With TPS, Going to Haiti Cost an Arm and a Leg

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Tuesday, 22 March 2011 09:30

Foreigners have one feeling in common; when we miss home, it is like we have to do number 2; we gotta go, we gotta, we gotta go and we care less how much the airfare will cost.

However, the INS is making it difficult for Haitians who received Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to go visit their country so they can see for themselves sceneries of misery and despair the earthquake had left.

TPS allows Haitians to stay in America to work for 18 months as long as they can show proof that they lived in the United States on or before January 12, 2010. In addition to purchasing a plane ticket, saving money, and bringing gifts and American goodies for friends and family members, going to Haiti, it will cost Haitians with Temporary Protected Status $445 more.

One of the provisions of the TPS is that once an immigrant is approved, whether employment is found or not, he or she must remain in the country for the term of the temporary status, or until he or she is given permanent status.

On the other hand, if one wishes to go home for a quick visit, he or she is eligible to request an exemption to reenter his or her native homeland by filling out INS Form I-131.

The filling fee for the INS reentry permit Form I-131 is $360, which is not refundable whether approved or denied.

Wait;, there is more. Once INS receives the form, which will show when the immigrant intends to go home and the length of the desired stay, the applicant will be called for a biometrics appointment, which costs $85. Not only it cost $800 to apply for and obtain Temporary Protected Status, it also costs $445 more to reenter home for a visit that will not be as fun as it used to be before the earthquake.

Say there are jobs in America where Haitians with TPS can earn enough money to pay their bills as well as save to apply for reentry permits, pay biometrics, purchase plan tickets, etc. unless they are fluent in English and have already earned an American stamped degree?

In summary:

  • Reentry permit: $360
  • Biometrics: $85
  • Plane Ticket; $350
  • Going to Haiti: Priceless

Because for everything else, there is the feeling that money cannot stop us from visiting home although international media is saying that Haiti is bad juju.


Source: Leogane Magazine, USCIS and LIFE