Staying In The Country I Love

Can An Immigrant With Temporary Protected Status Get A Green Card?

About 400,000 immigrants in the United States have temporary protected status, meaning the U.S. government protects them against deportation because they fled their home country due to circumstances like war or natural disaster. Some of these individuals have maintained their temporary protected status for decades because they do not qualify for permanent legal residency, also known as a green card.

Does the Manner of Entry Matter?

If an immigrant under temporary protected status wants to obtain a green card, they must adjust their status. Their authorization to be in the United States may affect whether their case gets approved for permanent residency. In 2020, several U.S. courts issued rulings on cases related to immigrants with temporary protected status. In these rulings, judges mostly upheld green card denials for individuals who initially entered the United States without authorization or documentation, even though their home country made them eligible for temporary protected status.

Temporary protected status is typically renewed every 18 months, and if an immigrant's home country is no longer on the list of applicable countries, they might lose the ability to reside in the United States. To avoid potential deportation, an individual will want to ask an immigration lawyer about how to apply for a green card.

Ways to Qualify for a Green Card

The two main pathways for an immigrant to obtain a green card are through family relationships or employment. If an immigrant is married to a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, their spouse can sponsor their application. Applicants will need to verify their marriage certificate as part of the process. U.S. citizens can also sponsor children, siblings, and parents while green card holders can only sponsor unmarried children.

Likewise, an immigrant can be sponsored by a U.S. employer. Individuals who have a family or employer sponsor may want to consult an immigration lawyer about submitting their application for legal permanent residency to ensure that the petition goes smoothly. Minor technicalities can result in denial, so it's important to have professional help in completing all the paperwork.

In addition to sponsorship, there are humanitarian grounds for adjusting an immigrant's status from temporary protected to permanent legal resident. These include applying for asylum or showing evidence of being a victim of serious crimes such as trafficking or abuse. An immigration lawyer can explain the various potential pathways for an individual to apply for a green card and receive authorization to remain in the United States on a permanent basis.

If you need more information on how to qualify for a green card, you can get in contact with immigration lawyers who are experienced in helping people who have temporary protected status.