This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. By using this site, you consent to the placement and use of these cookies. Read our Privacy Policy to learn more. ACCEPT

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

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.

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

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.

Protecciones contra el desalojo por COVID-19

Noticias importantes: ¡Gracias al gran trabajo de los inquilinos en todo Nueva York, aquí hay nuevas protecciones de vivienda para evitar el desalojo hasta el 1 de mayo! Para obtener más información, llámenos al (347) 472-3500 ext. 1026 o ext. 1019.

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.

Employment authorization for TPS holders from Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Nepal, and Sudan has been automatically extended through January 4, 2021.

On September 14, 2020, an earlier court order temporarily stopping USCIS from terminating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador was lifted. The lifting of this order does not allow the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediately revoke TPS for these countries; however, it may make it possible for USCIS to terminate TPS in the future. There is a separate lawsuit in which a court order has temporarily halted the termination of TPS for Haiti, and another lawsuit has temporarily blocked USCIS from terminating TPS for Honduras and Nepal. These orders related to Haiti, Honduras, and Nepal remain in effect at the moment.

The developments in these lawsuits do not require current TPS holders to take any action to maintain their status. These developments do not allow USCIS to immediately revoke TPS. All current TPS holders from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, and El Salvador should continue to have TPS and employment authorization until at least January 4, 2021. You do not need to apply for a new work authorization document if you do not want to. However, if you choose to, you will be able to by filing the proper application form with the appropriate fee.

We will continue to update our website with more information as it becomes available. If you have any questions, concerns, or to make an appointment, please call Catholic Migration Services Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at (718) 236-3000 (Brooklyn Office) or at (347) 472-3500 (Queens Office).

Download this update as a PDF.

Catholic Migration Services Files An Unfair Labor Practice Charge With the National Labor Relations Board Against Brooklyn-Based Company, Art to Frames

Catholic Migration Services Files An Unfair Labor Practice Charge With the National Labor Relations Board Against Brooklyn-Based Company, Art to Frames

Whistle Blower Employees Fired in Retaliation for Requesting Masks

Brooklyn, NY (September 21, 2020) – Catholic Migration Services filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (Region 29) against the Brooklyn-based employer, Art to Frames on Thursday, September 17th. The charge alleges that Art to Frames fired an estimated thirty-five workers after they collectively requested that their Employer provide masks to employees for protection from COVID-19.

“These workers only earned minimum wage at Art to Frames and after their termination, they have struggled to make ends meet and find other employment,” said Magdalena Barbosa, Managing Attorney – Workers’ Rights Program, Catholic Migration Services. “Many of these workers also contracted COVID-19 and suspect that they were exposed to the virus at work.”

The COVID-19 public health crisis is creating many challenges for immigrant workers and their families. An estimated six million immigrants are in essential jobs at the front lines of the response to this pandemic. Immigrants, women, and people of color disproportionately fill many of these low-wage jobs and find themselves at heightened risk of exposure to COVID-19 while at work.

Although New York has some of the strongest laws on the books to protect workers, these workers are NOT protected by New York’s current whistleblower statute, New York Labor Law Section 740,” said Miriam Clark, former president of the National Employment Lawyers Association/New York. “The current law fails to protect employees who blow the whistle on anything that is not both an actual violation of a law, rule or regulation and also creates and presents a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety. These cramped provisions make New York an outlier among the states: employers can even fire whistleblowers who complain about coronavirus-related violations, unless the employee can prove that there is an actual violation of law, rule or regulation, which is rare.” Catholic Migration Services and the National Employment Lawyers Association/New York call on state lawmakers to amend New York Labor Law Section 740 to ensure that whistleblowers are protected

“I worked at Art to Frames for about two years,” said Luis Jacome, Former Employee, Art to Frames who was fired after joining his colleagues in requesting protective personal equipment while on the job. “When we began learning about COVID in early March, my co-workers and I became scared. People were coughing at work and we were afraid of getting sick. All we wanted was for our employer to protect us, but they took zero precautions. No masks, no safe distances – there wasn’t even soap in the bathroom. Instead, we were fired. A few days after my termination, I went to the hospital because I was very sick with COVID symptoms.”

“I’m a single mom and while I was devoted to my job, my kids have always been my number one priority,” recalled Digna Rivera, Fired Employee, Art to Frames. “I reported to work at Art to Frames every day for five years to provide for my family, not to bring home dangerous germs. All we asked for was for our employer to provide a safe environment to work, and simply for that we were fired! We seek justice and to send a message to Art to Frames that our safety and our lives are not expendable.

The Workers’ Rights Program at Catholic Migration Services works towards strengthening the enforcement of workers’ rights through affirmative litigation, policy reform, individual representation, and community education. In collaboration with workers’ centers and community-based organizations citywide, the Workers’ Rights Program provides advice and representation to hundreds of low-income and immigrant workers each year facing a range of problems.

# # #

About Catholic Migration Services
Since 1971 Catholic Migration Services, an affiliate agency of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, has been providing quality legal services in Brooklyn and Queens, and currently provides free legal assistance and Know Your Rights education to low-income individuals in need of immigration, housing, and workers’ rights legal services. As the first office of its kind in the country, Catholic Migration Services has served tens of thousands of immigrants regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status.

Media Coverage
Catholic Migration Services Files Charges Against Art to Frames, for Firing Workers Denied PPE, Currents News, Monday, September 28, 2020