U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is updating the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify the effect of travel outside the United States by Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries who are subject to removal proceedings.
In particular, this update covers beneficiaries who have final removal orders, and who depart the United States and return with an advance parole travel document. TPS beneficiaries in removal proceedings who travel abroad temporarily with the authorization of DHS remain subject to those removal proceedings. If they are under a final order of removal, the travel does not execute or fulfill the order. The alien in question remains subject to the removal order.
The Executive Office for Immigration Review of the Department of Justice will generally have jurisdiction over an adjustment of status application filed by a TPS beneficiary subject to removal proceedings. USCIS continues to have jurisdiction over requests from aliens initially paroled into the United States. By statute, upon return to the United States with TPS travel authorization, TPS beneficiaries retain the same immigration status they held before departing the United States.
Policy clarifies that generally, a TPS beneficiary who departs and returns to the United States based on authorization to travel remains in the same exact immigration status and circumstances as when he or she left the United States. TPS beneficiaries who had outstanding, unexecuted final removal orders at the time of departure, remain TPS beneficiaries who continue to have outstanding, unexecuted final removal orders upon lawful return. TPS beneficiaries in removal proceedings at the time of departure but who did not have a final order of removal, remain TPS beneficiaries in removal proceedings upon lawful return, unless those proceedings have been otherwise terminated.
This update clarifies that, unless certain TPS bars apply, a TPS beneficiary who obtains USCIS’ authorization to travel abroad temporarily (as evidenced by an advance parole document) and who departs and returns to the United States in accordance with such authorization remains in the same exact immigration status and circumstances as when he or she left the United States. Such travel does not result in the execution of any outstanding removal order to which a TPS beneficiary may be subject. The guidance, contained in Volume 7 of the Policy Manual, is controlling and supersedes any prior guidance on the topic.
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), TPS beneficiaries may not be removed from the United States while they have TPS. In addition, section 244(f)(3) of the INA permits TPS beneficiaries to travel abroad with prior authorization to travel from the Secretary of Homeland Security. Based on this statute and corresponding regulations, USCIS issues advance parole documents to TPS beneficiaries whose requests for authorization to travel abroad are approved.