TPS is back for Haitians!
There is a new 18-month designation period for Haitians interested in Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This new TPS designation enables Haitian nationals currently residing in the United States as of May 21, 2021to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements. “Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “After careful consideration, we determined that we must do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may safely return home.” Individuals eligible for TPS under Haiti’s new designation must file an application for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within the registration period that will begin upon publication of notice in the Federal Register. This includes current beneficiaries under Haiti’s TPS designation, who will need to file a new application to register for TPS to ensure they do not lose TPS or experience a gap in coverage. Individuals filing for TPS may also request an Employment Authorization Document and travel authorization. All individuals applying for TPS undergo security and background checks as part of determining eligibility.
Trump Administration Rule Rolled Back
Returning to business as usual. The Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule, effective May 19, 2021, vacating the Trump administrations attempt at altering the regulatory definitions and standards for “specialty occupation,” “worksite,” “third-party worksite,” “U.S. employer,” “employer-employee relationship,” and others. The final rule removes from the Code of Federal Regulations the regulatory text that DHS promulgated in the October 2020 interim final rule and restores the regulatory text to appear as it did before.
Details: Final rule, DHS, May 19, 2021, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-05-19/pdf/2021-10489.pdf
H-2B Visa Cap Increases
The Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Labor (DOL) published a joint temporary final rule making available an additional 22,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural guest worker visas for fiscal year (FY) 2021 “to employers who are likely to suffer irreparable harm without these additional workers.” Of the supplemental visas, 6,000 are reserved for workers from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala (Northern Triangle). The supplemental H-2B visa allocation consists of 16,000 visas available only to returning H-2B workers from one of the last three fiscal years (FY 2018, 2019, or 2020), and 6,000 visas for Northern Triangle nationals, which are exempt from the returning worker requirement.
Details: “U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Labor Issue Joint Rule Supplementing H-2B Visa Cap,” May 21, 2021, https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/us-departments-of-homeland-security-and-labor-issue-joint-rule-supplementing-h-2b-visa-cap
Assisted Reproductive Technology Prompts Change to Acquisition of Citizenship at Birth Rules
The Department of State updates its interpretation and application of the requirements for acquisition of U.S. citizenship at birth in light of advances in assisted reproductive technology. Children born abroad to parents, at least one of whom is a U.S. citizen and who are married to each other at the time of the birth, “will be U.S. citizens from birth if they have a genetic or gestational tie to at least one of their parents and meet the [Immigration and Nationality Act’s] other requirements.” Previously, the Department’s interpretation and application of the INA required that children born abroad have a genetic or gestational relationship to a U.S. citizen parent. Requirements for children born to unmarried parents remain unchanged.
Details: U.S. Citizenship Transmission and Assisted Reproductive Technology,” May 18, 2021, https://www.state.gov/u-s-citizenship-transmission-and-assisted-reproductive-technology/