By Deba Uwadiae
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted a Federal Register notice for the extension and redesignation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from February 4, 2023, through August 3, 2024. DHS previously announced the decision to extend and redesignate TPS for Haiti on December 5, 2022.
This extension and redesignation of Haiti for TPS allows nationals of Haiti (and individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) who have continuously resided in the United States since November 6, 2022, and who have been continuously physically present in the United States since February 4, 2023, to apply for TPS.
Those who have been continuously residing in the United States since November 6, 2022, and have a pending TPS application with USCIS do not have to refile at this time.
The Federal Register notice explains the procedures necessary for an existing TPS beneficiary to re-register under the extension and for an individual to submit an initial application under the redesignation and to apply for an Employment Authorization Document.
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security has warned nationals from Uniting for Ukraine and Processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans to beware of scammers masquerading the United States immigration services and promises of bringing them to America.
Uniting for Ukraine and the Processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans, provide pathways for nationals of these countries and their immediate family members to come to the United States and stay temporarily in a 2-year period of parole.
USCIS is asking potential supporters and beneficiaries of these parole processes to be cautious of scams and rumors. There has been an increase in scams and predatory behavior targeting individuals from these countries who may be considered for parole under these processes. Scammers and other bad actors exploit their victims by creating uncertainty and misinformation. Find more information on scams and legal services on the USCIS Avoid Scams webpage.
Some common scams and misleading offers to be aware of include:
Government impersonators: Look out for scammers posing as USCIS officials. USCIS will only contact you through official government channels and will not contact you through your personal social media accounts (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).
Misleading offers of support: Look out for individuals who attempt to contact you online or through your social media accounts to offer to be your supporter or connect you to a supporter in exchange for a fee or your biographic information, such as your passport number or date of birth. Supporters should be able to provide financial support to beneficiaries for up to a 2-year period of parole. Beneficiaries are not obligated to repay, reimburse, work for, serve, marry, or otherwise compensate their supporter in exchange for the potential supporter submitting Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, on their behalf or for providing financial support while they are in the United States. Find more information on potential exploitation and abuse in the Understand Your Rights guide.
Scam websites: Some websites claim to be affiliated with USCIS and offer step-by-step guidance on completing a USCIS application, petition, or request. Make sure your information is from uscis.gov, dhs.gov, or is affiliated with uscis.gov. Make sure the website address ends with .gov.
Payments by phone or email: USCIS will never ask you to transfer money to an individual. We do not accept Western Union, MoneyGram, PayPal, or gift cards as payment for immigration fees. In addition, we will never ask you to pay fees to a person on the phone or by email.
Notarios Públicos and unauthorized practitioners of immigration law: In the United States, a notario público is not authorized to provide you with any legal services related to immigration benefits. Only an attorney or an accredited representative working for a Department of Justice (DOJ)-recognized organization can give you legal advice. For more information about finding legal services, visit our website.
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