Haiti TPS Documents Automatically Valid to January 2, 2020 At Least!
On March 1, 2019, DHS published an official Federal Register Notice (“FRN”) automatically extending the validity of Haiti TPS work permits and other TPS documents to January 2, 2020! No Haitian with TPS needs to pay or do anything at all to benefit; the FRN has the force of law and the extensions are automatic! DHS did this to comply with the October 3, 2018 Ramos federal court preliminary injunction blocking DHS from ending TPS for Haiti, Sudan, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. See USCIS’s summary, Update on Ramos v. Nielsen. (And in a thorough and dramatic 145-page decision on April 11, 2019, Judge William Kuntz of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Saget v. Trump also blocked DHS from ending Haiti TPS, finding DHS’s decision to have been unlawful and unconstitutional, adding another level of protection for Haitians with TPS. About this, see “Judge right to block Trump’s TPS move,” Miami Herald, April 14, 2019.)
To quote the USCIS “Update” on Ramos, “the TPS designations of Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador will remain in effect so long as the court’s Oct. 3, 2018 preliminary injunction remains in effect. To comply with the court’s injunction, on March 1, 2019, DHS published a second FRN that automatically extended through Jan. 2, 2020, the following documents described in the notice: Employment Authorization Documents (EADs); Forms I-797, Notice of Action (Approval Notice); and Forms I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, (collectively, “TPS-Related Documentation”) for eligible, affected beneficiaries of TPS for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador.”
Importantly, if as is likely the Ramos order remains in effect in December, DHS in early December will publish another FRN further automatically extending TPS documents for Haiti, Sudan, El Salvador, and Nicaragua for another nine months, i.e. to October 2, 2020.
In another important development, Haitians who used to have TPS but who don’t any longer because they failed to re-register for it in 2017 or 2018, may be able to do so now; see #3 below regarding this possibility.
To summarize important points due to the Ramos victory:
1) TPS for Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua, and El Salvador is extended, and TPS work permits and other documents for these four countries are valid, to January 2, 2020 at least;
2) These extensions are completely automatic, without anyone having to do anything or pay anyone anything at all; employers and the DMV must respect the Federal Register notices which extend these TPS designations as a matter of law. No one who has valid TPS needs to re-register for it or file anything at all!
3) There is a special opportunity for people who USED to have TPS from Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua, or El Salvador but who DON’T have TPS anymore. If you used to have Haiti TPS but don’t anymore because you didn’t re-register for it in 2017 or 2018 out of fear, confusion, or for other good cause, you should consult a competent immigration attorney immediately because you may now be able to successfully re-register for TPS and benefit from the extensions described above! This is because DHS in the Ramos case has agreed to give “presumptive weight” of validity to “late-for-good-cause” re-registration applications! So if you are one of the thousands of Haitians who used to have TPS but didn’t re-register in 2017 or 2018, you should consult a competent immigration attorney to see if you may be able to successfully re-register late for TPS now! (It’s important to consult a competent immigration attorney first because the facts of everyone’s immigration situation are different, to make sure that this opportunity is appropriate for you.)