On July 1, 2022, USCIS rescinded a previous policy from the Trump Administration they had adopted from Matter of Z-R-Z-C and revised their policy on authorized travel under Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The most significant changes from USCIS are the following:
- TPS holders who travel abroad with authorization and are subsequently inspected and admitted by DHS will have been “inspected and admitted” and will be “present in the United States pursuant to a lawful admission,” for purposes of adjustment of status. This will apply even if the TPS holder was present in the U.S. without admission or parole when first granted TPS.
- For TPS holders who travelled with authorization prior to the July 1, 2022, change in policy, USCIS will consider on a case-by-case basis whether to apply the new policy guidance. In order to be considered under the July 1 memorandum, the past travel must meet the following requirements: 1) the TPS holder obtained authorization prior to travel; 2) the individual was in valid TPS status during their travel; 3) the individual returned to the U.S. with the authorization to travel; and 4) the individual was inspected at a port of entry and was either paroled or otherwise permitted to enter the U.S. based on the TPS-based travel authorization.
This new policy guidance is welcome change that will likely allow thousands of TPS holders to become eligible to adjust status to lawful permanent residence. Under the previous Trump policy, a TPS holder who traveled on advance parole after August 20, 2020 was not considered paroled for purposes of adjustment of status.