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Feds move immigration deadline for Haitian nationals

The U.S. government has often shown generosity to people who have been persecuted in their native country or have been devastated by a natural disaster. Nationals from other countries are often allowed to come here to work and live for a time. Some people come to Miami with the intent to return to their native country and work with this goal in mind. Others choose to stay here on a more permanent basis, seeking to become a legal permanent resident. Among groups who have found the door to the U.S. open are the victims of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.

The immigration of these individuals was organized under a temporary protected status which was recently given an extended period of 18 months. In order to be approved for the extension, Haitian nationals were supposed to register by the end of November 2012 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

However, Superstorm Sandy hit the Eastern Seaboard during this time and devastated entire community neighborhoods in eastern cities. Because those communities contain a large portion of Haitian émigrés, the U.S. government has moved the registration for the extension to the end of January.

Haitians living in Miami who have not yet had the chance to register with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services should do so as soon as possible. If Haitian nationals would like to try to stay in the U.S. as a permanent legal citizen, they can contact a qualified immigration attorney who can guide them through the process to apply for the appropriate type of legal status.

Source: Bradenton Herald, "Sandy pushes back Haitians' immigration deadline," Dec. 29, 2012

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