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USICS, Aug. 20, 2020
"This policy memorandum (PM) designates the attached decision of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Matter of Z-R-Z-C- as an Adopted Decision. Accordingly, this Adopted Decision shall be used to guide determinations by all U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees. USCIS personnel are directed to follow the reasoning in this decision in similar cases. Matter of Z-R-Z-C- holds that a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipient who is granted authorization to temporarily travel abroad pursuant to section 244(f)(3) of the Act (TPS travel authorization) and who subsequently reenters the United States using a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) travel document, resumes the same immigration status the alien had at the time of departure, unless the alien is inadmissible under certain criminal or national security grounds or obtains an immigrant or non-immigrant visa and presents it for admission to the United States. See, Miscellaneous and Technical Immigration and Naturalization Amendments of 1991, § 304(c), Pub. L. 102-232, 105 Stat. 1733, 1749 (December 12, 1991) (codified as amended at section 244 of the Act, Note 3). Consequently, if a TPS recipient was present in the United States without inspection, admission or parole at the time of departure pursuant to TPS travel authorization, that alien upon return to the United States is returned to “same immigration status the alien had at the time of departure” such that the TPS authorized travel will not satisfy the “inspected and admitted or paroled” provision at section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act). Recognizing TPS recipients’ reasonable reliance on USCIS’s past practice and treatment of temporary travel abroad, USCIS will limit the application of Matter of Z-R-Z-C- to minimize adverse impacts to this group. Matter of Z-R-Z-C- does not impact TPS recipients who adjusted status to lawful permanent residence under the past practice and/or prior guidance. Such aliens, when applying for naturalization, will not be subject to section 318 of the Act for not having been lawfully admitted as a permanent resident. In addition, Matter of Z-R-Z-C-’s holding that a return to the United States pursuant to TPS travel authorization does not satisfy section 245(a) of the Act will only apply prospectively to TPS recipients who departed and returned to the United States pursuant to section 244(f)(3) of the Act after the date of this Adopted Decision."