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Notice

Extension of the Designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 51582

AGENCY:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

Through this Notice, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) is extending the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from January 23, 2016 through July 22, 2017.

The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through July 22, 2017, so long as they otherwise continue to meet the eligibility requirements for TPS. The Secretary has determined that an extension is warranted because the conditions in Haiti that prompted the TPS designation continue to be met. There continue to be extraordinary and temporary conditions in that country that prevent Haitian nationals (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) from returning to Haiti in safety.

Through this Notice, DHS also sets forth procedures necessary for nationals of Haiti (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) to re-register for TPS and to apply for renewal of their Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Re-registration is limited to persons who have previously registered for TPS under the designation of Haiti and whose applications have been granted. Certain nationals of Haiti (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) who have not previously applied for TPS may be eligible to apply under the late initial registration provisions if they meet (1) at least one of the late initial filing criteria, and (2) all TPS eligibility criteria (including continuous residence in the United States since January 12, 2011, and continuous physical presence in the United States since July 23, 2011).

For individuals who have already been granted TPS under Haiti's designation, the 60-day re-registration period runs from August 25, 2015 through October 26, 2015. USCIS will issue new EADs with a July 22, 2017 expiration date to eligible Haiti TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs under this extension. Given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, DHS recognizes that not all re-registrants will receive new EADs before their current EADs expire on January 22, 2016. Accordingly, through this Notice, DHS automatically extends the validity of EADs issued under the TPS designation of Haiti for 6 months, through July 22, 2016, and explains how TPS beneficiaries and their employers may determine which EADs are automatically extended and their impact on Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and the E-Verify processes.

DATES:

The 18-month extension of the TPS designation of Haiti is effective January 23, 2016, and will remain in effect through July 22, 2017. The 60-day re-registration period runs from August 25, 2015 through October 26, 2015. (Note: It is important for re-registrants to timely re-register during this 60-day re-registration period and not to wait until their EADs expire.)

Further Information

  • For further information on TPS, including guidance on the application process and additional information on eligibility, please visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/​tps. You can find specific information about Haiti's TPS extension by selecting “TPS Designated Country: Haiti” from the menu on the left side of the TPS Web page.
  • You can also contact the TPS Operations Program Manager at the Waivers and Temporary Services Branch, Service Center Operations Directorate, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2060; or by phone at (202) 272-1533 (this is not a toll-free number). Note: The phone number provided here is solely for questions regarding this TPS Notice. It is not for individual case status inquires.
  • Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833).
  • Further information will also be available at local USCIS offices upon publication of this Notice.
End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Abbreviations

BIA—Board of Immigration Appeals

DHS—Department of Homeland Security

DOS—Department of State

EAD—Employment Authorization Document

FNC—Final Nonconfirmation

Government—U.S. Government

IDP—Internally Displaced Person

IJ—Immigration Judge

INA—Immigration and Nationality Act

OSC—U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices

SAVE—USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program

Secretary—Secretary of Homeland Security

TNC—Tentative Nonconfirmation

TPS—Temporary Protected Status

TTY—Text Telephone

USCIS—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

  • TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country designated for TPS under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), or to eligible persons without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country.
  • During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are eligible to remain in the United States, may not be removed, and are authorized to work and obtain EADs so long as they continue to meet the requirements of TPS.
  • TPS beneficiaries may also be granted travel authorization as a matter of discretion.
  • The granting of TPS does not result in or lead to permanent resident status.
  • To qualify for TPS, beneficiaries must meet the eligibility standards at INA section 244(c)(2) and 8 CFR 244.2-.4.
  • When the Secretary terminates a country's TPS designation, beneficiaries return to the same immigration status they maintained before TPS, if any (unless that status has since expired or been terminated), or to any other lawfully obtained immigration status they received while registered for TPS.

When was Haiti designated for TPS?

On January 21, 2010, the Secretary designated Haiti for TPS based on extraordinary and temporary conditions within the country, specifically the effects of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that occurred on January 12, 2010. See Designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status, 75 FR 3476 (Jan. 21, 2010). In 2011, the Secretary both extended Haiti's designation and redesignated Haiti for TPS for 18 months through January 22, 2013. See Extension and Redesignation of Haiti for Start Printed Page 51583Temporary Protected Status, 76 FR 29000 (May 19, 2011). Haiti's designation was then extended for an additional 18 months on October 1, 2012. See Extension of the Designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status, 77 FR 59943 (October 1, 2012). The Secretary last extended Haiti's TPS designation in 2014. Through a notice published in the Federal Register on March 3, 2014, the Secretary extended Haiti's designation for TPS for 18 months, through January 22, 2016, because the conditions warranting the 2011 redesignation continued to be met. See Extension of the Designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status, 79 FR 11808 (March 3, 2014). This announcement is the third extension of TPS for Haiti since the 2011 redesignation.

What authority does the Secretary of Homeland Security have to extend the designation of Haiti for TPS?

Section 244(b)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1), authorizes the Secretary, after consultation with appropriate agencies of the U.S. Government (Government), to designate a foreign state (or part thereof) for TPS if the Secretary determines that certain country conditions exist.[1] The Secretary may then grant TPS to eligible nationals of that foreign state (or eligible aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country). See INA section 244(a)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A).

At least 60 days before the expiration of a country's TPS designation or extension, the Secretary, after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, must review the conditions in a foreign state designated for TPS to determine whether the conditions for the TPS designation continue to be met. See INA section 244(b)(3)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). If the Secretary determines that a foreign state continues to meet the conditions for TPS designation, the designation may be extended for an additional period of 6, 12, or 18 months. See INA section 244(b)(3)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C). If the Secretary determines that the foreign state no longer meets the conditions for TPS designation, the Secretary must terminate the designation. See INA section 244(b)(3)(B), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(B).

Why is the Secretary extending the TPS designation for Haiti through July 22, 2017?

Over the past year, DHS and the Department of State (DOS) have continued to review conditions in Haiti. Based on this review and after consulting with DOS, the Secretary has determined that an 18-month extension is warranted because the extraordinary and temporary conditions that led to Haiti's designation continue to exist and prevent Haitian nationals (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) from returning to Haiti in safety.

Many of the conditions prompting the original January 2010 TPS designation and the May 2011 redesignation persist, including a housing shortage, a cholera epidemic, limited access to medical care, damage to the economy, political instability, security risks, limited access to food and water, a heightened vulnerability of women and children, and environmental risks. More than 5 years after the earthquake, Haiti continues to recover.

The January 12, 2010 earthquake caused extensive damage to the country's physical infrastructure and public health, agricultural, housing, transportation, and educational facilities. The Haitian government estimates that 105,000 houses were destroyed and 188,383 houses collapsed or suffered considerable damage. At the peak of the displacement, estimates of people internally displaced range from approximately 1.5 million to 2.3 million. While most of the earthquake related rubble has been cleared, and there have been improvements to road conditions, the effort to rebuild damaged buildings has been slow. Virtually all government offices and ministries were destroyed in downtown Port-au-Prince and, 5 years later, remain housed in temporary facilities.

While the country continues to make progress in relocating people made homeless by the 2010 earthquake, estimates by the International Organization for Migration in December 2014 put the number of Haitians still living in internally displaced person (IDP) camps at approximately 80,000 scattered across 105 sites. Basic services available to camp residents have deteriorated as IDP camps close and funding dries up, with most camps lacking waste management services and adequate sanitation facilities—leading to a high risk of cholera transmission—and possessing malnutrition rates higher than emergency thresholds. Gender-based violence that exists within these informal settlement areas continues to be a serious concern and personal security is a serious and pervasive issue. While IDP camps are closing, Haiti's housing shortage remains far from resolved. Haiti lacks sufficient housing units to address its pre-earthquake shortage, replace damaged or destroyed units, and satisfy projected urban growth. Some Haitians have returned to unsafe homes or built houses in informal settlements located in hazardous areas without access to basic services.

Lingering infrastructure damage since the earthquake has also impacted food security. Even prior to the 2010 earthquake, Haiti had one of the highest rates of hunger and malnutrition in the Western Hemisphere, with 45 percent of the population undernourished and 30 percent of children under 5 suffering from chronic malnutrition. Damage from the 2010 earthquake exacerbated Haiti's historic food security challenges. An estimated 2.5 million people are unable to cover their basic food needs and a January 2015 United Nations report estimated that over 600,000 people were facing severe food insecurity.

Haiti's longstanding public health challenges were exacerbated by the January 2010 earthquake and an ongoing cholera epidemic that started in October 2010. The introduction of cholera in Haiti shortly after the earthquake, and its persistence since then, is mainly due to the lack of access to clean water and appropriate sanitation facilities. Concerted efforts by Haiti and its partners have reduced the number of reported cholera cases in the country, but Haiti continues to host the largest cholera epidemic in the Western Hemisphere. As of December 2014, the cholera epidemic has affected approximately 725,000 people and claimed over 8,800 lives in Haiti since October 2010. In January 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that outbreaks of epidemic diseases still occur and that progress has been slow and limited in restoring Haiti's physical health infrastructure.

Haiti's ability to recover has been further constrained by political instability. The January 2010 earthquake had an immediate impact on governance and the rule of law in Haiti, killing an estimated 18 percent of the country's civil service and destroying key government infrastructure, including the National Palace, 28 of 29 government ministry buildings, the National Police headquarters, and various judicial facilities. Following the expiration of local and parliamentary Start Printed Page 51584mandates on January 12, 2015, Haiti was left without a functioning legislative branch or duly elected local authorities. Increasingly, politically and economically motivated protests and demonstrations have turned violent.

Although the Government of Haiti has taken significant steps to improve stability and the quality of life for Haitian citizens, Haiti continues to lack the adequate infrastructure, health and sanitation services, and emergency response capacity necessary to ensure the personal safety of Haitian nationals.

Based upon this review and after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, the Secretary has determined that:

  • The conditions that prompted the July 23, 2011 redesignation of Haiti for TPS continue to be met. See INA section 244(b)(3)(A) and (C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A) and (C).
  • There continue to be extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti that prevent Haitian nationals (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) from returning to Haiti in safety. See INA section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
  • It is not contrary to the national interest of the United States to permit Haitians (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) who meet the eligibility requirements of TPS to remain in the United States temporarily. See INA section 244(b)(1)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
  • The designation of Haiti for TPS should be extended for an 18-month period from January 23, 2016 through July 22, 2017. See INA section 244(b)(3)(C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
  • There are approximately 50,000 current Haiti TPS beneficiaries who are expected to file for re-registration under the extension.

Notice of Extension of the TPS Designation of Haiti

By the authority vested in me as Secretary under INA section 244, 8 U.S.C. 1254a, I have determined, after consultation with the appropriate Government agencies, that the conditions that prompted the redesignation of Haiti for TPS on July 23, 2011, continue to be met. See INA section 244(b)(3)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). On the basis of this determination, I am extending the existing designation of Haiti for TPS for 18 months, from January 23, 2016 through July 22, 2017. See INA section 244(b)(1)(C) and (b)(2), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C) and (b)(2).

Start Signature

Jeh Charles Johnson,

Secretary.

End Signature

Required Application Forms and Application Fees To Register or Re-Register for TPS

To register or re-register for TPS based on the designation of Haiti, an applicant must submit each of the following two applications:

1. Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821)

  • If you are filing an application for late initial registration, you must pay the fee for the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821). See 8 CFR 244.2(f)(2) and 244.6 and information on late initial filing on the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/​tps.
  • If you are filing an application for re-registration, you do not need to pay the fee for the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821). See 8 CFR 244.17.

2. Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765)

  • If you are applying for late initial registration and want an EAD, you must pay the fee for the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) only if you are age 14 through 65. No fee for the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) is required if you are requesting an initial EAD and are under the age of 14 or over the age of 65 and applying for late initial registration.
  • If you are applying for re-registration, you must pay the fee for the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) only if you want an EAD, regardless of age.
  • You do not pay the fee for the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) if you are not requesting an EAD, regardless of whether you are applying for late initial registration or re-registration. You must submit both completed application forms together. If you are unable to pay for the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) and/or biometrics fee, you may apply for a fee waiver by completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and by providing satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information on the application forms and fees for TPS, please visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/​tps. Fees for the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821), the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765), and biometric services are also described in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1)(i).

Biometric Services Fee

Biometrics (such as fingerprints) are required for all applicants 14 years of age or older. Those applicants must submit a biometric services fee. As previously stated, if you are unable to pay for the biometric services fee, you may apply for a fee waiver by completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or by submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and providing satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information on the biometric services fee, please visit the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov. If necessary, you may be required to visit an Application Support Center to have your biometrics captured.

Re-Filing a Re-Registration TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of a Fee Waiver Request

USCIS urges all re-registering applicants to file as soon as possible within the 60-day re-registration period so that USCIS can process the applications and issue EADs promptly. Filing early will also allow those applicants who may receive denials of their fee waiver requests to have time to re-file their applications before the re-registration deadline. If, however, an applicant receives a denial of his or her fee waiver request and is unable to re-file by the re-registration deadline, the applicant may still re-file his or her application. This situation will be reviewed to determine whether the applicant has established good cause for late re-registration. However, applicants are urged to re-file within 45 days of the date on their USCIS fee waiver denial notice, if at all possible. See INA section 244(c)(3)(C); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(3)(C); 8 CFR 244.17(c). For more information on good cause for late re-registration, visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/​tps. Note: As previously stated, although a re-registering TPS beneficiary age 14 and older must pay the biometric services fee (but not the initial TPS application fee) when filing a TPS re-registration application, the applicant may decide to wait to request an EAD, and therefore not pay the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) fee until after USCIS has approved the individual's TPS re-registration, if he or she is eligible. If you choose to do this, you would file the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) with the fee and the Application Start Printed Page 51585for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) without the fee and without requesting an EAD.

Mailing Information

Mail your application for TPS to the proper address in Table 1.

Table 1—Mailing Addresses

If . . .Mail to . . .
You live in FloridaU.S. Postal Service: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Attn: Haiti TPS, P.O. Box 4464, Chicago, IL 60680.
Non-U.S. Postal Delivery Service: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Attn: Haiti TPS, 131 S. Dearborn—3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60603.
You live in the State of New YorkU.S. Postal Service: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Attn: Haiti TPS, P.O. Box 660167, Dallas, TX 75266.
Non-U.S. Postal Delivery Service: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Attn: Haiti TPS, 2501 S. State Highway, 121 Business Suite 400, Lewisville, TX 75067.
You live in any other stateU.S. Postal Service: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Attn: Haiti TPS, P.O. Box 24047, Phoenix, AZ 85074.
Non-U.S. Postal Delivery Service: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Attn: Haiti TPS, 1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85034.

If you were granted TPS by an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and you wish to request an EAD or are re-registering for the first time following a grant of TPS by an IJ or the BIA, please mail your application to the appropriate mailing address in Table 1. Upon receiving a Notice of Action (Form I-797) from USCIS, please send an email to the appropriate USCIS Service Center handling your application providing the receipt number and stating that you submitted a re-registration and/or request for an EAD based on an IJ/BIA grant of TPS. If your USCIS receipt number begins with the letters “LIN,” please email the Nebraska Service Center at TPSijgrant.nsc@uscis.dhs.gov. If your USCIS receipt number begins with the letters “WAC,” please email the California Service Center at TPSijgrant.csc@uscis.dhs.gov. You can find detailed information on what further information you need to email and the email addresses on the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/​tps.

E-Filing

You cannot electronically file your application when re-registering or submitting an initial registration for Haiti TPS. Please mail your application to the mailing address listed in Table 1.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

How can I obtain information on the status of my EAD request?

To obtain case status information about your TPS application, including the status of a request for an EAD, you can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833). If your Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization has been pending for more than 90 days, and you still need assistance, you may request an EAD inquiry appointment with USCIS by using the InfoPass system at https://infopass.uscis.gov. However, we strongly encourage you first to check Case Status Online or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center for assistance before making an InfoPass appointment.

Am I eligible to receive an automatic 6-month extension of my current EAD through July 22, 2016?

Provided that you currently have TPS under the designation of Haiti, this Notice automatically extends your EAD by 6 months if you:

  • Are a national of Haiti (or an alien having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti);
  • Received an EAD under the last extension of TPS for Haiti; and
  • Have an EAD with a marked expiration date of January 22, 2016, bearing the notation “A-12” or “C-19” on the face of the card under “Category.”

Although this Notice automatically extends your EAD through July 22, 2016, you must re-register timely for TPS in accordance with the procedures described in this Notice if you would like to maintain your TPS.Start Printed Page 51586

When hired, what documentation may I show to my employer as proof of employment authorization and identity when completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)?

You can find a list of acceptable document choices on the “Lists of Acceptable Documents” for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). You can find additional detailed information on the USCIS I-9 Central Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/​I-9Central. Employers are required to verify the identity and employment authorization of all new employees by using Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). Within 3 days of hire, an employee must present proof of identity and employment authorization to his or her employer.

You may present any document from List A (reflecting both your identity and employment authorization) or one document from List B (reflecting identity) together with one document from List C (reflecting employment authorization). You may present an acceptable receipt for List A, List B, or List C documents as described in the Form I-9 Instructions. An acceptable receipt is one that shows an employee has applied to replace a document that was lost, stolen or damaged. If you present this receipt, you must present your employer with the actual document within 90 days. An EAD is an acceptable document under “List A.” Employers may not reject a document based on a future expiration date.

If your EAD has an expiration date of January 22, 2016, and states “A-12” or “C-19” under “Category,” it has been extended automatically for 6 months by virtue of this Federal Register Notice, and you may choose to present your EAD to your employer as proof of identity and employment authorization for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) through July 22, 2016 (see the subsection titled “How do my employer and I complete the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) using an automatically extended EAD for a new job?” for further information). To minimize confusion over this extension at the time of hire, you should explain to your employer that USCIS has automatically extended your EAD through July 22, 2016, based on your Temporary Protected Status. You are also strongly encouraged, although not required, to show your employer a copy of this Federal Register Notice confirming the automatic extension of employment authorization through July 22, 2016. As an alternative to presenting your automatically extended EAD, you may choose to present any other acceptable document from List A, or a combination of one selection from List B and one selection from List C.

What documentation may I show my employer if I am already employed but my current TPS-related EAD is set to expire?

Even though EADs with an expiration date of January 22, 2016, that state “A-12” or “C-19” under “Category” have been automatically extended for 6 months by this Federal Register Notice, your employer will need to ask you about your continued employment authorization once January 22, 2016, is reached to meet its responsibilities for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). Your employer does not need a new Form I-9 to reverify your employment authorization until July 22, 2016, the expiration date of the automatic extension, but may need to reinspect your automatically extended EAD to check the expiration date and code in order to record the updated expiration date on your Form I-9 if your employer did not keep a copy of this EAD at the time you initially presented it. You and your employer must make corrections to the employment authorization expiration dates in Section 1 and Section 2 of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) (see the subsection titled “What corrections should my current employer and I make to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) if my EAD has been automatically extended?” for further information). You are also strongly encouraged, although not required, to show this Federal Register Notice to your employer to explain what to do for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).

By July 22, 2016, the expiration date of the automatic extension, your employer must reverify your employment authorization. At that time, you must present any unexpired document from List A or any unexpired document from List C on Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) to reverify employment authorization, or an acceptable List A or List C receipt described in the Form I-9 instructions. Your employer is required to reverify on Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) the employment authorization of current employees upon the automatically extended expiration date of a TPS-related EAD, which is July 22, 2016, in this case. Your employer should use either Section 3 of the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) originally completed for the employee or, if this section has already been completed or if the version of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) is no longer valid, complete Section 3 of a new Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) using the most current version. Note that your employer may not specify which List A or List C document employees must present, and cannot reject an acceptable receipt. An acceptable receipt is one that shows an employee has applied to replace a document that was lost, stolen or damaged.

Can my employer require that I produce any other documentation to prove my current TPS status, such as proof of my Haitian citizenship or proof that I have re-registered for TPS?

No. When completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9), including reverifying employment authorization, employers must accept any documentation that appears on the “Lists of Acceptable Documents” for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) that reasonably appears to be genuine and that relates to you or an acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt. Employers may not request documentation that does not appear on the “Lists of Acceptable Documents.” Therefore, employers may not request proof of Haitian citizenship or proof of re-registration for TPS when completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) for new hires or reverifying the employment authorization of current employees. Refer to the Note to Employees section of this Notice for important information about your rights if your employer rejects lawful documentation, requires additional documentation, or otherwise discriminates against you based on your citizenship or immigration status, or your national origin. Note that although you are not required to provide your employer with a copy of this Federal Register notice, you are strongly encouraged to do so to help avoid confusion.

What happens after July 22, 2016, for purposes of employment authorization?

After July 22, 2016, employers may no longer accept the EADs that this Federal Register Notice automatically extended. Before that time, however, USCIS will endeavor to issue new EADs to eligible TPS re-registrants who request them. These new EADs will have an expiration date of July 22, 2017, and can be presented to your employer for completion of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). Alternatively, you may choose to present any other legally acceptable document or Start Printed Page 51587combination of documents listed on the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).

How do my employer and I complete Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) using an automatically extended EAD for a new job?

When using an automatically extended EAD to complete Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) for a new job prior to July 22, 2016, you and your employer should do the following:

1. For Section 1, you should:

a. Check “An alien authorized to work;”

b. Write the automatically extended EAD expiration date (July 22, 2016) in the first space; and

c. Write your alien number (USCIS number or A-number) in the second space (your EAD or other document from DHS will have your USCIS number or A-number printed on it; the USCIS number is the same as your A-number without the A prefix).

2. For Section 2, employers should record the:

a. Document title;

b. Issuing authority;

c. Document number; and

d. Automatically extended EAD expiration date (July 22, 2016).

By July 22, 2016, employers must reverify the employee's employment authorization in Section 3 of the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).

What corrections should my current employer and I make to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) if my EAD has been automatically extended?

If you are an existing employee who presented a TPS-related EAD that was valid when you first started your job but that EAD has now been automatically extended, your employer may reinspect your automatically extended EAD if the employer does not have a photocopy of the EAD on file, and you and your employer should correct your previously completed Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) as follows:

1. For Section 1, you should:

a. Draw a line through the expiration date in the first space;

b. Write “July 22, 2016” above the previous date;

c. Write “TPS Ext.” in the margin of Section 1; and

d. Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 1.

2. For Section 2, employers should:

a. Draw a line through the expiration date written in Section 2;

b. Write “July 22, 2016” above the previous date;

c. Write “EAD Ext.” in the margin of Section 2; and

d. Initial and date the correction in the margin of Section 2.

By July 22, 2016, when the automatic extension of EADs expires, employers must reverify the employee's employment authorization in Section 3.

If I am an employer enrolled in E-Verify, what do I do when I receive a “Work Authorization Documents Expiration” alert for an automatically extended EAD?

If you are an employer who participates in E-Verify and you have an employee who is a TPS beneficiary who provided a TPS-related EAD when he or she first started working for you, you will receive a “Work Authorization Documents Expiring” case alert when this EAD is about to expire. Usually, this message is an alert to complete Section 3 of the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) to reverify an employee's employment authorization. For existing employees with TPS-related EADs that have been automatically extended, employers should dismiss this alert by clicking the red “X” in the “dismiss alert” column and follow the instructions above explaining how to correct the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). By July 22, 2016, employment authorization must be reverified in Section 3. Employers should never use E-Verify for reverification.

Note to All Employers

Employers are reminded that the laws requiring proper employment eligibility verification and prohibiting unfair immigration-related employment practices remain in full force. This Notice does not supersede or in any way limit applicable employment verification rules and policy guidance, including those rules setting forth reverification requirements. For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, employers may call USCIS at 888-464-4218 (TTY 877-875-6028) or email USCIS at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls and emails are accepted in English and many other languages. For questions about avoiding discrimination during the employment eligibility verification process, employers may also call the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer Hotline, at 800-255-8155 (TTY 800-237-2515), which offers language interpretation in numerous languages, or email OSC at osccrt@usdoj.gov.

Note to Employees

For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, employees may call USCIS at 888-897-7781 (TTY 877-875-6028) or email at I-9Central@dhs.gov. Calls are accepted in English and many other languages. Employees or applicants may also call the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Worker Information Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515) for information regarding employment discrimination based upon citizenship status, immigration status, or national origin, or for information regarding discrimination related to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and E-Verify. The OSC Worker Information Hotline provides language interpretation in numerous languages.

To comply with the law, employers must accept any document or combination of documents from the Lists of Acceptable Documents if the documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the employee, or an acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt described in the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) Instructions. Employers may not require extra or additional documentation beyond what is required for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) completion. Further, employers participating in E-Verify who receive an E-Verify case result of “Tentative Nonconfirmation” (TNC) must promptly inform employees of the TNC and give such employees an opportunity to contest the TNC. A TNC case result means that the information entered into E-Verify from Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) differs from records available to DHS or the Social Security Administration.

Employers may not terminate, suspend, delay training, withhold pay, lower pay, or take any adverse action against an employee based on the employee's decision to contest a TNC or because the case is still pending with E-Verify. A Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) case result is received when E-Verify cannot verify an employee's employment eligibility. An employer may terminate employment based on a case result of FNC. Work-authorized employees who receive an FNC may call USCIS for assistance at 888-897-7781 (TTY 877-875-6028). An employee that believes he or she was discriminated against by an employer in the E-Verify process based on citizenship or immigration status or based on national origin, may contact OSC's Worker Start Printed Page 51588Information Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515). Additional information about proper nondiscriminatory Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and E-Verify procedures is available on the OSC Web site at http://www.justice.gov/​crt/​about/​osc/​ and the USCIS Web site at http://www.dhs.gov/​E-verify.

Note Regarding Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (Such as Departments of Motor Vehicles)

While Federal Government agencies must follow the guidelines laid out by the Federal Government, State and local government agencies establish their own rules and guidelines when granting certain benefits. Each State may have different laws, requirements, and determinations about what documents you need to provide to prove eligibility for certain benefits. Whether you are applying for a Federal, State, or local government benefit, you may need to provide the government agency with documents that show you are a TPS beneficiary and/or show you are authorized to work based on TPS. Examples are:

(1) Your unexpired EAD;

(2) A copy of this Federal Register Notice if your EAD is automatically extended under this Notice;

(3) A copy of your Application for Temporary Protected Status Notice of Action (Form I-797) for this re-registration;

(4) A copy of your past or current Application for Temporary Protected Status Approval Notice (Form I-797), if you received one from USCIS; and/or

(5) If there is an automatic extension of work authorization, a copy of the fact sheet from the USCIS TPS Web site that provides information on the automatic extension.

Check with the government agency regarding which document(s) the agency will accept. You may also provide the agency with a copy of this Federal Register Notice.

Some benefit-granting agencies use the USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE) to verify the current immigration status of applicants for public benefits. If such an agency has denied your application based solely or in part on a SAVE response, the agency must offer you the opportunity to appeal the decision in accordance with the agency's procedures. If the agency has received and acted upon or will act upon a SAVE verification and you do not believe the response is correct, you may make an InfoPass appointment for an in-person interview at a local USCIS office. Detailed information on how to make corrections, make an appointment, or submit a written request to correct records under the Freedom of Information Act can be found at the SAVE Web site at http://www.uscis.gov/​save, then by choosing “How to Correct Your Records” from the menu on the right.

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  As of March 1, 2003, in accordance with section 1517 of title XV of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, any reference to the Attorney General in a provision of the INA describing functions transferred from the Department of Justice to DHS “shall be deemed to refer to the Secretary” of Homeland Security. See 6 U.S.C. 557 (codifying the Homeland Security Act of 2002, tit. XV, section 1517).

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[FR Doc. 2015-21006 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9111-97-P