TPS applicants who are applying for adjustment of status with outstanding removal orders should be aware that the New Jersey District Office has reversed its policy with respect to these cases. Of course, every case is fact and circumstance specific, but in general, it now appears that individuals who initially entered without inspection, have been ordered removed, subsequently left and re-entered the US with advance parole are being deemed ineligible to adjust status before USCIS. The issue hinges on whether USCIS or the Immigration Court has jurisdiction to adjudicate an adjustment of status application filed by someone who has already been ordered removed. In most cases, the removal order is considered executed once a person under that order leaves the United States. Once an individual has a removal order, he/she is generally barred from the US for ten years unless an I-212 is filed and approved. In some cases, individuals who have returned with advance parole have filed I-212s in conjunction with their adjustment of status applications before USCIS. Now, the government's posture is that USCIS does not have jurisdiction over such cases because the individual has not actually departed (in a legal sense) to trigger execution of the removal order. Moreover, if a person with TPS has left the US with advance parole, he/she technically returns to the US in the same immigration status he/she had prior to the departure. So, in other words, if an applicant had initially entered without inspection and left with advance parole, he/she shall be inspected and admitted "in the same immigration status the alien had at the time of departure"-namely, as an individual who has entered without inspection. And unfortunately, in general, unless the individual is eligible under section 245i, applicants who enter without inspection do not qualify to adjust status here in the US.
It is a commonly misunderstood that an order of removal or deportation is tantamount to permanent banishment from the United States. While an order does bar an individual from re-entry, it does not necessarily mean that a person is forever banned from the United States. In some cases, an order prohibits re-entry for five years. In the vast majority of cases, however, an order bars admission for a period of ten years. The important thing to understand is that once an individual has spent the requisite period of time outside the United States, he or she will not be automatically barred from admission. Of course, there may likely be other grounds of inadmissibility that prohibit a person from coming, (e.g., unlawful presence, fraud, crimes), but the force of the removal order is attenuated and ultimately extinguished once the time period is over.
Here's the transcript to our latest video on Youtube. Many people are under the misimpression that despite a removal or deportation order, it is quite easy to fix one's status if married to a US Citizen. The reality, of course, is that these types of matters are much more complicated. Like everything in the law, everything is case and circumstance specific. Is the person still here in the US? Has the person already left the US? In the latter, a departure under an order will usually execute a ten year bar: in order for the individual to return to the US, even with an approved petition, he or she must usually request special permission on Form I-212 to return to the US before the expiration of the ten years. If the person has stayed in the US in violation of the order, things can get dicey: if ICE were to apprehend the person--who is, in essence, a fugitive--the government would normally just take steps to execute the order. On the other hand, depending on the circumstances, ie., an approved I-130 filed by an Immediate Relative, there may be an opportunity to reopen the court case, rescind the order, and possibly apply for relief.