On June 7, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Sanchez v. Mayorkas. The Supreme Court decision clarifies that having TPS does not count as an “inspection” and lawful admission to the U.S., which is generally required by law for somebody to “adjust status” and get a green card from within the U.S. instead of having to apply for it abroad. The Supreme Court’s decision means that even if you were granted TPS and a family member or employer wants to sponsor you for a green card, if you entered the United States unlawfully, you have to travel outside of the U.S. and apply at a U.S. consulate or embassy for your green card, which often creates additional legal hurdles to TPS holders to secure a green card.
This does not mean that all TPS holders cannot adjust status, or be issued an immigrant visa, if they qualify and are admissible; it simply means that for those who were not inspected or admitted when coming to the U.S., they cannot get their green card from within the U.S. However, if a TPS holder is granted advance parole — travel authorization issued by the government– re-entering the U.S. with advance parole will enable a person to get a green card from within the U.S.
An immigrant that is “admitted” into the U.S. is someone who lawfully entered the U.S. through a port of entry and was inspected by an immigration officer. Someone who enters the U.S. without inspection by an immigration officer was not “admitted.”
Adjustment of Status means applying for permanent residency (a green card) and receiving it while living in the United States in a temporary immigration status.
TPS holders can qualify for permanent immigration pathways. However, someone cannot adjust to permanent status solely because they currently have TPS – they have to qualify for another pathway (family-sponsorship or employer-sponsorship, for example).
TPS holders should consult with an immigration attorney or accredited legal representative to see if they are eligible to adjust status or for other categories for immigration relief.
For more information on the latest developments follow the National TPS Alliance.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a form of humanitarian relief established by a bipartisan act of Congress (the Immigration Act of 1990) and granted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to eligible nationals of countries undergoing an environmental disaster, armed conflict, or extreme conditions preventing their safe return. It does not– by itself– provide a pathway to lawful permanent status or citizenship. TPS holders are protected from deportation and can be temporarily authorized to work and travel. The Secretary of DHS can extend TPS designations based on current conditions of the designated country, and re-designate countries– move forward the date of when somebody needs to have been in the U.S. to be eligible– if conditions persist or worsen.
The following countries currently have TPS designation*:
*These are subject to change. Please check USCIS’s website and CLINIC’S chart frequently for updates.
**Read more about the Ramos order and Ramos v. Nielsen below.
***Read more about the Bhattarai v. Nielsen below.
The Trump Administration terminated TPS for Nepal, Honduras, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, El Salvador, Haiti*, Nicaragua, and Sudan. However, due to lawsuits from TPS holders, the government has been forced to delay the termination of TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan. However as of September 10th, DHS announced they would automatically be extending TPS from October 4, 2021, to December 31, 2022 for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal pending a court decision. TPS was also extended and redesignated for Syria, Yemen**, Somalia***, and South Sudan, meaning that people arriving more recently from these countries who do not already have TPS are eligible to apply.
On July 19, 2021 the Secretary of Homeland Security announced an extension and re-designation of TPS designation for Somalia through March 17, 2023. The extension allows current TPS holders to renew their protections; the redesignation allows Somalia nationals who have been continuously present in the U.S. since July 19, 2021 to apply as well.
This means that current TPS holders and people who qualify for TPS from Yemen can obtain TPS through March 17, 2023.
The re-registration period is from July 22, 2021- September 20, 2021, this means that current TPS holders must renew during this time period.
New applicants can apply between July 22, 2021- March 17, 2023
On Jul 6, 2021 The Secretary of Homeland Security announced an extension and re-designation of TPS designation for Yemen through March 3, 2023. The extension allows current TPS holders to renew their protections; the redesignation allows Yemeni nationals who have been continuously present in the U.S. since July 5, 2021 to apply as well.
This means that current TPS holders and people who qualify for TPS from Yemen can obtain TPS through March 3, 2023.
The re-registration period is from July 9, 2021 through September 7, 2021, this means that current TPS holders must renew during this time period.
New applicants can apply between July 9, 2021 to March 3, 2023.
On May 22, 2021 the U.S. government announced a new TPS designation for Haiti. Because the previous designation for Haiti was terminated, everyone eligible for Haiti TPS, including individuals who currently have TPS under the previous designation, need to apply for protection under the new designation.
All applicants can apply between August 3, 2021 through February 3, 2023.
On March 2, 2022 the Secretary of Homeland Security announced an extension and re-designation of TPS designation for South Sudan through November 3, 2023. The extension allows current TPS holders to renew their protections; the redesignation allows South Sudan nationals who have been continuously present in the U.S. since March 1, 2022 to apply as well.
This means that current TPS holders and people who qualify for TPS from South Sudan can obtain TPS through November 3, 2023.
The re-registration period is from March 3, 2022, to May 2, 2022, this means that current TPS holders must renew during this time period.
New applicants can apply between March 3, 2022, through Nov. 3, 2023.
On March 2, 2022 the Department of Homeland Security announced the new TPS designation for Sudan.
Existing TPS Sudan beneficiaries can retain their TPS through December 31, 2022, and the Department of Homeland Security will continue to extend TPS for them as required by court order. However, these beneficiaries are also strongly encouraged to register under the new designation of Sudan to receive TPS benefits for the full 18-month period. Individuals will need to file a new application to register for TPS to avoid losing TPS or experiencing a gap in coverage.
More information will be updated once the Federal Register notice is posted.
On March 3, 2022 the Department of Homeland Security announced the new TPS designation for Ukraine for 18 months. Individuals eligible for TPS for Ukraine must have continuously resided in the United States since March 1, 2022.
More information will be updated once the Federal Register notice is posted.
On March 16, 2022 the Department of Homeland Security announced the new TPS designation for Afghanistan for 18 months. Individuals eligible for TPS for Afghanistan must have continuously resided in the United States since March 15, 2022.
More information will be updated once the Federal Register notice is posted.
There are two pending lawsuits (Bhattarai v. Nielsen) and (Ramos v. Nielsen) challenging the previous administration’s decision to end TPS for the following countries:
Due to the lawsuits the terminations have been paused and TPS protections have been extended. (See above for expiration dates per country).
While the court cases are still pending, and we don’t know how they will be resolved, we do know that those TPS holders –and their families– from countries where TPS has been extended and/or redesignated (as discussed above, which would keep you protected if you qualify for TPS) at least have relief, and the Biden Administration has the authority to extend and redesignate those countries whose designations remain in limbo.
It is important, in these uncertain times, for those eligible to re-register for TPS to do so as soon as possible. As always, we encourage you to consult with an immigration attorney or accredited legal representative before filing anything. You can find a step-by-step re-registration guide here. In the meantime, advocates will continue to push Congress to use their power to find a permanent solution for all TPS holders, whether they are covered by the injunction or not.
First-time TPS applicants and TPS holders who are re-registering can now file for TPS online. We recommend that you seek legal help or reach out to an accredited organization that can guide you through the process. There will be people who might try to take advantage of your situation, check out these resources that can help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
First, check if the re-registration window is currently open for TPS for your country by visiting USCIS’ TPS page here, and selecting your country from the left hand side of the page for guidance.
If you have not re-registered and TPS is still active for your country, follow these steps to re-register:
You will need to download and complete the following forms. Make sure to read the list of requirements for each form on the USCIS page to ensure you are not leaving out any required supporting documents or materials:
*If you file your TPS re-registration application late, processing may be delayed and can lead to gaps in your work authorization.
3. Accurately fill out all forms. Remember to read all instructions on the forms thoroughly, and to double check your responses with the responses you included in your previous registration or re-registration application so that the information is consistent. It is recommended that you fill out the forms digitally to make sure all information is readable. If you are filling them out by hand, make sure you write clearly with a black pen.
4. Create a cover letter that includes a checklist of the items and documents in the submission to help the USCIS agent easily see what they are about to review.
5. Purchase your money order. You can purchase one at your local U.S. Post Office. USCIS does not accept cash. The money order must be made out to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (do not use abbreviations like “DHS”).
If the application is for someone 15 years or older, the money order should be for $495. This covers the Employment Authorization Application (Form I-765) filing fee ($410) and biometrics fee ($85). Applicants 14 years and younger do not need biometrics done, so their money order should be for just $410.
If you are also applying for a waiver of grounds of inadmissibility (form I-601), you must also include a money order for $930, the filing fee for that form.
6. Photocopy the contents of your entire application, including copies of your money orders, photos, and supporting documentation.
7. Package and send your application, ideally via certified mail so that you can track your package and verify that it was delivered to USCIS. We recommend that your application packet be in the following order to make it easier for review:
Tip: Do not staple your application together. This makes it harder for the review process and your application could even be rejected by USCIS. Instead use paper clips.
After reviewing and double-checking your application for accuracy, you are ready to mail it to USCIS for processing. The mail-to address depends on the country you are from which has received TPS designation.
You can check on the USCIS site here for where to mail the application. Once on the site, on the left hand side under TPS, select your country. Once on the landing site for your selected country, scroll down to “Where to File” and click the section open to see the correct mailing address to send your application to.
Tip: We advise that you mail using priority shipping that includes a tracking number. The USPS’s Priority Mail flat-rate envelopes are perfect for this.
If your TPS expires and you are not eligible to re-register, you will generally return to your prior immigration status before you obtained TPS. For example, if you entered the U.S. without inspection and are not eligible for another form of immigration relief, then you return to an undocumented status and become subject to removal. However, if you previously had a lawful nonimmigrant status, such as having a student or work visa, if it has expired, you will no longer be considered to have that status and will be considered undocumented. You should consult an immigration attorney, legal services organization, or DOJ-accredited representative for guidance and closer examination of your case to see if you qualify for another form of relief. You can find an organization near you that can help with this.
If your TPS expires and you are eligible to re-register, DHS may automatically extend your current EAD to accommodate the time it takes to submit and process your re-registration application. We advise re-registering as soon as the re-registration window for your country opens
Your work permit is valid until the expiration date listed on the employment authorization document. If your TPS expires but you are eligible to re-register, DHS may automatically extend your current EAD to accommodate the time it takes to submit and process your re-registration application.
If TPS for your country has been terminated and you are not eligible to renew, you will be unable to renew your work permit under TPS.
You may be eligible for another form of immigration relief if you have or used to have TPS. You should consult with an organization, immigration attorney, or DOJ-accredited representative to review your case, as each individual’s case is unique and there can be many options. You can find an organization near you that can help with this. You can also use the Immi tool to check if you’re eligible for other forms of immigration relief.
A U.S. citizen’s status is not impacted if their parents’ TPS expires. However, they may be emotionally or financially impacted if a parent is forced to leave the U.S. If you or a family member have TPS, it is a good idea to make a family plan that includes travel, financial, and custody arrangements for your children, in case you need to relocate or navigate other circumstances. You can find family preparedness planning guides here. Making a plan will help you and your loved ones feel more prepared and secure, no matter what happens.
TPS holders who want to travel outside the United States must first apply for advance parole travel authorization. You may apply for this with Form I-131 and file it together with the I-821 or separately based on a pending or approved I-821.
However, before deciding to depart the country, you should consult an immigration attorney or DOJ-accredited representative about the risks of traveling with advance parole.
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