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Pathways to Citizenship for TPS Recipients


Temporary Protected Status (TPS) has provided a much-needed form of humanitarian relief for over 40,000 foreign nationals displaced from their home countries by war, violence, and natural disasters. However, although many TPS beneficiaries have been living and working in the U.S. for decades and now have U.S. citizen children and extended families, they have no automatic path to citizenship.

Eligibility for Green Cards for TPS Beneficiaries

Likewise, many TPS beneficiaries do not qualify for permanent resident status or a green card because they initially entered the country without authorization. In June 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether a TPS beneficiary who entered the U.S. without inspection was authorized to apply for a green card due to a split among the U.S. Courts of Appeal in different circuits. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ruled that if a TPS beneficiary entered the U.S. without authorization, they could not legally apply for a green card without returning to their home countries to complete the visa interview process abroad. However, a return to their home countries after an unauthorized entry would trigger bars to reentry to the U.S. for up to ten years for many of these beneficiaries. As a result, most TPS beneficiaries also have no access to green cards.

Pending Legislation

Congress has tried and failed repeatedly to pass any legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for TPS and DACA recipients due to conservative opposition. As a result, Democrats now have proposed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution measure that includes a pathway to citizenship for some ten million foreign nationals. Although the measure does not specify which groups would be “qualified immigrants” for the purposes of granting lawful permanent status, lawmakers state that it would include TPS beneficiaries. Unlike previous legislation, a budget resolution requires only a simple majority to pass, thus increasing its chance of success.

We Are Here to Help You with All Your Immigration Law Needs

The attorneys and staff of Bashyam Shah focus on providing legal assistance to individuals and businesses with immigration matters. As immigration law’s landscape continues to evolve rapidly, we pride ourselves on keeping up to date with regulation and policy changes as they occur. Together, we can work toward getting the legal relief that you are seeking. Contact our offices today at (919) 833-0840 and schedule an appointment to speak with us about your case.