On January 21, 2010, the United States Secretary of Homeland Security designated Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) relief in response to the severe impact and aftermath of the earthquake that struck near the country's capital on January 12, 2010. TPS for Haitian nationals will be effective for 18 months beginning January 21, 2010 through July 22, 2011. Whether this period will be extended beyond the 18 months will be determined closer to the expiration of this timeframe.

Although TPS is not a measure that leads to legal permanent residence in the United States, TPS allows nationals of the affected country to apply for temporary stay and work authorization in the United States. Foreign nationals in this status are not barred from pursuing other immigration options that may be available to them under the law.