Feds extend window for TPS applicants by six months

The federal government has extended the deadline for Haitian nationals to apply for "Temporary Protected Status" or TPS, a relief program launched in response to the Jan. 12 earthquake. The new registration deadline is Jan. 18, 2011. The TPS designation applies to Haitians who have continuously resided in the United States since January 12, 2010, when the earthquake occurred; Haitian nationals who first entered the United States after that date are not eligible.

The director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the news in a press conference this morning.

“Since the earthquake, USCIS has maintained an ongoing dialogue with Haitian community leaders and advocates, and we have heard that many Haitians need more time to apply for TPS,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “Extending the registration period will afford more eligible individuals a chance to remain safely in the United States at this time of crisis and devastation in Haiti.”

TPS registration permits eligible Haitian nationals to continue living in the United States and to obtain work authorization for the duration of the program. Mayorkas says that many eligible Haitians need extra time to obtain documents needed for the TPS application.

For TPS information and application forms, please visit www.uscis.gov or call the toll-free USCIS Forms line at 1-800-870-3676.