The Temporary Protected Status program has been in use for more than 30 years. Congress established the TPS program to help immigrants coming from unsafe or war-torn countries. TPS status allows immigrants from unsafe countries the ability to live and work in the United States. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, more than 320,000 people live in the United States with TPS status. A country must have TPS designation for people to apply for TPS status.
Adjustment of status is a process that allows qualifying immigrants to apply for lawful permanent resident status, also called a green card. If you meet the criteria for adjustment of status, you can obtain a green card without going through the visa process in your home country. In the past, TPS holders may not have been eligible for adjustment of status due to technicalities in the process. A policy adopted under the Trump administration stated that TPS holders were not considered to be “inspected and admitted” and, therefore, would not be eligible to seek a green card through those channels.
A new 2022 USCIS policy provides clarification for the adjustment of status for TPS holders. In order to qualify for adjustment of status, a TPS holder must be inspected and admitted or paroled by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, TPS holders entered the United States without this inspection because they fled for safety. Based on recent court decisions, a clarification was made this year that can help TPS holders in their efforts to obtain permanent legal status.
The new memo, issued under the Biden administration, provides information that will help TPS holders as they seek legal permanent resident status. First, TPS holders who return from travel will automatically be considered “inspected and admitted.” Therefore, they will meet one of the criteria for an adjustment of status. In the past, they were not considered inspected and admitted and could not qualify for a green card.
Advanced parole cannot be used to establish authorized travel for TPS holders. A new USCIS document, called the Authorization for Travel by a Noncitizen to the United States (Form 512T), provides for TPS holders to be considered inspected and admitted when they enter the U.S. at authorized ports of entry. The new policy allows TPS holders a pathway toward a green card that they previously did not have. By meeting the inspected and admitted requirement, thousands of TPS holders will now have the ability to seek legal permanent resident status.
It is important to note that TPS holders must meet the criteria established to qualify for a green card. The establishment of being inspected and admitted is just one of the criteria that an immigrant must meet to obtain legal permanent status. To learn more about your pathway to a green card, contact our experienced immigration attorneys at Sverdloff Law Group at (312) 238-9090 for a consultation today.