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Temporary Protected Status Extended for Honduras and Nicaragua

Posted: October 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: National News | No Comments »

According to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services Weekly Digest Bulletin, the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua for an additional 18 months, effective Jan. 6, 2015, through July 5, 2016.

Current TPS Honduras and Nicaragua beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from Oct. 16, 2014 through Dec. 15, 2014. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins. USCIS will not accept applications before Oct. 16, 2014.

The 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible TPS Honduras or Nicaragua beneficiaries (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Honduras or Nicaragua) who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of July 5, 2016.

To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee, but they must submit the biometric services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if they are age 14 or older. All TPS re-registrants must also submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. TPS re-registrants requesting an EAD must submit the Form I-765 application fee or a fee-waiver request. If the re-registrant does not want an EAD, no application fee is required.

Applicants may request that USCIS waive the Form I-765 application fee or biometrics fee based on an inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject the TPS application of any applicant who fails to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver request.


DHS To Implement Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program

Posted: October 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: National News | No Comments »

According to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services Weekly Digest Bulletin, starting in early 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin implementation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program to expedite family reunification for certain eligible Haitian family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and to promote safe, legal and orderly migration from Haiti to the United States.

Under this program U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will offer certain eligible Haitian beneficiaries of already approved family-based immigrant visa petitions, who are currently in Haiti, an opportunity to come to the United States up to approximately two years before their immigrant visa priority dates become current.

“The rebuilding and development of a safe and economically strong Haiti is a priority for the United States.  The Haitian Family Reunification Parole program promotes a fundamental underlying goal of our immigration system – family reunification.  It also supports broader U.S. goals for Haiti’s reconstruction and development by providing the opportunity for certain eligible Haitians to safely and legally immigrate sooner to the United States,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.  “The United States strongly discourages individuals in Haiti from undertaking life-threatening and illegal maritime journeys to the United States. Such individuals will not qualify for the HFRP program and if located at sea may be returned to Haiti.” 

Legal authority for the HFRP program is provided under the Immigration and Nationality Act which authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to parole into the United States certain individuals, on a case-by-case basis, for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.  This is the same legal authority used to establish the Cuban Family Reunification Parole program in 2007.

USCIS is not currently accepting HFRP program applications, and potential beneficiaries should not take any action at this time.  USCIS will provide full program details before the end of this calendar year and stakeholder engagements will take place shortly thereafter. In early 2015, the Department of State National Visa Center (NVC) will begin contacting certain U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents with approved petitions for Haitian family members, offer them the opportunity to apply to the program, and provide instructions on how to apply. Only individuals who receive a written notice of program eligibility from NVC will be eligible to apply.

Under the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program, Haitians authorized parole will be allowed to enter the United States and apply for work permits but will not receive permanent resident status any earlier.