New Supreme Court Decision Affects Some People with Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

June 11, 2021

The Supreme Court of the United States made a decision on June 7th that affects some people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The decision, Sanchez v. Mayorkas, makes it harder for some people with TPS to become lawful permanent residents if they entered the U.S. without permission.

How does TPS relate to Lawful Permanent Resident status in general?

In general, TPS does NOT create a pathway to permanent residence (also known as a green card) on its own. However, some people may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident for other reasons, such as marriage to a U.S. citizen. Learn more about TPS on ASAP’s website here.

What does the Supreme Court decision change?

Even though TPS does not create a pathway to permanent resident status on its own, before the Supreme Court decision, some people could use TPS to show that they had been “inspected and admitted” to the United States. This helped them meet the requirements to apply for permanent residence based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or other reasons.

However, the Supreme Court has now decided that TPS will not count as being “inspected and admitted.” So people who entered the United States without authorization (without presenting themselves at a port of entry)  can no longer use TPS to help meet the requirements for permanent residence.

Does this decision affect people who have won asylum? 

No! The Sanchez Supreme Court decision does NOT affect people who have won asylum. People who have won asylum can still apply for Lawful Permanent Resident status after one year of having obtained asylum. Learn more about applying for permanent residence based on asylum on the government’s website here.

Does the decision take away TPS from anyone?

No! The Sanchez Supreme Court decision does not take away TPS from anyone or change the ability to apply for TPS for people who are eligible. Learn more about TPS here.

Does the decision affect work permits for people who have TPS?

No! The Sanchez Supreme Court decision does not affect work permits based on TPS.

What can I do if I think the Supreme Court decision affects me?

Even if the Sanchez Supreme Court decision affects you, you still may be able to apply for permanent residence, but it could be much more difficult. It may be helpful to speak to a trusted attorney or non-profit legal services organization. Find out how to seek legal assistance here. Read more about the Sanchez decision here.