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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily

[Federal Register: January 21, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 13)]
[Notices]               
[Page 3476-3479]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21ja10-70]                         

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2491-10; DHS Docket No. USCIS]
RIN 1615-ZA96

 
Designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security announces that the 
Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) has designated Haiti for 
temporary protected status (TPS) for a period of 18 months. Under 
section 244(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Secretary 
is authorized to designate a foreign state for TPS or parts of such 
state upon finding that such state is experiencing ongoing armed 
conflict, an environmental disaster, or ``extraordinary and temporary 
conditions.'' The Secretary may grant TPS to individual nationals of 
the designated foreign state (or to eligible aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in such state) who have been 
both continuously physically present in the United States since the 
effective date of the designation and continually residing in the 
United States since a date determined by the Secretary, and who meet 
other eligibility criteria. TPS is available only to persons who were 
continuously physically present in the United States as of the 
effective date of the designation.
    Under this designation, Haitian nationals (and aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) who have continuously 
resided in the United States since January 12, 2010, and who remain in 
continual physical presence in the United States from the effective 
date of the notice, may apply for TPS within the 180-day registration 
period that begins on the date of publication of the notice. These 
nationals also may apply for employment authorization documents and for 
permission to depart from and return to the United States.
    This notice also sets forth procedures necessary for nationals of 
Haiti (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in 
Haiti) to register and to apply for TPS and employment authorization 
documents with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

DATES: This designation of Haiti for TPS is effective on January 21, 
2010, and will remain in effect through July 22, 2011. The 180-day 
registration period for eligible individuals to submit their TPS 
applications begins January 21, 2010, and will remain in effect until 
July 20, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
     For further information on TPS, including guidance on the 
application process and additional information on eligibility, please 
visit the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov. Select ``Temporary 
Protected Status'' from the homepage under ``Humanitarian.'' You can 
find detailed information about this Haitian designation on our Web 
site at the Haitian Questions & Answers Section.
     Applicants seeking information about the status of their 
individual cases can check Case Status Online available at the USCIS 
Web site (http://www.uscis.gov), or call the USCIS National Customer 
Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).
     Further information will also be available at local USCIS 
offices upon publication of this Notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Abbreviations and Terms Used in This Document

ASC--USCIS Application Support Center
DHS--Department of Homeland Security
DOS--Department of State
EAD--Employment Authorization Document
Government--United States Government
INA--Immigration and Nationality Act
OSC--U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for 
Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices
Secretary--Secretary of Homeland Security
TPS--Temporary Protected Status
USCIS--U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

What Is Temporary Protected Status?

    TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals 
of a country (or to persons without nationality who last habitually 
resided in the designated country) that the Secretary has designated 
for TPS because the country is experiencing an ongoing armed conflict, 
an environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. 
During the period for which the Secretary has designated a country for 
TPS, TPS beneficiaries are eligible to remain in the United States and 
may

[[Page 3477]]

obtain work authorization, so long as they continue to meet the terms 
and conditions of their TPS status. The granting of TPS is available 
only to persons who were continuously physically present in the United 
States as of the effective date of this designation and does not lead 
to permanent resident status.
    When the Secretary terminates a country's TPS designation, 
beneficiaries return to the same immigration status they maintained 
before TPS (unless that status has since expired or been terminated) or 
to any other status they may have obtained while registered for TPS.

What Authority Does the Secretary of Homeland Security Have To 
Designate Haiti for TPS?

    The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), authorizes the 
Secretary, after consultation with appropriate agencies of the 
government, to designate a foreign State (or part thereof) for TPS.\1\ 
One of the bases for TPS designation is ``there exist extraordinary and 
temporary conditions in the foreign state that prevent aliens who are 
nationals of the state from returning to the state in safety, unless 
[she] finds that permitting the aliens to remain temporarily in the 
United States is contrary to the national interest of the United 
States.'' INA section 244(b)(1)(C) (emphasis added); 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(1)(C). The Secretary has determined, after consulting with the 
Department of State (DOS) and other government agencies, that there 
exists in Haiti ``extraordinary and temporary conditions,'' preventing 
Haitian nationals from returning to Haiti in safety and that permitting 
eligible Haitian nationals to remain temporarily in the United States 
would not be contrary to the national interest.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ As of March 1, 2003, in accordance with section 1517 of 
title XV of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA), Public Law No. 
107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, any reference to the Attorney General in a 
provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act describing 
functions transferred under the HSA from the Department of Justice 
to the Department of Homeland Security ``shall be deemed to refer to 
the Secretary'' of Homeland Security. See 6 U.S.C. 557 (2003) 
(codifying HSA, tit. XV, sec. 1517).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Following the designation of a country for TPS, the Secretary may 
grant TPS to eligible nationals of that foreign State (or aliens having 
no nationality who last habitually resided in that State) who have been 
both continually physically present in the United States since the 
effective date of the notice and continually residing in the United 
States since a date determined by the Secretary, and who meet all other 
eligibility criteria. INA section 244(a)(1)(A) and (c); 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(a)(1)(A) and (c). Persons convicted of any felony, or two or more 
misdemeanors, committed in the United States are ineligible for TPS. 
Applicants may also be ineligible if one of the bars to asylum 
eligibility applies. Id. at section 244(c)(2)(B)(i-ii).

Why Is the Secretary Designating Haiti for TPS?

    On January 12, 2010, Haiti was struck by a 7.0-magnitude 
earthquake. DHS and DOS have conducted an initial review of the 
conditions in Haiti following the earthquake. Based on this review, the 
Secretary has determined to designate Haiti for TPS for 18-months 
pursuant to section 244(b)(1)(C) of the INA for reasons discussed 
below. The Department of State concurs in the designation of Haiti for 
a period of 18 months.
    The epicenter of the earthquake was off the coast of Haiti, and 
only 17 km from the capital, Port-au-Prince, an area where some three 
million of the nation's nine million residents reside. Aftershocks have 
been measured at 5.9 and 5.5 respectively, and more aftershocks are 
expected.
    Reports indicate that the earthquake destroyed most of the capital 
city. Initial estimates indicate that the death toll is substantial. 
The International Red Cross indicates that about three million people--
one-third of Haiti's population--have been affected by the earthquake.
    Reports also indicate that concrete homes have collapsed and 
hospitals are overflowing with victims. The Presidential Palace, the 
Ministry of Justice, Parliament, the tax office and other government 
buildings, as well as the United Nations headquarters, and the World 
Bank offices are among the buildings reported to be destroyed or 
damaged. Hospitals and schools have been destroyed. The Ministry of 
Public Works and the Ministry of Communication and Culture have also 
been damaged.
    The country's critical infrastructure, including its capacity for 
the provision of electricity, water, and telephone services, has been 
severely affected. Food and water are increasingly scarce. Fuel 
shortages are emerging as an immediate concern.
    There is limited access to the capital city. Roads are blocked by 
debris and other obstacles, and the collapse of the Croix de Mission 
Bridge has cut off a major artery between Port-au-Prince and the 
northern part of the country, making it more difficult to transport 
food, fresh water, and medical supplies. Haiti's main airport in Port-
au-Prince, Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport, also has 
suffered significant damage that is hindering access to the country.
    Haiti has limited resources to cope with a natural disaster, and 
now has been struck by its strongest earthquake in 200 years. Although 
a number of organizations and countries have pledged humanitarian aid, 
the magnitude of the disaster is substantial.
    Given the size of the destruction and humanitarian challenges, 
there clearly exist extraordinary and temporary conditions preventing 
Haitian nationals from returning to Haiti in safety. Moreover, allowing 
eligible Haitian nationals to remain temporarily in the United States, 
as an important complement to the U.S. government's wider disaster 
relief and humanitarian aide response underway on the ground in Haiti, 
would not be contrary to the public interest.
    DHS estimates that there are 100,000 to 200,000 nationals of Haiti 
(or otherwise eligible aliens having no nationality who last habitually 
resided in Haiti) who are eligible for TPS under this designation.

Designation of Haiti for TPS

    Based upon these unique, specific, and extreme factors, the 
Secretary has determined, after consultation with the appropriate 
Government agencies, that there exist extraordinary and temporary 
conditions in Haiti preventing aliens who are nationals of Haiti from 
returning to Haiti in safety. The Secretary further finds that it is 
not contrary to the national interest of the United States to permit 
Haitian nationals (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually 
resided in Haiti) who meet the eligibility requirements of TPS to 
remain in the United States temporarily. See INA section 244(b)(1)(C); 
8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C). On the basis of these findings and 
determinations, the Secretary concludes that Haiti should be designated 
for TPS for an 18-month period. See INA section 244(b)(2)(B); 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(2)(B).
    Nationals of Haiti (and aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Haiti) who have been ``continuously physically 
present'' in the United States since January 21, 2010 and have 
``continuously resided'' in the United States since January 12, 2010, 
may apply for TPS within the registration period that begins on January 
21, 2010 and ends on July 20, 2010. Except as specifically provided in 
this notice, applications for TPS by nationals of Haiti (and aliens 
having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) must be 
filed pursuant to the

[[Page 3478]]

provisions of 8 CFR part 244. Aliens who wish to apply for TPS must 
file an Application for Temporary Protected Status, Form I-821, 
together with an Application for Employment Authorization, Form I-765, 
in accordance with the form's instructions and applicable regulations 
during the registration period.

Janet Napolitano,
Secretary.

Required Application Forms and Application Fees To Register for TPS

    To register for TPS, an applicant must submit two applications:
    1. Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, and pay 
the Form I-821 application fee, which is $50. If you are unable to pay 
the fee, you may submit a fee waiver request with appropriate 
documentation.
    2. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
     If you want an employment authorization document (EAD), 
you must pay the Form I-765 application fee, which is $340, or submit a 
fee waiver request.
     However, if you are filing an initial TPS registration and 
you are under the age of 14 or above the age of 65, you do not pay the 
Form I-765 fee to obtain an EAD.
     If you are not requesting an EAD, you do not pay the Form 
I-765 fee.
    3. Individuals who may apply for TPS pursuant to this notice and 
who are in removal proceedings will be provided an opportunity to apply 
in accordance with 8 CFR 244.7(d).
    You must submit both applications together. For more information on 
the application forms and application fees for TPS, please visit the 
USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov.

Biometric Services Fee

    Biometrics (such as fingerprints) are required for all applicants 
14 years of age or older. Those applicants must submit a biometric 
services fee of $80. If you are unable to pay the fee, you may submit a 
fee waiver request with appropriate documentation. For more information 
on the biometric services fee, please visit the USCIS Web site at 
http://www.uscis.gov.

Mailing Information

    Mail your application for TPS to the proper address in Table 3:

                       Table 3--Mailing Addresses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Residence                         Filing location
------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you live in the state of Florida....  US Postal Service: USCIS, PO
                                          Box 4464, Chicago, IL 60680-
                                          4464.
                                         For Express mail and courier
                                          deliveries: USCIS, Attn: Haiti
                                          TPS, 131 South Dearborn, 3rd
                                          Floor, Chicago, IL 60603-5520.
If you live in the state of New York...  US Postal Service: USCIS, PO
                                          Box 660167, Dallas, TX 75266-
                                          0167.
                                         For Express mail and courier
                                          deliveries: USCIS, Attn: Haiti
                                          TPS, 2501 S. State Hwy. 121
                                          Business, Suite 400,
                                          Lewisville, TX 75067.
All other..............................  US Postal Service: USCIS, PO
                                          Box 24047, Phoenix, AZ 85074-
                                          4047.
                                         For Express mail and courier
                                          deliveries: USCIS, Attn: Haiti
                                          TPS, 1820 E. Skyharbor Circle
                                          S, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ
                                          85034.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

E-Filing

    You cannot E-file your application when applying for initial 
registration for TPS. Please mail your application to the mailing 
address listed in Table 3 above.

Supporting Documents

What type of basic supporting documentation must I submit?

    To meet the basic eligibility requirements for TPS, you must submit 
evidence that you:
     Are a national of Haiti or an alien of no nationality who 
last habitually resided in Haiti (such as a copy of your passport, 
birth certificate with English translation, etc.);
     Continually resided in the United States since January 12, 
2010 (see 8 CFR 244.9(a)(2));
     Have been continually physically present in the United 
States since January 21, 2010; and
     Two color passport-style photographs of yourself.
    The filing instructions on Form I-821, Application for Temporary 
Protected Status, list all the documents needed to establish basic 
eligibility for TPS.

Do I need to submit additional supporting documentation?

    If one or more of the questions listed in Part 4, Question 2 of the 
Form I-821 applies to you, then you must submit an explanation on a 
separate sheet(s) of paper, and/or additional documentation. Depending 
on the nature of the question(s) you are addressing, additional 
documentation alone may suffice, but usually a written explanation will 
also be needed.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

May I request an interim EAD at my local USCIS office?

    No. USCIS will not issue interim EADs to TPS applicants at USCIS 
local offices.

What documents may a qualified individual show to his or her employer 
as proof of employment authorization and identity when completing Form 
I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification?

    TPS beneficiaries under the designation of Haiti who have timely 
registered with USCIS as directed under this Notice and obtained an 
EAD, may present their valid EAD to their employers as proof of 
employment authorization and identity. Employers may not accept EADs 
that are no longer valid.
    Individuals may also present any other legally acceptable document 
or combination of documents listed on the Form I-9 as proof of identity 
and employment eligibility.

Note to Employers

    Employers are reminded that the laws requiring employment 
eligibility verification and prohibiting unfair immigration-related 
employment practices remain in full force. This notice does not 
supersede or in any way limit applicable employment verification rules 
and policy guidance, including those rules setting forth re-
verification requirements. For questions, employers may call the USCIS 
Customer Assistance Office at 1-800-357-2099. Employers may also call 
the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel for 
Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer Hotline 
at 1-800-255-8155.

Note to Employees

    Employees or applicants may call the OSC Employee Hotline at 1-800-
255-7688 for information. Additional information is available on the 
OSC

[[Page 3479]]

Web site at http://www.justice.gov/crt/osc/index.php.

[FR Doc. 2010-1169 Filed 1-20-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-97-P


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