Possible Change In Law – TPS Right To Apply For Permanent Residency – Stay Tuned
TPS registrants may have an opportunity to become legal permanent residents even if the entered without inspection. The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary safe haven in the U.S. for nationals of a foreign state (Currently, the designated countries with TPS are: Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan) , that given certain safety circumstances in their countries, are allowed by the Attorney General to temporarily stay in the U.S.
TPS registrants are not removable from the United States during this period of TPS, can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD) and may be granted for travel authorization. Moreover, registration for TPS does not prevent of applying for nonimmigrant status, filing for adjustment on an immigration petition or applying for any other immigration benefit. However, in order to apply for some of these benefits, as the adjustment of status, the alien must comply with all the requirements established for this matter in the immigration law. In these types of cases, one of the biggest problems is that many aliens that have applied and been granted a TPS, have entered to the country without being inspected in the border by the U.S. immigration authorities; in immigration this is commonly known as EWI.
That situation could change. A memorandum to support that TPS registrants are eligible to get the permanent residence even if they entered EWI. The memorandum was presented to the Obama-Biden Transition Project, and given the political, social and economical situation in the U.S. this memorandum could generate an impact in the immigration system of the U.S.
The main argument of the above mentioned memorandum, is that a current TPS registrant with an EWI that occurred prior to the start of the TPS benefits period is eligible to adjust status (Permanent residency), because the EWI has been waived and the person has been determined to be admissible as an immigrant for the duration of the TPS benefit period. Immigration law establishes that in order to comply with the adjustment requirements, the immigrant had to be admitted and inspected. The memorandum argues that when the TPS is granted this fact constitutes inspection and admission for the purposes of the immigration law. The memorandum not only contemplates new or current TPS cases. The argument of the memorandum is also for TPS registrants whose applications for adjustment of status were denied during the TPS Registration Benefits period so this continue to be considered current TPS registrants upon renewal of their applications in Immigration Court through an opportunity for a motion to reopen. Immigration laws are constantly changing as well as the social, political and economical panorama of the U.S. The application of the arguments described in the memorandum does not intend to create a new law, what the memorandum intents is to give a different interpretation to the already existent law.
If you are in TPS Status and entered the US without inspection, please contact our office immediately and we will notify you when and if this proposal becomes effective.