9th Circuit Court Decision Opens Opportunity for Legalization for Holders of Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

On January 8, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the end of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for citizens of El Salvador.  DHS will delay termination of TPS until September 9, 2019, to allow TPS holders to plan their departure from the United States.  In the meantime, TPS holders will be required to re-register to maintain status and apply for renewal of their Employment Authorization Documents.

In the meantime, there is an important legalization opportunity for individuals with TPS who are immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens.  In March 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal's decision, Ramirez v. Brown, 852 F.3d 954 (9th Cir. 2017), held that TPS constitutes an admission for purposes of adjusting status in the United States.  Therefore, TPS holders who are immediate relatives of a U.S. Citizen (spouse, parents or children under age 21)  may be eligible for lawful permanent residence despite having entered the United States without inspection.

This opportunity is available not only to Salvadorans but all countries designated for temporary protected status  (El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen).  In addition to El Salvador, DHS has already terminated TPS for Sudan, Haiti, and Nicaragua.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

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