IMMIGRATION UPDATE: Temporary Protected Status (TPS) & Removal Proceedings

Temporary Protected Status (TPS):

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a form of temporary immigration relief available to people from specific countries designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). TPS designations may result from civil war, natural disaster, or other conditions that make the return of nationals unreasonable. Once a country is designated for TPS, nationals from that country who are already living in the United States may apply for TPS. After an individual is granted TPS, recipients must regularly re-register to maintain their TPS status for as long as the designation continues. An individual with TPS is protected from removal while in TPS, is eligible for work authorization, and may request permission to travel abroad under Advance Parole.

NEWS ABOUT TPS (May, 2021)

 TPS and Advance Parole – On Aug. 20, 2020, USCIS issued a Policy Memorandum adopting the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision in Matter of Z-R-Z-C-, Adopted Decision 2020-02 (AAO Aug. 20, 2020). Through adopting Matter of Z-R-Z-C-, USCIS issued a new interpretation of the legal effect of TPS beneficiaries traveling and returning to the United States with DHS authorization. USCIS now takes the position that TPS beneficiaries who travel abroad and return using a DHS-issued travel document under INA § 244(f)(3) will not satisfy the “inspected and admitted or paroled” eligibility requirement for adjusting status under 245(a). This USCIS policy is legally questionable and may be the subject of future litigation.

TPS, DED and Venezuelan Nationals – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) is designating Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, effective March 9, 2021, through September 9, 2022. The 180-day registration period for eligible individuals to submit TPS applications begins March 9, 2021, and will remain in effect through September 5, 2021. DED and employment authorization for noncitizens covered under DED for Venezuela is effective through July 20, 2022.  Regardless of an individual’s country of birth, this designation allows eligible Venezuelan nationals (and noncitizens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Venezuela) who have continuously resided in the United States since March 8, 2021, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since March 9, 2021, to apply for TPS.

U.S. Immigration Court Updates (May, 2021)

As previously announced, certain immigration courts have resumed non-detained hearings. Hearings in non-detained cases at courts without an announced date are postponed through, and including, May 14, 2021.  However, New York City Immigration Courts, Texas Immigration Courts, and a few other states still have closed immigration courts since March or April of 2020! California only recently opened all their immigration courts. Please stay tuned for further updates.  Many courts are foregoing, at the direction of the EOIR, Master Calendar hearings and are requiring written pleadings and motions to be submitted instead of in person proceedings in order to move forward with the proceedings and lessen the chance of spreading the Corona Virus.

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