The Department of Homeland Security announced the extension of TPS Designation for Haitian nationals for a period of 18 months from January 23, 2013 through July 22, 2014. The Federal Register notice issued on October 1, 2012, also automatically extends the validity of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) issued under the TPS designation for Haiti for six months, from January 22, 2013 through July 22, 2013.  The re-registration period for current TPS beneficiaries begins October 1, 2012 and will remain in effect until November 30, 2012.

 Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) is an immigration benefit conferred to individuals in the U.S. who are nationals of a country (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in such county) that has been undergoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions that  would prevent citizens from safely returning to their homeland.  TPS is granted for time-limited periods depending on the length of country designation.  Those eligible for TPS are eligible to apply for work authorization in the U.S.  Once an individual is granted TPS, they cannot be detained by DHS based on their immigration status; however, those granted TPS may still apply for nonimmigrant status, file for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition, and apply for any other immigrant benefits for which they may be eligible.  TPS beneficiaries may also apply for travel authorization.

Registering for TPS: To register for TPS, individuals are required to file Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (must be filed even if you do not want work authorization).  When filing a TPS application, individuals must be able to demonstrate their identity and nationality, date of entry, and evidence of  continuous residence in the US..  Fee waivers are available for eligible individuals who are unable to afford the costs associated with filing. Additional information can be found at the Fee Waiver Guidance Web page.  Once an individual is granted TPS, they are required to re-register during each re-registration period to maintain their TPS benefits.

Completing I-9s for Haitian TPS Holders: TPS beneficiaries are required to attest to their valid U.S. work authorization using Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9.  The EAD issued to TPS beneficiaries is an acceptable document as it establishes both identity and employment authorization under “List A”.  Based upon the Federal Register notice, EADs with an expiration date of January 22, 2013, that indicate category “A-12” or “C-19” have been automatically extended for a six month period.  When completing Form I-9, employers should enter the document name, number, and expiration date in Section 2 under List A, noting the end of the auto-extension period.  To re-verify the employee’s employment authorization when the automatic extension of the EAD expires, employers are required to complete Section 3 of Form I-9.  Employers that participate in E-Verify, may confirm the employment authorization of  a new hire TPS beneficiary by submitting the required information from Form I-9 to E-Verify; however, E-Verify cannot be used to confirm employment authorization of current employees.  Employers should complete only the re-verification required in Section 3 of Form I-9.