The Help Haiti Act of 2010 Signed into Law

On December 9, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Help Haitian Adoptees Immediately to Integrate Act of 2010 (Help HAITI Act of 2010). This new law will make it possible for certain Haitian orphans paroled into the United States to become lawful permanent residents (LPR) of the United States and get green cards. Applications to get a green card under this law may be filed at any time on or before December 9, 2013.

Eligibility for a green card under the Help HAITI Act of 2010

To be eligible, you must:

* File a Form I 485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with fee, on or before December 9, 2013.
* Have been inspected and granted parole into the United States under the humanitarian parole policy announced by the Secretary of Homeland Security on January 18,     2010, and closed to new parole requests on April 15, 2010.
* Be admissible to the United States as an immigrant, (the visa and passport requirements are waived).
* Be physically present in the United States when you file your Form I-485 AND on the date that USCIS decides your case

Please note:  It is not necessary for a U.S. citizen to adopt a Haitian parolee in order for the Haitian parolee to obtain a green card under the Help HAITI Act of 2010. However, adoption by a U.S. citizen will be necessary for the Haitian parolee to obtain automatic citizenship under section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  See further information below under the “Citizenship” heading.
Filing Requirements

You must file your application on or before December 9, 2013. If your application is received after December 9, 2013, USCIS will reject your application and return your application fee.


On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck Haiti, causing widespread loss of life, injuries, devastating damage to infrastructure (including orphanages and government buildings), and the temporary collapse of the Haitian government.

On January 18, 2010, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security announced a special humanitarian parole policy for certain Haitian orphans that were adopted or in the process of being adopted by US citizens. Requests for humanitarian parole under this program were accepted through April 14, 2010. This special program and the steps taken to allow the parolees to obtain a green card and citizenship are collectively referred to as the HOPP.

Many HOPP parolees may be eligible to become permanent residents  through the normal inter-country adoption procedures available prior to the Help HAITI Act of 2010. However, in some cases it was not  possible for families to complete the adoption process in Haiti and/or the child may already have be too old to meet the requirements necessary to get a green card as an “adopted child” or “orphan.”



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