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. These TPS holders, even if TPS expires, will be able to obtain permanent residence in the United States through their children, so long as they have a legal entry.
What if I entered without inspection, I am now married to U.S. citizen, or my U.S. citizen son or daughter is over the age of 21, and I am on TPS. Can I adjust status?
The best answer is maybe. For instance, the Sixth and Ninth Circuits have said that a grant of TPS is considered an admission for purposes of adjustment under INA § 245(a).12 These decisions make TPS recipients who reside in those circuits eligible to adjust through an immediate relative, regardless of their manner of entry.
What if I don’t live in the Sixth or Ninth Circuit, I entered without inspection, but I traveled on Advance Parole? Can I adjust status?
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 a valid for entry 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 apply to cases in which the TPS holder entered on advance parole on or after August 20, 2020. Thus, USCIS is going to allow TPS holder 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. The office of Michael G. Murray, P.A, in Austin, Texas has handled several of these cases with success, and so we are prepared to handle future cases under the new policy.
If I am on TPS and I entered legally, can I adjust status through my employer?
TPS holders can also adjust to “green card” status through their employers, by a process called labor certification. That process takes at least a year, and often longer. This process requires careful planning with an experienced immigration attorney. In certain states, there is no need to travel beforehand and adjusting status is not a problem, in other states, doing so may be an issue, so you may need to move to another state to finish this “green card” process. 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 TPS expires, so if you are planning on doing this, you should begin the process as soon as possible.
If you are interested in applying for adjustment of status with TPS, or you are in need of any other immigration benefit, contact immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, P.A., today at (512) 215-4407 or contact the firm online.