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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.

Important Information Regarding Potential Immigration Policy Changes from Biden’s Administration

Presione aquí para la versión en Español.

This November, a majority of American voters selected Joe Biden as this country’s next President, and Catholic Migration Services expects President-Elect Biden to be inaugurated on January 20, 2021. After four years of near constant attacks leveled on our immigrant communities by the Trump administration, we are finally looking towards a future brimming with hope for immigrant communities. Although the Biden administration cannot officially make any policy changes until after the inauguration, we are anticipating that the new administration could make several important policy changes to aid immigrants.

In recent statements, President-Elect Biden has stated that he will seek to quickly reverse some of the Trump administration’s most controversial policies on immigration, including:

  • ending the travel ban on immigrants from majority Muslim countries;
  • ending the forced separation of children from their parents at the Southern border;
  • ending the detention of child asylum-seekers;
  • reversing the Trump administration attempts to dismantle protections for asylees;
  • continuing protections for Dreamers through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program; and
  • reviewing Trump administration decisions to eliminate Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) designations for citizens from several countries.

Although some of President-Elect Biden’s policy changes can be made quickly by Executive Order, it is important to keep in mind that the Trump administration implemented more than 400 immigration policy changes, and it will take the Biden administration some time and effort to undo them. In addition to changes the Biden administration can make without legislative action, there remains an opportunity for our legislative branches to work together to pass new laws that will provide longer lasting benefits to immigrant communities. Catholic Migration Services is hopeful that the next four years will prove to be the re-introduction of the U.S. as a nation that welcomes immigrants.

It is important for immigrants to stay informed of policy changes that take place after President-Elect Biden takes office. For additional information and ongoing updates, please visit our website at www.catholicmigration.org and follow us on social media via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CMSBQ.

In addition, consult with a trusted legal service provided to understand your rights and your options. Call Catholic Migration Services in Brooklyn at (718) 236-3000 or in Queens at (347) 472-3500 for free legal advice. You can also obtain free legal advice by calling 311 and asking for “Action NYC.”

Download Important Information Regarding Potential Immigration Policy Changes from Biden’s Administration as a PDF.

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.

Recent Updates Pertaining to Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan

November 12, 2018

Presione aquí para la versión en Español
Peze la pou tradui nan Kreyol Ayisyen

Recent Updates to Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
On October 3, 2018 a court temporarily stopped the U.S. Government from terminating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for four countries: El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. This ruling means that, for now, people with TPS from those four countries can lawfully remain in the United Status. This is only a temporary decision, it is not permanent, which means, it can change at any time. The ruling does not impact the termination of TPS for Guinea, Liberia, Honduras, Nepal or Sierra Leone.

What this announcement means for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Recipients:
As of January 2018, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) had been terminated for 7 countries: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador. The injunction from the California court stops the government from deporting protected immigrants from the countries of Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador while the case continues.

The Judge prohibited the government from terminating TPS for these four countries pending the outcome of the litigation.

This decision does not allow people from these countries who had not previously applied for TPS to apply for TPS now.

On October 31, 2018 The Department of Homeland Security publicly stated that Nicaraguan and Sudanese TPS holders who re-registered during the last re-registration period for their country received an automatic extension of TPS until April 2, 2019.

Nicaraguan and Sudanese TPS holders whose cases have already been approved and who have Employment Authorization Documents (“work permits”) set to expire will receive automatic extensions of their work authorization through April 2, 2019.

Automatic extension of work authorization documents apply to TPS holders whose cases have already been approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as well as TPS holders with pending applications.

More information about TPS for Haiti and El Salvador will be provided if the court case continues past the termination dates for Haiti (July 22, 2019) and El Salvador (September 9, 2019).

Catholic Migration Services urges anyone who received TPS for Guinea, Liberia, Nepal, or Sierra Leone to call our office and schedule an appointment for a free legal consultation.

What happens next:
The court case will continue, and there may eventually be a court decision or settlement that resolves whether TPS can be terminated, and if so, the circumstances for such termination. Until then, the U.S. government cannot terminate TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.

How to Contact Us for Free Legal Advice:
If you are a TPS recipient for Guinea, Liberia, Nepal, or Sierra Leone and have questions or concerns, please call Catholic Migration Services in Brooklyn at (718) 236-3000 or in Queens at (347) 472-3500 for free legal advice about how this court decision may impact you. Our office hours are Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. For additional information, visit our website and follow us on social media via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CMSBQ.

You can also obtain free legal advice by calling 311 and asking for “Action NYC.”

Download this update as a PDF.

Recent updates Pertaining to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status Pertaining to Nepal

May 1, 2018

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Recent Updates to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
On April 24, 2018 a Judge for the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia ruled that the administration’s decision to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was based on “unexplained grounds” and therefore concluded that the DACA program must stay in place and the USCIS must accept new applications. However, the Judge’s decision is on hold for 90 days to give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) time to better explain its reasoning for cancelling DACA.

What this mean for DACA recipients
If the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is not able to come up with a sufficient reason for why they cancelled DACA, the program will continue and DHS will be forced to accept new DACA applications.

Recent Updates to Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
On April 26, 2018 the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that the termination of TPS for Nepal will be delayed for 12 months and the program will terminate on June 24, 2019. Nepali citizens with TPS will be required to re-register for TPS and work authorization but should not do so until the re-registration period is announced in the Federal Registrar.

How to Contact Us:
If you are a DACA or TPS recipient and 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, visit our website at www.catholicmigration.org and follow us on social media via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CMSBQ.

Download this update as a PDF.