Legalization Options for Nationals from El Salvador with the End of Temporary Protected Status
Options for nationals of El Salvador once their Temporary Protected Status ends.
Available OptionsThe Department of Homeland Security announced in January that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people in the United States from El Salvador will end on September 9, 2019. This change will dramatically impact the 200,000 Salvadorans who have maintained continuous U.S. residency since 2001. The TPS expiration date will not be extended as it has been in the past, and those who wish to maintain TPS until the program ends will need to re-register before March 19, 2018. Failure to do so could lead to loss of TPS and a return to whatever immigration status was held before the TPS designation.
There are options available for Salvadorans with temporary protected status who have lawful entry into the United States and want to maintain their U.S. residency. They can apply for adjustment of status if they:
1) Have been inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States;
2) Are eligible to receive a visa and not inadmissible to the United States; and
3) Have a visa immediately available.
Salvadoran TPS holders who meet these requirements may immediately apply for adjustment if they have immediate relatives who are U.S. citizens. This includes spouses, parents, or children who are 21 or older.
A limited number of TPS holders who entered the U.S. without inspection may be eligible for an adjustment of status pursuant to an employment-based visa category. It is important to keep in mind that, just as with those seeking to adjust based on a family relationship, the employment-based adjustment applicant would need to demonstrate eligibility under the other requirements listed above. These people must also:
1) Be present in the United States pursuant to a lawful admission on the date of applying for adjustment; and
2) Following such admission, have not--for a total of more than 180 days--failed to maintain lawful status, engaged in unauthorized employment, or otherwise violated a condition of admission.
TPS holders who initially entered the U.S. without inspection can apply for advanced parole with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Advanced parole allows TPS holders to travel outside the U.S. for a limited amount of time. Upon returning to the U.S. with advanced parole, a TPS holder will be on record as having lawful entry.
If you are considering this option, it is very important that you contact my office for a consultation before leaving the country. Laws on advanced parole are subject to change at any time, and you run the risk of not being allowed back into the U.S. if you do not meet the requirements set by USCIS.
Recent Court CasesTwo recent court cases in the Sixth Circuit and the Ninth Circuit have ruled that a person with TPS who initially entered the U.S. without inspection satisfies the "inspected and admitted or paroled" statutory requirement. To take advantage of these rulings, the person must:
1) Have entered the United States without inspection prior to receipt of TPS;
2) Currently be in valid TPS status;
3) Be otherwise eligible for adjustment. This means that:
a. a visa must be immediately available for the person;
b. he or she is not inadmissible; and
c. none of the statutory or regulatory bars to adjustment apply; and
4) Live in one of the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Oregon, or Washington.
An otherwise eligible individual who moves to one of these states and applies for adjustment following the move will be covered by these court decisions.
For further information on these changes, for applying for adjustment of status, or any immigration matter, please contact my office at 646-253-0516.