A.G. Schneiderman & NYC Mayor’s Office Of Immigrant Affairs Join Efforts To Help Haitian Immigrants Applying For TPS To Avoid Scams

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Extended for Additional 18-months and Available to Haitians who entered the United States Following the January 2010 Earthquake

Applicants Should Call 311 for Help on How to Apply, and Call the Attorney General Office if They Believe they are Victims of Immigration Fraud

 

NEW YORK - The New York State Attorney General's Civil Rights Bureau and the NYC Mayor Office’s for Immigrants Affairs are joining forces to help Haitian immigrants looking to benefit from the extension and re-designation of the federal Temporary Protection Status (TPS) by providing a list of resources and tips on how to apply without becoming victims of unscrupulous immigration services providers.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an extension of TPS for Haitian immigrants, effective July 23, 2011, which will allow TPS beneficiaries to remain in the United States through Jan. 22, 2013.  Individuals who currently have TPS have until August 22, 2011 to apply for this extension.

In addition, DHS has announced that Haitian nationals who entered the United States within a year after the earthquake on January 12, 2010 and do not have TPS or a pending TPS application may begin to apply for TPS immediately, and must file no later than November 15, 2011.  No individual who arrived in the United States after January 12, 2011 will be eligible to apply for TPS.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) states that Haitian immigrants seeking to apply for or extend TPS through this process should follow these tips to avoid becoming victims of an immigration scam:

  • DO NOT sign any blank papers or documents that you do not understand
  • DO NOT sign any documents that contain false or inaccurate information
  • DO NOT let anyone keep your original documents
  • DO NOT pay more than a nominal fee to someone who is not an attorney or make payments on the Internet
  • DO make photocopies of all documents prepared or submitted for you
  • DO get a receipt any time you pay someone to assist you in completing or submitting forms
  •  DO verify that your attorney is licensed or your representative is accredited by BIA  

Free services are available

Free and low-cost immigration information or assistance is available throughout New York City. To find an organization near you, call 311.  Information through 311 is available in Haitian, Creole, and French.

All New Yorkers should be aware of organizations and not-for-profits providing immigration services for exorbitant fees and without proper accreditation.  A list of free and low-cost immigration services that are authorized to provide immigration services can be found through the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) at: http://www.justice.gov/eoir/ra/raroster.htm

If you have been a victim of immigration service’s fraud, please contact the Attorney General's Immigration Services Fraud Unit Hotline at (866) 390-2992 or visit: www.ag.ny.gov  To contact the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs please visit www.nyc.gov/immigrants or call 311.  

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