What Is TPS Status
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is an immigration benefit for immigrants in the United States whose countries have experienced a humanitarian crisis.
The relevant TPS countries are Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Nepal, Haiti, El Salvador, and Yemen. Each TPS-designated country has its specific requirements for qualification. Click here for more info.
Under the current administration, TPS has been eliminated or is threatened with elimination for many TPS beneficiaries. Therefore, it is essential to know that TPS holders with a valid entry may “adjust status” in the United States through an “immediate relative,” a U.S. spouse or child (who is 21 or older).
Many TPS holders have children who are soon to turn 21, if not already that age or older. Even if TPS expires, these TPS holders can obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States through their children, so long as they have a legal entry.
Who Authorizes TPS Status Adjustment?
The Secretary of Homeland Security designates TPS for a country or region when conditions in that country or region prevent citizens from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, when the country is unable to handle the return of its citizens adequately.
The Secretary of Homeland Security may terminate or extend a TPS designation.
When TPS is in effect for a country, eligible nationals of that country (or aliens having no nationality who last resided in that country) may be granted TPS and allowed to remain and work in the United States for the duration of the TPS designation.
Eligible individuals with TPS cannot be removed from the United States and are authorized to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
If I Entered the United States Without Inspection, Married to a U.S. Citizen (or my U.S. Citizen Child is Over the Age of 21), I’m on TPS; Can I Adjust My Status?
The best answer is maybe. For instance, the Sixth and Ninth Circuits have said that a grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is considered admission for adjustment purposes under INA § 245(a).12. These decisions make TPS recipients who reside in those circuits eligible for adjustment of status through an immediate relative, regardless of how they entered the United States.
If I Don’t Live in the Sixth or Ninth Circuit, I Entered the United States Without inspection, But I traveled on Advance Parole?
The best answer is maybe. On August 20, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memorandum that found that entry on advance parole for TPS beneficiaries does not constitute valid eligibility for adjustment of status.
However, it is critical to note that the policy and relevant case, Matter of Z-R-Z-C, Adopted Decision 2020-02 (AAO August 20, 2020), ONLY applies to circumstances in which the TPS beneficiary entered advance parole on or after August 20, 2020.
Thus, USCIS will allow TPS holders with advance parole entries before August 20, 2020, to adjust their status to lawful permanent residency. The reason for this new law is that USCIS has previously approved such cases under what the court found to be an erroneous mistake of law.
The decision attempts fairness in that many TPS holders, who entered without inspection, have received green cards after entry on advance parole because of USCIS policy at the time.
At the office of Michael G. Murray, an Austin Immigration Lawyer, we have handled several of these cases successfully, so we are prepared to handle future cases under the new policy.
If I’m on TPS and I Entered the United States Legally—Inspected and Admitted—Can I Adjust My Status Through My Employer?
Temporary Protected Status holders can adjust their status to a green card through labor certification if they have an employer willing to sponsor them.
This process, however, is long and complicated with many steps, including obtaining the proper paperwork from your company or organization’s H.R. department along with getting help from an experienced employment-based immigration attorney.
There is no need to travel beforehand or adjust your status in many states while waiting for your green card. However, it may be an issue in other states, which means that the sooner you move out of these places and into a state with more lenient policies, the process will make things easier for you.
Talk to an immigration lawyer experienced with labor certifications as this is a complicated process and processing times are long.
You must complete the labor certification process before your Temporary Adjustment of Status expires. So if you plan on doing this, you should begin the process as soon as possible.
Is Temporary Protected Status Considered Permanent Resident Status?
Yes. The Immigration and Nationality Act states that temporary immigration status is granted to eligible nationals of a designated foreign state in the United States after being “orderly removed” from their country because of “extraordinary and temporary conditions,” among other reasons.
TPS recipients cannot be deported according to U.S. law. Still, they can lose the TPS status if they no longer meet requirements such as fulfilling re-entry procedures for certain countries. Therefore, it is considered lawful immigration status by the U.S. government.
In general, TPS status lasts for 18 months before renewal applications need to take place again with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Can I Travel Outside U.S. With TPS?
Yes, but you need to have a travel document, such as an advance parole, to come back into the United States. If you leave the country without obtaining TPS travel authorization document, you will automatically lose your TPS status.
You can apply for advance parole through the USCIS by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. You need to have a compelling reason to travel outside the U.S. before your green card is issued.
Reasons for traveling may include, but are not limited to:
If you have any questions about advance parole or traveling with TPS status, please contact our office. We can help you determine if you are eligible and assist with the application process.
Can You Adjust Status With Advance Parole?
You may be able to adjust your status with advance parole. Suppose you are in the United States and have a qualifying relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. In that case, you may qualify for an adjustment of status if they file an I-130 petition on your behalf and USCIS approves it.
Advance parole allows people outside the United States to come into the U.S. without having to go through consular processing first, so long as they meet certain requirements such as not being inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(3) (criminality), INA § 212(a)(2) (security), or INA § 212(a)(7) (public charge).
This means that someone can apply for advance parole at their local consulate abroad before coming into the U.S. and then enter on this basis instead of applying for admission after arrival on a visitor visa, requiring them to leave again once their visit has ended.
Anyone considering advanced parole must understand these risks before deciding whether they might be right for them.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with an Austin Immigration Attorney
Immigration law is complex and difficult to understand without a qualified attorney’s help. We’re here to help! That’s why it’s crucial to have an experienced immigration lawyer on your side who knows how to navigate through this process and get the results that you want.
You deserve the best possible outcome for your case – which is why we offer free consultations so that we can answer all of your questions and determine if our services are right for you. Let us take care of everything from start to finish so that you don’t have anything else on your mind but what matters most – family, friends, work… life.
If you are interested in applying for adjustment of status with TPS, or you need any other immigration benefit, contact immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, P.A., today at (512) 215-4407 or contact the firm online for more information about how we can help with TPS Adjustment of Status Possible cases.