From TPS to a Green Card: One Man’s Journey

As an immigration lawyer in today’s changing world, I am frequently approached by prospective clients whose Temporary Protected Status (TPS) has been scheduled to terminate. They are often scared and bewildered, wondering what, if any, option they have?

Luckily, with some legal maneuvering it is often possible for someone in this situation to obtain a green card sponsored by an immediate relative. Below is our client Jose’s story.

Jose arrived in the U.S. in year 2001 from El Salvador. He crossed the border without a visa, fleeing a brutal civil war that was raging there at the time. He entered the U.S. frightened and with little money, hoping to start a new life here.

Our government granted Jose Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, due to the unsafe conditions in El Salvador. As the years passed and those conditions continued, Jose was allowed to renew his grant of TPS every 18 months. He resided and worked in the U.S. as an upstanding member of society for nearly a decade. The U.S. had become his home.

In year 2010, Jose met Clara, a U.S. citizen by birth. He and Clara started dating, fell in love, and decided to get married in year 2012. Jose’s immigration status remained that of TPS. Because Jose had entered the country illegally, he believed that he was not eligible for a green card through Clara.

Years later, our government announced that they would be terminating TPS for El Salvador. Jose suffered anxiety every day, not knowing how he would be able to remain in the U.S. with his life partner Clara. Then Jose met me.

I explained to Jose that he did have options. And one of those options was to obtain a lawful entry to the U.S. by applying for permission to travel outside of the country and reenter under TPS. While the timing would be tight because we knew at that point that Jose’s TPS would be terminated in less than a year, I reassured him that this was doable. Once Jose obtained the lawful entry, Clara would be able to sponsor him for his green card. Once we submitted the green card application, he would have permission to remain in the U.S. while it was pending.

Jose got his permission to travel and left and reentered the U.S., we applied for his green card, and he is now a permanent resident of the United States. He no longer fears deportation and separation from his wife of 7 years.

Jose’s story is not unique. Our immigration laws and policies are complex, and too many immigrants do not know their options. We offer a thorough initial legal evaluation to review your history in detail, explain all possible paths, and create a plan moving forward. Contact us today to learn more: 415-496-9040 or