TPS Update: Roundup of Recent Developments
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced several Temporary Protected Status (TPS) updates in recent weeks. This article summarizes notable developments.
New TPS designation for Haiti is published
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) first announced on May 22, 2021 that Haiti would be designated for TPS for 18-months, however notice was only recently published in the Federal Register on Aug. 3, 2021. The Federal Register Notice (FRN) provides details regarding applying for TPS under the new designation and its publication officially opens the registration period.
- To obtain TPS under this designation applicants must demonstrate continuous residence in the United States since July 29, 2021 and continuous physical presence in the United States since August 3, 2021, as well as meeting other eligibility criteria. Typically, the registration period for TPS is 180 days — the minimum amount of time required by statute — however, the FRN states that the registration will remain open for the entire 18 month designation period, through Feb. 3, 2023.
Haiti’s previous designation, made on Jan. 20, 2010, was extended multiple times before it was terminated on Jan. 18, 2018 under the Trump administration. The termination was met with multiple legal challenges and due to court ordered injunctions the previous TPS designation for Haiti remains in effect as litigation continues. Those who have retained TPS under those injunctions should file an initial application for TPS under the new designation. USCIS states that this will help ensure that individuals maintain TPS even if the injunction is lifted and the prior termination is allowed to take effect.
Registration Periods Extended for Several Countries
USCIS published a FRN on Aug. 4, 2021, extending the registration periods for TPS Venezuela, Burma, and Syria for the full 18-month designation period for each country. The extended registration periods for each country are below:
Venezuela: March 9, 2021 through Sept. 9, 2022.
Burma: May 25, 2021 through Nov. 25, 2022.
Syria: March 19, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2022. Note that this applies to first time TPS applicants who are applying under the re-designation for TPS. This does not change the registration dates for current Syria TPS holders who were required to reregister under the extension of Syria TPS by May 18, 2021.
USCIS Announces Online TPS Filing for Certain Countries
First time TPS applicants who are nationals of Burma, Haiti, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela or Yemen, or individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those countries, can now file Form I-821 online. Applicants may also submit Form I-765 online concurrently or at a later time. Note that fee waivers are not available for online-filers.
Currently, the option to file Form I-821 online is only available to initial TPS applicants from these six countries. All other TPS applicants and current beneficiaries who are re-registering under the extension of a TPS designation must continue to file a paper Form I-821. USCIS is working to make online filing available for re-registrants and initial applicants for all TPS designations in the future.
USCIS encourages online filing, which the agency believes will be more convenient, will help to decrease rejections, and reduce some of the COIVD-related processing delays. Receipt notices are available immediately once an online application is properly submitted.
More information regarding how to file online is available on the USCIS website.
For additional TPS related resources, including “Frequently Asked Questions: TPS Eligibility and the Application Process,” visit CLINIC’s TPS resource page.