The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced it is updating its policy manual to reflect information on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients who travel outside of the United States and who are subject to deportation or removal proceedings. Specifically, this amendment covers those immigrants with final removal orders, who leave the United States and reenter with an advance parole travel document.
In U.S. immigration matters, an advance parole travel document is temporary “approval” to travel outside of the United States. Nonimmigrants, including TPS immigrants, must obtain Advance Parole to receive permission to reenter the United States after traveling abroad without threatening their current status. This works similar to a visa when an immigrant lawfully enters the United States.
Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, is used by immigrants to apply for an advance parole travel document. It can also be filed for other reasons, such as a re-entry permit or refugee travel document. This includes release into the United States for humanitarian reasons.
If an alien files Form I-131 to request an advance parole document and departs the United States without possessing an advance parole document that is valid for the duration that he or she is abroad, his or her Form I-131 is considered “abandoned.”
The policy update clarifies that although TPS beneficiaries who are in the midst of removal proceedings may travel overseas for a limited time period with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) authorization are still subject to those deportation proceedings. In cases where the immigrant is under a final order of removal, travel outside of the country does not complete the order. The designated immigrant remains subject to the order of removal.
Within the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Executive Office for Immigration Review typically has jurisdiction over a TPS beneficiary who is subject to deportation and who files an adjustment of status application. Under U.S. immigration laws, TPS recipients will maintain the same immigration status they had before departing the United States. It is important to note that based on the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), people who have TPS may not be removed from the United States during the time they have that status.
There are certain requirements an individual needs to gather before completing and submitting Form I-131 for an advance parole document. If currently in the United States, a person under TPS wishing to travel must show proof of the following:
In some cases, other evidence that warrants issuance of an advance parole document may also be required. For example, copies of USCIS receipts for any applications or a U.S. consular appointment letter.
The topic of immigration can be complicated if you are not familiar with the intricate legal process. At Mevorah Law Offices, P.C., we are well-versed in U.S. immigration laws and realize how important updates can be to your specific case. Our Illinois immigration attorney will explain how changes to the law can affect you or your loved one if you wish to enter or reenter the United States legally. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 630-932-9100.
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