The Legal Immigration and Family Equity (LIFE) Act was passed in 2000 and the government offered to forgive immigration status rule violations for a $1,000 fine by April 30, 2001. If they met all other qualifications, the individual would then be able to obtain a green card as Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) of the United States.
The LIFE Act ‘grandfathered’ people already in the United States to become eligible for immigration – but did not guarantee their eligibility.
The process of applying for legal permanent residency, also known as a “green card,” is called “Adjustment of Status.” Adjustment of status is the process for a foreign national who is in the United States on a temporary visa to apply for a green card and get permanent resident status.
You must meet certain criteria to file for adjustment of status. Some of these criteria include:
• Are the beneficiary of a qualified immigrant petition (Form I-130 or I-140) or application for labor certification (Form ETA-750) filed on or before April 30, 2001
• Were physically present in the United States on December 21, 2000, if you are the principal beneficiary and the petition was filed between January 15, 1998, and April 30, 2001. If you are the beneficiary of a petition filed prior to January 15, 1998 you will have other physical presence rules that apply to you.
• Are currently the beneficiary of a qualifying immigrant petition (either the original Form I-130 or I-140 through which you are grandfathered or through a subsequently filed immigrant petition)
• Have a visa immediately available to you
• Are admissible to the United States
In addition, the qualifying immigrant visa petition or the qualifying application for labor certification must have been “properly filed” (signed and submitted with the correct fees) and “approvable” (meritorious based on the facts and “non-frivolous”) when filed.
Depending on the circumstances, a spouse or child of a grandfathered individual may also be a grandfathered or may be eligible to adjust status as a dependent under Section 245(i) of the INA.
The increasingly complex rules governing legal admission to and naturalization in the United States has made the immigration process difficult to understand. With experience in many immigration cases, Mario Godoy and the other experienced immigration attorneys at the Godoy Law Office can assess your situation and advise you on your best options. Call today at 855-554-6369.