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Immigration Update Pertaining to Haiti and the Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Peze la pou tradui nan Kreyol Ayisyen

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

  • Temporary Protected Status is an immigration status available to some people from countries the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as “unsafe to return to” for various reasons, such as civil war, political unrest, natural disaster, etc.
  • TPS is a temporary immigration status that may be renewed for as long as the TPS designation is in place
  • People with TPS:
    • May not be deported from the United States
    • Can obtain employment authorization cards (“work permits”)
    • Can obtain permission to travel in some situations(“advance parole”)

What Temporary Protected Status is NOT:

  • TPS is not, by itself, a path to permanent residence, citizenship, or other long-term immigration status
    • TPS does not stop an individual from seeking other immigration benefits (i.e., asylum, permanent residence, other nonimmigrant status)
  • TPS is not an absolute protection against deportation
    • If an individual becomes ineligible for TPS due to criminal convictions or any other reason, the individual may be deportable
  • TPS is not permanent
    • TPS designations may last for many years, as it has with Haiti, but it cannot become permanent
    • If the unsafe situation in a TPS country resolves itself, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may end the TPS program for that country

Who is eligible for the newly announced Haitian TPS?

  • Haiti was designated for TPS on August 3, 2021
    • The general eligibility requirements for Haitian TPS are:
      1. Must be a national (citizen) of Haiti and enter the United States as a Haitian national
        • If you entered the United States with a non-Haiti passport or claimed citizenship from another country, you are likely not eligible for Haitian TPS
      1. Must have resided in the United States since July 29, 2021
        • Have you been living in the US since that date?
      1. Must have been continuously physically present since August 3, 2021
        • Were you physically in the United States since that date?
      1. Must not have firmly resettled in another country before coming to the United States
        • If you were offered or received a permanent or long-term immigration status in another country before arriving in the United States, you may be ineligible for TPS.
        • If you think you may have firmly resettled, you should speak with an immigration attorney before applying for TPS.
      1. Must not have certain criminal convictions
        • This is a complex area of immigration law. Speak with an immigration attorney if you have concerns about prior convictions.

How do I apply for Temporary Protected Status?

  • The fee to apply for TPS is $545($135 if you do not want a work permit). This fee is the same for all TPS applicants right now, even if you have had TPS previously
    • This filing fee may be waived in certain circumstances (i.e., low-income, public assistance recipients)
      • FormI-821, Application for TPS, must be filed to receive TPS
      • FormI-765, Application for Employment Authorization, is required to receive a work permit
    • Documentation showing you meet the eligibility requirements must be submitted:
      • Proof of Haitian citizenship (passport and/or birth certificate)
      • Proof you have resided and been present in the United States
        • Visa stamp or other entry records, lease, bills, school, medical and/or employment records, bank statements, etc.
        • If you have been arrested or think you may have firmly resettled, you may need to provide additional documentation. You should speak with an immigration attorney if you are unsure
      • Where and how to file for TPS can be found at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website:
        • gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status/temporary-protected-status-designated-country-haiti

If you have any questions or concerns, please call Catholic Migration Services in Brooklyn at (718) 236-3000 or in Queens at (347) 472-3500 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

Click here to download this update as a PDF: Immigration Update Pertaining to Haiti and the Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Paid Sick Leave Enhanced for New York State 

Claudia (right), was assisted by the Workers’ Rights Program during the pandemic.

Beginning on January 1, 2021, workers across New York State could begin accruing leave to take paid time off to care for themselves or a family member with illness, attend a doctor’s appointment, or seek services related to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking. While New York State responded swiftly at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide paid sick time to those who were impacted by a mandatory quarantine or isolation order, this is the first time New York State has ever required employers to provide general paid sick leave. Now New York State has caught up with New York City, which has provided general paid sick leave for seven years, and workers across New York State can request paid time off to care for themselves and their family members. Claudia, a recent client of Catholic Migration Services speaks to the importance of the new law: “It’s not our fault when we get sick, so now we can work knowing that this law protects us.”

Claudia fell ill herself and was hospitalized after contracting COVID-19. She contacted Catholic Migration Services’ labor hotline when her employer refused to pay her for her time away from work. As an essential worker, Claudia worked in a laundromat that supplied laundry services to healthcare facilities during the pandemic. Catholic Migration Services contacted Claudia’s employer and helped her secure two weeks of wages. Prior to the pandemic, Claudia had never taken a sick day the 4 years she worked there. “It was a huge relief – that pay helped me with my rent. And they don’t give it to you if you don’t ask.”

Since March of last year, the Workers’ Rights team at Catholic Migration Services has provided assistance to hundreds of low income and immigrant workers regarding workplace violations related to COVID-19. In collaboration with workers’ centers and community-based organizations citywide, the Workers’ Rights Program works towards strengthening the enforcement of workers’ rights through affirmative litigation, policy reform, individual representation, and community education.

Catholic Migration Services represents low-wage workers in all five boroughs free of charge. The Workers’ Rights Hotline, our hotline providing workers’ rights information and assistance is open to all residents of New York. To speak with a member of the Workers’ Rights Program, please call (877) 52-LABOR (52267) Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ¡Hablamos Español!

How to Stop an Eviction Case Until at Least May 1, 2021

In December 2020, New York State enacted the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020. Among other things, that law stopped most pending eviction cases through February 26th and established a procedure for stopping such cases, and new cases commenced after the law was enacted, through at least May 1st.  The law does not apply to cases in which the landlord alleges certain nuisance conduct.

To stop an eviction case through at least May 1st, a tenant must fill out a form called a “Tenant’s Declaration of Hardship During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”  If a tenant has not already received a Hardship Declaration from the landlord or from the Housing Court, they can obtain one by visiting the New York State Office of Court Administration website at  The declaration is available in many languages.  

Tenants may also fill out a Hardship Declaration online at EVICTIONFREENYC.ORG.

Completed Hardship Declarations may be mailed to the landlord, the landlord’s attorney, or to the Housing Court. If there is a pending court case, Queens tenants may email them to; Brooklyn tenants may email them to

Catholic Migration Services represents low-income New Yorkers living in Queens free of charge. If you have questions about how to file a Hardship Declaration or whether you should file one, please call Catholic Migration Services at (347) 472-3500, extension 1027.

Immigration Update Pertaining to Venezuela and the Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Presione aquí para la versión en Español

On March 9, 2021 the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until September 9, 2022.

Catholic Migration Services urges anyone who may be eligible to receive TPS for Venezuela to call our office and schedule an appointment for a free legal consultation.

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.

What does this announcement mean?
This new designation of TPS for Venezuela allows Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) currently in the United States to file an initial application for TPS, as long as they meet eligibility requirements. Individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or eligible for TPS are not removable from the United States, can obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or work permit, Social Security Number, and may be granted travel authorizations. TPS may be renewed as long as Venezuela is designated a Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) country.

When can I apply for TPS?
Eligible individuals can apply now. The TPS registration period for Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) began March 9, 2021 and will remain in effect through September 5, 2021. Individuals should file applications in time to have it received by USCIS before that date.

How do I apply?
We recommend consulting a lawyer to determine if you are eligible to apply for TPS and to learn more about what documents you may need to include in your application.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call Catholic Migration Services in Brooklyn at (718) 236-3000 or in Queens at (347) 472-3500 between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

For additional information, you can also contact Action NYC at (800) 354-0365 – Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. – to connect with City-funded, free and safe immigration legal help.

Download this update as a PDF: Immigration Update Pertaining to Venezuela and the Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

What Happens When a New York City Landlord Threatens to Call ICE?

Many New York tenants have questions about losing their homes during the pandemic. The same is true for undocumented New Yorkers. Recently, The City teamed up with Documented to answer questions submitted by readers in these situations and the Tenant Advocacy Program of Catholic Migration Services explained tenant rights in the middle of a health crisis.

COVID-19 Protections Against Evictions

Important News: Thanks to great work by tenants all across New York, here are new Housing protections to prevent you from Eviction until May 1st! For more information, please call Catholic Migration Services at (347) 472-3500 ext. 1026 or ext. 1019.