Administration Re-designates Haiti for Temporary Protected Status

On May 22, 2021, the administration announced that due to severe instability and growing civil unrest, it has re-designated Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).   The announcement means that eligible Haitians already in the U.S. as of May 21, 2021 may apply for work permits and for permission to remain in the U.S. for the 18 month TPS period.

Haiti was originally designated for TPS in January 2010, after the nation suffered a devastating earthquake.   Haiti was redesignated for TPS on July 23, 2011, and no Haitians who arrived in the U.S. since that date have been eligible to seek TPS.   The Trump administration moved to terminate Haitian TPS, despite officials from the Departments of State and of Homeland Security affirming that conditions in the country warranted continuation of TPS.  Lawsuits challenging the termination ensued, and currently, Haitian TPS holders’ status is valid through October 4, 2021 as a result of the litigation.

This new re-designation will allow both Haitians currently holding TPS  status and those who arrived in the U.S. after the 2011 redesignation to apply for TPS, once the adminstration publishes the official announcement and the application period in the Federal Register.    This new period of Haitian TPS will last through November 22, 2022.

TPS is offered to citizens of countries that the U.S. deems unsafe due to natural disasters or wars and civil conflict, so that those already in the U.S. when the Administration designates their country for TPS can apply to remain and work here legally. It is typically offered in 18 month increments, and has often been extended repeatedly.

This announcement is good news for those Haitians who already had TPS but had to live with the uncertainty of the ongoing litigation, and for those who arrived after July 2018 but who remained in the U.S. because of the challenging conditions in their country that put their safety, well-being, and ability to support their families at risk.   It is also good news for U.S. employers, given the need for more workers as the nation emerges from the pandemic.