The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders’ eligibility for lawful permanent residence.

Key Points:

  • The Supreme Court will decide whether TPS holders are eligible to apply for green cards without having to leave the U.S.
  • The case involves a national of El Salvador who was granted TPS when the designation was made in 2001 following a pair of earthquakes. His employer later sponsored his green card application. In 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied the application asserting that he did not fulfil the requirement of having been “inspected and admitted” because he originally entered the U.S. without authorization. A U.S. District Court found that the government’s grant of TPS amounted to his being “admitted,” but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed.
  • Federal appeals courts are split over the issue. The Third and Eleventh Circuits have ruled TPS holders who entered without inspection are ineligible to adjust status to lawful permanent resident, while the Sixth and Ninth Circuits have ruled that they are eligible.

Additional Information: The case is Sanchez v. Wolf, No. 20-315, U.S. Supreme Court.

BAL Analysis: BAL is following developments in the case, including how the Department of Homeland Security will defend it in the Biden administration. BAL will provide updates on significant developments as the case progresses.

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

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