The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients who entered the country unlawfully are not eligible to apply for permanent residence (green cards) through adjustment of status.

The Court agreed to hear the case in January, after the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court ruling and held that the government’s grant of TPS did not amount to being “admitted” to the country for purposes of applying to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR). The Supreme Court upheld the Third Circuit’s ruling. The decision was unanimous.

“The TPS statute permits [the petitioner] to remain in the country; and it deems him in nonimmigrant status for purposes of applying to become an LPR,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the Court. “But the statute does not constructively ‘admit’ a TPS recipient … And because a grant of TPS does not come with a ticket of admission, it does not eliminate the disqualifying effect of an unlawful entry.”

Additional Information: The Court’s ruling in Sanchez v. Wolf is available here.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

Copyright © 2021 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact