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For Some, TPS May Provide Pathway to Lawful Permanent Residency

A San Francisco immigration judge has granted a respondent’s request to become a lawful permanent resident based on an employer-sponsored petition even though the respondent has lived and worked in the U.S. without authorization. The judge decided that when the respondent was granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS gives work permits and deportation protection to people from countries in crisis) he was granted an “admission” to the U.S.

Under the provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 245(k), foreign citizens remain eligible to become permanent residents through an employer-sponsored petition if they have accrued no more than 180 days of unauthorized employment or residence after they were “admitted” to the U.S.

The San Francisco immigration judge decided that since the granting of TPS is an admission and this respondent had accrued fewer than 180 days of unauthorized employment and residence after TPS was granted, he was eligible for permanent residence.

While this individual immigration court ruling is not legally binding across the country, the decision provides a new path for foreign citizens who hold TPS and reside in certain parts of the U.S. to become permanent residents through their employers.

Courts in the Sixth and Ninth circuits have agreed that TPS grants is an “admission” under immigration law. Cases seeking to define TPS grants as admission are also pending in the Third, Fifth, Eighth circuits.

If you have any questions about TPS and Adjustment of Status applications, please contact us.