Court of Appeals Ruling Could Help Some Immigrants with TPS Receive Permanent Residence

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday in favor of a lawsuit filed by the Salvadoran Jesús Ramírezwhich allows certain undocumented immigrants under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to become legal permanent residents.

In his lawsuit, Ramirez argued that although he entered the United States illegally, by granting him TPS in 2001 the federal government legitimized his entry into the United States.

If the federal government does not appeal U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly's decision, it would mean that a person with TPS, who meets all the requirements, could become a lawful permanent resident within the country.

Who would qualify

Persons in TPS, including Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Hondurans, living in states under the jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

To obtain residency within the United States, the immigrant with TPS must:

* Be married to a U.S. citizen or
* Have U.S. children over 21 years of age
* Be admissible to the country and not have committed certain disqualifying acts, including having a criminal record or an order of deportation.

All individuals should consult with an immigration attorney before initiating any immigration proceedings.

What would be the process

U.S. spouses or children must file a family petition on behalf of the TPS immigrant along with an application for adjustment of status in order to process within the United States.

Appeal can be made against the ruling

The federal government has 90 days to appeal the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

If he does not appeal the decision, the judge's ruling remains law, allowing immigrants with TPS who are married to citizens or who have citizen children over 21 years of age to obtain permanent residency within the United States.

By not having to leave the country to complete the consular process, the punishment law that does not allow the return of a person who has lived illegally in the country for a period of 3 or 10 years would not be imposed.


Previously, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit had issued a similar decision covering all persons within its jurisdiction in the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.