TIPs: Topline Immigration Policy Updates
USCIS Rescinds Matter of Z-R-Z-C as an Adopted Decision and Updates Its Interpretation of Authorized Travel by TPS Beneficiaries
On July 1, 2022, USCIS issued a Policy Memorandum that rescinds its Aug. 20, 2020 designation of the Administrative Appeals Office decision in Matter of Z-R-Z-C as an Adopted Decision and updates how it interprets authorized travel by Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, beneficiaries. The memo provides that USCIS will no longer utilize advance parole when issuing travel authorization to TPS beneficiaries. Rather, it will provide a new TPS travel authorization document when granting travel permission to TPS beneficiaries under INA § 244(f)(3).Policy highlights include the following:Under the new policy, TPS beneficiaries who depart and return with Department of Homeland Security authorization will be inspected and admitted into TPS pursuant to the Miscellaneous and Technical Immigration and Naturalization Amendments of 1991, or MTINA.Inspection and admission under MTINA meets the “inspected and admitted” requirement for adjustment of status under INA § 245(a) and the “lawful admission” requirement for INA § 245(k), even if the individual initially entered the United States without admission or parole prior to receiving TPS.Whether this same guidance will be applied to authorized travel that a TPS beneficiary undertook prior to July 1, 2022 depends.For cases in the Fifth Circuit, USCIS must treat qualifying prior travel as inspection and admission pursuant to Duarte v. Mayorkas, 27 F.4th 1044 (5th Cir. 2022).However, such travel by TPS recipients in all other circuits will be considered on a case-by-case basis, according to factors set forth in the updated USCIS Policy Manual in Volume 7, Part B, Chapter 2. “In most instances, when an officer determines that an applicant meets all other eligibility requirements and merits adjustment of status in the exercise of discretion, it would be appropriate for the officer, on a case-by-case basis, to deem the prior parole to be an admission under MTINA.” According to the Policy Manual, “USCIS expects that … retroactive application of the current policy is appropriate in most adjustment of status applications and favorable to the applicants.”CLINIC will conduct further analysis of the USCIS memo, the attached April 6, 2022, DHS Office of the General Counsel Memorandum on Immigration Consequences of Authorized Travel and Return to the United States of Individuals Holding Temporary Protected Status, and updated Policy Memo guidance. CLINIC will also update its Practice Advisory: Adjustment Options for TPS Beneficiaries.
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