USCIS has determined TPS recipients to be eligible for adjustment of status to permanent residence status under the 6th and 9th Circuit jurisdictions. As long as the applicant meets all other eligibility grounds at the time of filing, TPS recipients under these jurisdictions are eligible for adjustment of status.
By way of background, on March 31, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued a decision in Ramirez v. Brown (9th Circ. 2017) and held that a TPS (temporary protected status) recipient is considered “inspected and admitted” under INA Section 245(a). In Flores v. USCIS (6th Circ. 2013), the Courts originally determined that TPS recipients are eligible for adjustment of status under INA Section 245(a).
In 2016, despite the 6th and 9th Circuit Court decisions, USCIS placed a policy hold and held all I-485 cases in abeyance where the applicant obtained TPS status and subsequently filed an I-485 without ever having been admitted prior to the time of filing.
As of August 2017, USCIS has determined that Field Offices adjudicating applicants in the 6th and 9th Circuits may proceed with adjudication of I-485s previously placed on hold in accordance with USCIS’s updated position.
As stated in INA Section 245(a), in order to adjust status, an applicant must (1) make an application for such adjustment; (2) be eligible to receive an immigrant visa and be admissible to the United States for permanent residence; and (3) have an immigrant visa immediately available to them at the time their application is filed.
For more information regarding I-485s for TPS recipients, please call our office at (856) 222-0130.