Temporary Protected Status for Haitians in US

The Biden administration announced on May 22, 2021 that it would be extending a type of residency called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian immigrants that are living in the United States as of May 21st, 2021. Temporary Protected Status is a program that was created to help residents of a country that is experiencing at least one of the following things: an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or an extraordinary and temporary conditions. Saturday, Secretary of Homeland Security stated that due to social unrest, security concerns, poverty, human rights abuses, and a lack of basic resources Haiti has qualified for TPS starting in May of 2021.

It is important to note that only Haitians that are already physically in the United States are eligible to apply for TPS. There is an application process to determine eligibility, which is administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If USCIS determines that the individual is eligible for TPS, the applicant will receive a temporary stay of deportation and a temporary work authorization. TPS beneficiaries are not eligible for public assistance like Medicaid because of the temporary nature of their status; however, in Massachusetts, TPS recipients can be part of MassHealth and other assistance programs. TPS is not a pathway to lawful permanent residency (a green card) or citizenship. TPS beneficiaries may separately apply for permanent residence if they are eligible to do so.

When the TPS designation for a country ends, the TPS beneficiary goes back to the immigration status held before the country was designated as TPS. For example, if a beneficiary was undocumented prior to receiving TPS, then they would return to being undocumented at the end of their home country’s TPS designation and would become subject to removal. To learn more and find out if you are eligible to apply for TPS, contact us today.