Achieving permanent residence in the United States can be an intricate and demanding process, particularly for individuals who have entered the country without inspection or overstayed their authorized stay. Despite these hurdles, several opportunities exist to regularize your status. This comprehensive article examines the Life Act, Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and other potential pathways to secure residence for those confronting such issues.
The Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act was enacted in 2000 to assist individuals in such situations. One of the provisions within the Act, Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, allows certain persons to apply for an adjustment of status, despite having entered the country without a visa or overstaying their authorized stay.
To qualify under Section 245(i), individuals must have filed or been the beneficiaries of an approvable when filed labor certification or alien relative petition before April 30, 2001, and been present in the U.S. on and after December 21, 2000. Those who meet these criteria can apply for an adjustment of status.
The fine for applying under Section 245(i) is $1,000.00, payable at the time of the adjustment application. It is important to note that the application does not need to be based on the original labor certification or petition that made the individual eligible under Section 245(i).
For those with an immediate family member who would otherwise qualify for residence but for one illegal entry, obtaining residence through a provisional waiver may be possible. This option requires traveling abroad to secure residence at a U.S. Consulate overseas. However, all necessary paperwork can be filed while the foreign national is still in the United States.
If the provisional waiver is approved, the residence processing overseas usually takes about 3 1/2 weeks. This pathway can be particularly beneficial for individuals with strong family ties in the U.S. and a compelling reason to obtain legal residence.
If you do not qualify for an adjustment of status under Section 245(i) or a provisional waiver, there may be other options available. To learn more, visit the Waivers page on our website.
In conclusion, securing permanent residence in the United States can be a complex process for those who have entered without inspection or overstayed their visas. Through provisions such as the Life Act’s Section 245(i) and the availability of provisional waivers, there are still opportunities to regularize your status and pursue the American Dream. Consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer is essential to guide you through the process and explore all available options.
Let the experts at Oltarsh & Associates, P.C. guide you through the immigration process with the expertise and dedication you deserve. Contact us today at 212-944-9420 to schedule a free initial consultation and begin your journey toward securing the legal support needed to achieve your immigration goals. We look forward to serving you and helping you build a bright future in the United States.