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Recent Ruling Finds that Temporary Protected Status May Now Be Considered an Admission for Adjustment of Status Purposes

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has recently ruled that a noncitizen’s grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) qualifies as “inspection and admission” into the United States. This is great news for many, as inspection and admission are usually required in order for applicants to be eligible for lawful permanent residence (LPR) and those who had previously entered without inspection (EWI) had no other recourse while staying in TPS.

The plaintiff in this case had received TPS in 2001 following an earthquake in his home country and has renewed his TPS status ever since (he had previously entered without inspection). He recently applied to become an LPR on the basis of his marriage to a U.S. citizen and needed to overcome his initial illegal entry.

The court’s decision to qualify TPS status as an inspection and admission was based on its interpretation of the language of the TPS statute. The court also mentioned policy reasons for supporting this interpretation, including the fact that the applicant had been in the U.S. for around fifteen years, had established roots here, and “has waited his turn for an independent, legal, and legitimate pathway to citizenship, through the immediate relative visa application.”