USCIS Rescinds Matter of Z-R-Z-C and Changes Treatment of TPS Beneficiaries After Authorized Travel Abroad

Practice Areas

By: Angelita Chavez

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has rescinded its adopted decision of the Matter of Z-R-Z-C- case.[1] This change will allow beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to travel with a new TPS travel authorization document, instead of requiring TPS applicants to apply for advance parole.

The most significant part of this policy change is that TPS holders that that were admitted and inspected under the Miscellaneous and Technical Immigration and Naturalization Amendments of 1991 (MTINA) may now qualify as inspected and admitted for the purposes of adjustment of status, even if they were previously present in the US without admission or other lawful means such as parole.

New policy guidance

Under the new USCIS policy guidance, TPS beneficiaries will receive a TPS travel authorization document, and will no longer be required to apply for a separate advance parole document. This document will serve as evidence of the prior consent for travel and of inspection and admission into TPS pursuant if they meet all other requirements.

When adjudicating an application for adjustment of status, USCIS will consider whether a TPS applicant’s previous travel meets the following requirements when determining whether to apply this new guidance:

  • They obtained authorization to travel abroad based on their TPS status.
  • Their TPS was not withdrawn or expired during their travel.
  • They returned to the US under a proper timeline based on their travel authorization, and
  • They entered the US with inspection by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Individuals who were reentered the United States on a basis other than TPS travel authorization are not covered by the new policy guidance.

policy background

USCIS’s new decision comes after a recent class action lawsuit challenged Matter of Z-R-Z-C-.[2] The decision supersedes prior USCIS Policy Manual guidance on how to treat a TPS beneficiary after returning to the US from authorized travel abroad.

temporary protected status (TPS)

TPS provides work authorization and temporary protection from deportation to nationals of certain designated countries which are experiencing extraordinary circumstances.

TPS holders can apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident if they have an immediate relative that can petition for them, or they have a qualifying employment visa petition and meet all other eligibility criteria.

conclusion

For helping applying for TPS or any other immigration benefit, please contact the Chugh, LLP immigration professional that you work with.

[1] The original decision was made by the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).
[2] Gomez et al v. Jaddou, 21-cv-09203 (NYSD).

 

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