Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is an immigration benefit for immigrants present 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 own 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 holders. 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 will be able to obtain permanent residence in the United States through their children, so long as they have a legal entry.
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 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, USCIS issued a policy memorandum, which found that entry on advance parole for TPS holders 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 Aug. 20, 2020), ONLY applies to cases in which the TPS holder 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 status to lawful permanent residents. The reason for this new law is that USCIS has in the past 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 with success, 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 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 HR department along with getting help from an experienced employment-based immigration attorney.
There is no need to travel beforehand or adjust status in many states while you are 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 are planning on doing this, you should begin the process as soon as possible.
Is Temporary Protected Status Considered Lawful Status?
Yes. The Immigration and Nationality Act states that Temporary Protected 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 US 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 to be lawful immigration status by the US 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 You Adjust Status With Advance Parole?
You may be able to adjust your status with advance parole. If you are in the United States and have a qualifying relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, then 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 US 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 US 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 using advance parole must understand all of 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 can be difficult to understand without a qualified attorney’s help. We’re here to help! That’s why it’s important 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.