This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced several measures to provide relief for Haitians in the United States, including temporary protected status (TPS) and special student relief.
Temporary Protected Status
DHS extended the designation of Haiti for TPS for 18 months, from February 4, 2023, through August 3, 2024. DHS also redesignated Haiti for TPS, allowing additional Haitian nationals (and individuals having no nationality who last resided in Haiti) who have been continuously residing in the United States since November 6, 2022, and who have been continuously physically present in the United States since February 4, 2023, to apply for TPS for the first time during the initial registration period.
DHS released information on how to register or re-register for TPS under Haiti’s extension and redesignation. The initial registration period began on January 26, 2023, and runs through August 3, 2024.
New applicants for TPS under the redesignation of Haiti must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, during the initial registration period. Haitian TPS applicants may file Form I-821 online. When filing a TPS application, applicants can also request work authorization by submitting Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, either with their Form I-821 or separately at a later date. Applicants may also submit Form I-765 online.
Special Student Relief
Effective February 4, 2023, through August 3, 2024, DHS is suspending certain regulatory requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Haiti, regardless of country of birth (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti), and who “are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the current crisis in Haiti.” Such students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their courseloads while continuing to maintain their F-1 nonimmigrant student status. DHS said it will deem an F-1 nonimmigrant student granted employment authorization by means of this notice to be engaged in a “full course of study” for the duration of the work authorization, if the nonimmigrant student satisfies the minimum courseload requirement described in the notice.