Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act: Certain Aliens in Unlawful Status May Apply to Adjust Status in the U.S.
What is Section 245(i)?
Law known as Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act Amendments of 2000 allow certain alien relatives who are in the United States illegally to remain in the United States and obtain legal permanent residency green card. Under the LIFE Act, an alien who has violated the terms of his lawful status in the United States or has entered the United States illegally may apply for adjustment of status under INA §245(i), provided that there is a proper basis for application.
How it Works:
To qualify, an alien must be the beneficiary of an employment-based or family-based visa petition or the beneficiary of an application for labor certification filed on or before April 30, 2001. If this condition is met, a person is “grandfathered” and it opens up an opportunity to apply for adjustment of status to legal permanent residency, if there is a proper basis for it.
Definition of a “grandfathered alien” also includes spouses and children.
Section 245(i) cures unlawful presence and unlawful employment. It does not cure fraud or misrepresentation or other issues.
The applicant must pay a penalty fee of $1,000 along with the application to adjust status.
Beneficiaries of labor certifications applications or immigrant visa petitions that were filed between January 14, 1998, and April 30, 2001, must also demonstrate that they were physically present in the United States on December 21, 2001, the date the LIFE Act was enacted.
Other types of applications and petitions – such as asylum applications, diversity visa applications and diversity visa lottery-winning letters – do not serve to grandfather the alien for purposes of §245(i). Although, if a person is grandfathered under section 245(i) and later wins a Diversity Visa lottery, such person is eligible to apply for a green card under section 245(i).
Once grandfathered, a person remains eligible indefinitely and until he or she becomes permanent resident.
Section 245(i) can be a miracle cure in some circumstances. Our law firm is experienced in representing clients in this type of very complex amnesty cases.