On March 3, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) extended the Temporary Protected Status designation for Haiti for a period of eighteen (18) months, from July 23, 2014 to January 22, 2016. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of designated countries because the country has experienced temporary negative conditions, such as armed conflict or an environmental disaster, that prevent nationals of that country from returning safely or prevent the country from handling their return adequately. There are currently several countries designated for TPS, including El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Haiti.
Qualifying individuals from Haiti may re-register for TPS status by filing Form I-821 during the period from March 3 to May 2, 2014. Applicants can also apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by submitting Form I-765. The EADs of Haitians currently in TPS status will be automatically extended for a period of six months, through January 22, 2015. The automatic extension is limited to EADs with an expiration date of July 22, 2014. The EADs must also bear the designation “A-12” or “C-19” on the face of the card under “Category” to qualify for the six month extension. Eventually, qualified individuals will receive new EADs valid to January 22, 2016.
When completing Form I-9 using an automatically extended EAD prior to
January 22, 2015, for a new hire, the USCIS advises as follows:
1. In Section 1, the employee checks “An alien authorized to work,” writes the A-number in the first space, and writes the automatic extension date (January 22, 2015) in the second space.
2. In Section 2, the employer records the document title, records the document number, and records the automatically extended EAD expiration date (January 22, 2015).
After January 22, 2015, the employer will have to re-verify the employee’s authorization to work.
For an existing employee who presented a TPS EAD that was valid at the time of hire, has a printed expiration date of July 22, 2014, and is now automatically extended for six months, the USCIS recommends the following Form I-9 procedure:
1. In Section 1, the employee draws a line through the expiration date in the second space, writes January 22, 2015 above the previous date, writes “TPS Ext.” in the margin of Section 1, and initials and dates the correction.
2. In Section 2, the employer draws a line through the expiration date written in Section 2, writes January 22, 2015 above the previous date, writes “TPS Ext.” in the margin of Section 2, and initials and dates the correction.
After January 22, 2015, the employer must re-verify the employee’s authorization to work.
Employers who participate in E-Verify will receive a “Work Authorization Documents Expiring” case alert. For existing employees with TPS EADs that have been automatically extended, USCIS instructs employers to disregard the E-Verify case alert and follow the instructions above explaining how to correct the Form I-9.
USCIS reminds employers that they cannot require employees to present proof of their Haitian citizenship.