How to Change From Temporary Protected Status to a Marriage Green Card: A Step-by-Step Guide

Navigating the Transition from TPS to Permanent Residency

Many people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) wonder if they can move to a Marriage Green Card. This transition can provide permanent residency and stability in the U.S., especially for those married to a U.S. citizen or green card holder.

The process involves specific legal steps and requirements, making it essential to have the proper legal guidance. The path differs if you’re married to a U.S. citizen versus a green card holder, and each path has unique steps. It’s important to note that you need to comply with TPS re-registration periods to ensure your eligibility.

At JQK Immigration Law Firm, we help clients navigate this complex process. Our extensive experience ensures that each step is followed correctly, giving you the best chance of success in your immigration journey.

Understanding Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

TPS is a form of humanitarian relief provided by the United States government. It allows individuals from specific countries affected by armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary events to reside and work in the U.S. for a designated period.

Benefits of TPS

TPS provides several advantages to those who qualify:

  • Work Authorization: Individuals with TPS can obtain an Employment Authorization Document, enabling them to work legally in the U.S.
  • Protection from Deportation: TPS holders are protected from deportation during the period of their status.
  • Access to Services: TPS beneficiaries may access certain public services.

Limitations of TPS

However, TPS also comes with certain restrictions:

  • Temporary Nature: TPS does not provide a path to permanent residency or citizenship. It is a temporary status that must be regularly renewed.
  • Limited Travel: Travel outside the U.S. can be restricted. TPS holders must apply for advance parole to travel internationally.
  • Dependent on Country Designation: TPS status is country-specific and can be terminated if the conditions in the designated countries improve.

Understanding the benefits and limitations of TPS can help you determine the best way to transition to a more permanent status, such as a marriage green card.

Overview of a Marriage Green Card

A marriage green card allows foreign spouses of U.S. citizens or permanent residents to live and work in the United States. This type of green card recognizes the legitimacy of the marriage and grants the non-citizen spouse lawful permanent resident status.

There are two types of marriage green cards: conditional and permanent. A conditional green card is issued if the marriage is less than two years old at the time of application. This card is valid for two years and serves as a temporary immigration status. If the marriage is older than two years, a permanent green card is issued, typically valid for 10 years. Both types of green cards allow the holder to register permanent residence in the United States, solidifying their immigration status.

Eligibility Criteria

To obtain a marriage green card, applicants must meet certain conditions:

  • Legal Marriage: The marriage must be legally valid and recognized in the country where it was performed.
  • Proof of Relationship: Evidence must show the marriage is genuine and not for immigration purposes.
  • Financial Support: The sponsoring spouse needs to prove they can financially support the non-citizen spouse.
  • Background Check: Applicants must pass background checks to ensure they are not involved in activities like fraud or terrorism.

Application Process

  1. Establish the Relationship: The U.S. citizen spouse files Form I-130.
  2. Adjustment of Status: If living in the U.S., file Form I-485; if abroad, file Form DS-260.
  3. Interview: Attend a green card interview to verify the authenticity of the marriage.

A qualified immigration attorney can assist you with the application process and provide more information on marriage green cards.

Steps to Change From TPS to a Marriage Green Card

There are several steps involved in changing from TPS to a marriage-based permanent residence:

  • Eligibility Assessment: First, determine if you are eligible. Valid TPS status is essential, and your marriage must be genuine. You must be married to either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. Keep in mind that any past immigration violations might affect eligibility.
  • Filing the Petition (Form I-130): Next, file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). This form helps establish the relationship with your spouse. It’s crucial to provide supporting documentation to prove the marriage is real.
  • Adjusting Status (Form I-485): Then, file Form I-485 to adjust your status to a permanent resident. This step includes requirements like medical exams and background checks. Prepare for an interview where you’ll discuss your relationship.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Proving a Bona-Fide Marriage

One of the biggest hurdles that people encounter when they adjust status from TPS to a marriage green card is proving that the marriage is genuine. You need to gather substantial evidence to support this.

Effective types of evidence include:

  • Joint financial documents such as bank statements and tax returns.
  • Affidavits from friends and family who can vouch for the authenticity of the relationship.
  • Photographs and communication records documenting your relationship timeline.

Addressing Immigration Violations

Immigration violations can complicate the green card process. Common violations may include unauthorized employment or overstaying a visa, resulting in US Citizenship and Immigration Services barring individuals for a specified number of years. If you are facing such issues, it’s vital that you understand potential waivers that are available to you and how to apply for them.

Common waivers include:

  • I-601 Waiver for unlawful presence.
  • I-212 Waiver for prior deportation.

You must submit strong evidence showing hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse if the Waiver isn’t granted.

Contact JQK for Your Immigration Assistance Today

Navigating the journey from Temporary Protected Status to obtaining lawful permanent residence through marriage can be complex, often requiring legal assistance.

At JQK Immigration Law Firm, we offer legal services tailored to your unique needs, ensuring your paperwork is correctly filed and deadlines are met. You can rely on us for several reasons:

  • Experienced Attorneys: Our lawyers have years of experience in immigration law.
  • Personalized Attention: We provide tailored advice specific to your situation.
  • Comprehensive Services: From initial consultation to final approval, we manage your case thoroughly.

JQK Immigration Law Firm has extensive experience helping clients transition from TPS to a marriage green card. Our services include:

  • Seasoned Legal Advice: Tailored to each case, ensuring you understand the intricacies of both TPS and green card applications.
  • Evidence Gathering and Organization: Assistance with collecting and organizing necessary documentation.
  • Guidance on Waivers: Help apply for necessary waivers to address immigration violations.

Our firm’s experience and success stories demonstrate our commitment to client satisfaction. We work diligently to ensure that our clients successfully navigate the immigration process.

Don’t navigate this challenging process alone. Reach out to our team for a consultation and get the support you need to successfully transition from TPS to a marriage-based green card.

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