Haitians Get Six More Months to Apply to Stay in U.S.

The deadline for Haitians to apply to legally stay and work in the U.S has been extended until January.

Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas said Monday that the government extended the July 20 deadline. The extension was given in response to community advocates who said many Haitians needed more time to file the paperwork and pay fees totaling $470.

U.S. officials say roughly 35,500 Haitians so far have been granted temporary protected status. That allows immigrants from countries experiencing armed conflict or environmental disasters to stay and work for 18 months.

Only Haitians who already were living in the U.S. illegally when the earthquake struck Jan. 12 are eligible.

About 55,000 have applied, and about 1,200 applications have been denied.