On November 20, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) terminated the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti, with a delayed effective date of July 22, 2019. It was not until January 18, however, that the DHS provided guidance to Haitian nationals and their employers about what would happen come January 22, 2018, when the previously issued Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) are set to expire.

Haitian nationals wishing to remain in the U.S. in TPS must re-register during the 60 day period from January 18 to March 19, 2018. Haitian nationals must file Form I-821 during this 60 day window. There is no filing fee, but Haitian nationals age 14 and older must pay the $85.00 biometric fee.

Pursuant to the January 18 Federal Register Notice, Haitian nationals currently in TPS who have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) expiring on January 22, 2018 will receive an automatic extension for 180 days, through July 21, 2018. To obtain work authorization and an EAD valid to July 22, 2019, Haitian nationals in TPS status must file a Form I-765 application for employment authorization and pay the required filing fee. Haitian nationals should apply for the EAD as soon as possible. Haitian nationals who choose not to file the Form I-765 application for a new EAD will lose their work authorization on July 21, 2018.

If your company currently employs a Haitian national with an EAD expiring on January 22, 2018, you will need to update the employee’s Form I-9.  The employee’s EAD must state A-12 or C-19 under “Category” and must expire on January 22, 2018.  In this situation, you should draw a line through the expiration date in Section 1 of the Form I-9 and write “July 21, 2018,” the automatic extension date, and initial and date the correction in the margin.  In Section 2 of the Form I-9, draw a line through the expiration date of January 22, 2018 and write “July 21, 2018.”  Initial and date the correction in the margin.  By July 22, 2018, the employer must re-verify the Form I-9 in Section 3.  The employee must present proof of continued work authorization, in the form of either a valid and unexpired List A document or List C document.  The employer should not specify the document the employee presents, e.g., the new EAD, as proof of continued work authorization.

In other news impacting people from Haiti, the DHS removed Haiti as one of the countries whose nationals are eligible for H-2A and H-2B temporary visas. The H-2A and H-2B visas are used for temporary agricultural (H-2A) and nonagricultural (H-2B) workers.