U.S. Department of Homeland Security Extends Haiti’s TPS Designation and Employment Authorization Benefits for Eligible Haitian Students in F-1 Status
The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security has extended Haiti’s designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an additional 18 months, effective from January 23, 2016 to July 22, 2017. TPS, granted to nationals of countries where conditions prevent safe or adequate return, was extended to citizens of Haiti after their country experienced a severe earthquake in 2010. Pursuant to the extension, eligible TPS re-registrants may apply for new Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) valid through July 22, 2017, but must timely re-register for TPS during the designated 60-day period running from August 25, 2015 through October 26, 2015. To account for possible delays in the receipt of renewed EADs, current TPS Haiti EADs with a January 22, 2016 expiration date have also been automatically extended through July 22, 2016.
In addition, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security has extended the U.S. employment authorization privileges of F-1 non-immigrant students whose country of citizenship is Haiti and who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the above-mentioned earthquake. Under the extension of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s previously issued notice on this subject, eligible students will continue to be permitted to apply for U.S. employment authorization and work an increased number of hours. During the duration of their work eligibility, such students will be considered to be engaged in a “full course of study,” as is required under F-1 status, provided that they satisfy the applicable minimum course load requirement. Notably, the notice applies to both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as elementary, middle school, and high school students (with slightly modified provisions).