of Haiti’s TPS designation. However, due to court injunctions, TPS remained in effect for those already approved. It is estimated that more than 100,000 additional Haitian nationals will now be eligible for the 18-month designation. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas decided to extend Haitian TPS because that country “is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle had been urging the Biden Administration to extend TPS protections for Haiti.
In March 2021, Secretary Mayorkas announced that, due to increasing oppression and human rights violations following a military coup, individuals from Burma would become eligible for TPS for an initial 18 months, through November 24, 2022. On May 25, 2021, DHS issued a Federal Register notice setting out applicable eligibility criteria and the application process.
Those who previously resided in Burma may apply for TPS if they meet the general eligibility requirements and if:
- They have continuously resided in the United States since March 11, 2021 (when Burmese TPS was announced); and
- They have been physically present in the United States since May 25, 2021.
USCIS estimates that 1,600 people will be eligible for Burmese TPS. Those who are eligible also will be able to apply for employment authorization and travel authorization. The registration period for TPS will run for 180 days, from May 25, 2021, through November 22, 2021.
In conjunction with Burmese TPS, DHS also is allowing Burmese students in F-1 status who are experiencing economic hardship to work an increased number of hours while school is in session.
Updates will be provided when the details on the Haitian TPS extension are published in the Federal Register.