This week, the Department of Homeland Security announced an extension of TPS or Temporary Protected Status for nationals of Haiti. According to the public release, the extension period will begin next year, January 23, 2013, and end on July 22, 2014. Those who currently have TPS as Haitians who wish to extend their TPS status must re-register during the sixty day reregistration period that runs through November 30, 2012. It is important to note that individuals who have not continuously resided in the US since January 12, 2011, will not be eligible. According to USCIS, “Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration benefit that allows qualified individuals from designated countries (or parts of those countries) who are in the United States to stay here for a limited time period. A country may be designated for TPS by the Secretary of Homeland Security based on certain conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from being able to return safely, or in certain circumstances, the country’s government from being able to handle their return adequately. A TPS country designation may be based on on-going armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions in the country.”TPS is an important form of relief to those who qualify because during the period of protected status, the Department of Homeland Security will not actively seek to detain or remove such an individual. Additionally, the individual may be granted work as well as travel authorization and may even, under certain circumstances, apply for either non-immigrant or even immigrant status (through adjustment of status). While it does not confer or lead to permanent residence in itself, it nevertheless provides a safe haven during which affected individuals may potentially fix their immigration status.
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