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Haitians can likely start applying Thursday to stay in U.S.

A top immigration official says Haitians will likely be able to start applying as early as Thursday to temporarily stay in the United States.

The Obama administration is allowing Haitians who have been in the U.S. illegally as of Jan. 12 to apply for temporary protected status. The status will allow Haitians to stay for 18 months and work while earthquake recovery continues.

Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas says applications can be filed as soon as official notice is published in the Federal Register, likely Thursday. Some Haitians have already started showing up at centers to get help filling out forms.

Mayorkas warned against mailing in forms until official notice is given. He says those mailed before are likely to be delayed.

-- Associated Press

RELATED:

Haiti earthquake news: live Twitter updates from Port-au-Prince and beyond

Editorial: Temporary protected status for Haitians

Haiti quake relief: How to help

Audio slide shows:
Haitians try to salvage their lives in Leogane
So many people who need help
Hope and survival (graphic content)
Desperation in Port-au-Prince (graphic content)
Triage at the airport

Photos: Earthquake hits Haiti

Videos: Haiti earthquake and its aftermath

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