This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.
On July 1, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has rescinded its designation of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision in Matter of Z-R-Z-C-2 as an Adopted Decision and updated its interpretation of the effects of authorized travel by temporary protected status (TPS) beneficiaries. The memorandum notes, among other things:
- USCIS will no longer use the advance parole mechanism to authorize travel for TPS beneficiaries, but will instead provide a new TPS travel authorization document. This document will serve as evidence that the bearer may be inspected and admitted into TPS pursuant to the Miscellaneous and Technical Immigration and Naturalization Amendments of 1991 (MTINA) if all other requirements are met.
- TPS beneficiaries whom DHS has inspected and admitted into TPS under MTINA, subsequent to that inspection and admission, will have been “inspected and admitted” and are “present in the United States pursuant to a lawful admission,” including for purposes of adjustment of status under INA § 245 for a green card. This is true even if the TPS beneficiary was present without admission or parole when initially granted TPS.
- In adjudicating an application for adjustment of status, or any other benefit request where relevant, USCIS will consider whether to apply this guidance to travel undertaken by the applicant before the issuance of this memorandum. This consideration will include a case-by-case review of any reliance on the prior policy, applicable law, and any other relevant factors. Additionally, to be eligible for consideration under this guidance, past travel must meet each of the following requirements:
- The noncitizen obtained prior authorization to travel abroad temporarily on the basis of being a TPS beneficiary;
- The noncitizen’s TPS was not withdrawn or the designation for their foreign state (or part of a foreign state) was not terminated or did not expire during their travel;
- The noncitizen returned to the United States in accordance with the authorization to travel; and
- Upon return, the noncitizen was inspected by DHS or the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) at a designated port of entry and paroled or otherwise permitted to pass into the territorial boundaries of the United States in accordance with the TPS-based travel authorization.