Members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association sent a letter to the Biden administration recommending that Temporary Protect Status for Haitians be extended and redesignated, among other immigration actions.

Key Points:

  • AILA members urged the Biden administration to protect Haitian nationals impacted by the instability and violence in Haiti and to stop the forcible return of Haitian nationals, given the dangerous conditions in their home country.
  • On April 15, the U.S. State Department announced the suspension of routine visa services at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince due to escalating gang violence and civil unrest in the country.
  • The Department of Homeland Security extended the TPS designation for Haitians on Sept. 8, 2023, which is set to expire on Aug. 4, 2024.
  • AILA members recommended that the TPS designation be extended and redesignated, among additional immigration actions, including:
    • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services should expand the highly successful parole program that was announced on Jan. 5, 2023, which includes Haitian applicants.
    • The Department of State should expeditiously process the visas of Haitian nationals at any U.S. consulate in the world they may safely reach.
    • USCIS should work with the Department of State to temporarily develop a means to electronically or remotely complete processing and provide travel documents for follow-to-join I-730 beneficiaries based on approved I-730 petitions to eliminate the need to travel to an embassy in person.

Additional Information: Haitian nationals in the U.S. are reminded that the current TPS re-registration period for existing beneficiaries runs through Aug. 3, 2024. The extension allows for the submission of Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, any time before Aug. 3.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group.

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