The Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act allows some people to change their status to permanent resident even if they would not be otherwise eligible. Protection under the LIFE Act is called Section 245 adjustment of status and it might be able to help you get a green card.
To get a green card under the LIFE act, someone needs to have petitioned for you as an alien worker or relative or have a labor certification filed before April 30, 2001. If you have one of these petitions in your name, you may qualify for a green card through the LIFE act. Section 245 needs you to have a visa readily available to you, so file your form when one becomes available. For more information on being granted a visa before changing your status to resident, see our other posts or see U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services . If you have a visa available and the proper certification (listed above) the LIFE Act can provide permanent residence regardless of unlawful presence in the U.S., working illegally in the U.S., or leaving the U.S. during your stay, which disrupts your continuous stay. This means you can file for Section 245 residence under the LIFE Act if you are currently present in the U.S. unlawfully or have been working without a permanent work visa.
In order to receive a green card under section 245, you must be admissible to the U.S. This means you should be careful not to trigger inadmissibility. For example, you should not depart the country after unlawful stay in the U.S. because you will be barred from re-entry. Look into INA law for instructions on avoiding inadmissibility.
Children and spouses of section 245 green card holders may also be offered protection from removal if they have been living in the U.S. and can be granted employment lawfully under your LIFE Act residence card.
You should check the dates that section 245 requires you or your family to have been in the U.S. because they are often changing. Always be careful to file the most current forms with the most current information to avoid delays in your application process.
For more information and help with getting a green card, contact immigration attorney Phillip Kim