By Felicia Persaud
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 2, 2011: Haitian nationals eligible for Temporary Protected Status, (TPS), are being reminded to file before the deadline runs out in just over two month.
Haitians filing for the first time now have until Nov. 15, 2011 to file Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.
The TPS re-designation of Haiti allows eligible nationals of Haiti and persons without nationality, who last resided in Haiti and were displaced by the earthquake of Jan. 2010, to apply before the deadline runs out.
To qualify, Haitian nationals must have been continuously physically present in the United States since July 23, 2011, the effective date of the re-designation of Haiti as described in the Federal Register notice and have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States.
A copy of your Haitian passport; Haitian identification card; Haitian naturalization documentation; nationality documentation issued by a Haitian Embassy or Consulate in the United States, copy of your birth certificate or your baptismal certificate if it indicates your Haitian nationality or a parent’s Haitian nationality, will be required to support eligibility for TPS.
You may also submit copies of your school or medical records if they have information supporting your claim of Haitian nationality. If you do not have the documents listed above, you may provide other documentation that proves you are a Haitian national.
You may also provide affidavits from friends or family members who have close personal knowledge of the date and place of your birth and your parents’ nationality.
The person making the affidavit should include information about how he or she knows you or is related to you, and how he or she knows the details of the date and place of your birth and the nationality of your parents. Remember that birth in Haiti alone does not necessarily mean you are a Haitian national. At least one parent must have been a Haitian national at the time of your birth, or you must have been naturalized in Haiti. If you were born to a Haitian parent in some country other than Haiti, you may also be a Haitian national, but you must still provide sufficient evidence to support your nationality.
Applicants age 14 and older must also submit the biometric service fee. Applicants who are age 14 through 65 who request an Employment Authorization Document, (EAD), must pay the Form I-765 fee.
Haitians applying for TPS and who are under age 14 or over age 65 who request an EAD do not need to pay the Form I-765 fee. If you are only seeking to register for TPS, you must still file Form I-765 for data-gathering purposes, but the Form I-765 fee is not required. The fees total is $515 for those aged 14 to 65.
Applicants who can demonstrate an inability to pay may request a fee waiver for any of these fees. Failure to submit the required applications with any required fees and the biometric fee, or a properly documented fee waiver request, will result in the rejection of the application.
TPS was originally designated for Haiti in January 2010 in response to a catastrophic earthquake that devastated that country. The current 18-month extension of TPS for Haiti will remain in effect through Jan. 22, 2013.
For more information and application forms, visit www.uscis.gov or call the toll-free USCIS Forms line at 1-800-870-3676.
The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.