The United States on Monday officially extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for undocumented Haitians living in the United States.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said the extension is for an additional 18 months.
Napolitano said Washington is also extending the suspension of certain requirements for F-1 non-immigrant Haitian students.
She said the extension of TPS for Haitians will begin Jan. 23, 2013, and end July 22, 2014.
The U.S. first designated Haiti for TPS on Jan. 21, 2010, after the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake devastated the French-speaking Caribbean country.
Napolitano said current Haitian TPS beneficiaries, who have continuously resided in the United States since Jan. 12, 2011, and seek to extend their TPS status, must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs through Nov. 30, 2012, if they wish to maintain their TPS.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also urges beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible within the 60-day period.
USCIS said it will accept applications, effected Monday through Nov. 30, 2012.
It said individuals who have not continuously resided in the United States since Jan. 12, 2011 will not be eligible.
Napolitano said the 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Eligible Haitian TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register will receive a new EAD, if requested, with an expiration date of July 22, 2014.
“USCIS recognizes that all re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current EADs expire,” the statement said.
“Therefore, USCIS is extending currently valid TPS Haiti EADs bearing a Jan. 22, 2013 expiration date for an additional six months, through Jul. 22, 2013,” it added.
In addition, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it is extending the suspension of certain requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant Haitian students.
It said the extension will enable these F-1 students to continue to obtain employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load, while maintaining their F-1 student status.
DHS said the suspension of the regulatory requirements will remain in effect for an additional 18 months, through July 22, 2014.