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TPS holders may be eligible to adjust status to permanent residence.

The Ninth Circuit held that a grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) constitutes an “admission” for purposes of adjustment of status under section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In so holding, the Ninth Circuit joined the Sixth Circuit. Pursuant to these decisions, an individual in TPS status who initially entered without inspection (EWI) satisfies the “inspected and admitted or paroled” statutory requirement. INA § 245(a).

A large number of TPS recipients—though far from all—are able to adjust to lawful permanent residence under Ramirez and Flores. To benefit from these decisions, the individual must: have entered the United States without inspection prior to receipt of TPS; be in valid TPS status; and, be eligible for adjustment. This means that a visa must be immediately available for the person; he or she cannot be inadmissible; and no statutory or regulatory bar to adjustment applies to their case and the applicant must live within the jurisdiction of the Sixth or Ninth Circuits.

Immigrants who will likely benefit from Ramirez and Flores immediately are those who are currently in TPS status, qualify as “immediate relatives” of U.S. citizens and who would be eligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status except for having entered without inspection.

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