The Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act allows some people to get a permanent residence card regardless of history of illegal presence in the U.S. In order to be eligible for the LIFE Act, you need to have had a petition for alien worker or relative (I-130 or I-140) filed on your behalf before April 30, 2001. You can also qualify to get a green card under the LIFE act if you have or have had labor certification.
The I-130 can be filed by U.S. citizens and legal residents on behalf of a relative who hopes to immigrate to the U.S. The petition for alien relative demonstrates a relationship between the pending immigrant and a lawful U.S. resident. The citizen or resident relative petitioner does not need to be present in the U.S. to file the petition for alien relative.
The I-140 Petition for Alien Worker must be filed by a U.S. employer on behalf of a future employee wishing to become a permanent resident.
You can also use a labor certification to get Section 245 protection. Labor certification is given through the U.S. Department of Labor to skilled workers or to unskilled workers who will be performing unfilled jobs in the U.S. market. Labor certification is filed by a petitioner, your U.S. employer. If your petition for Labor Certification was revoked or denied by Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) at any time since you filed (before April 30, 2001) the LIFE Act may still allow you to use this petition to gain permanent residence.
Denial of your petition for labor certification does not automatically disqualify you from getting section 245 protection, as long as you filed before April 30, 2001. If your labor certification petitioner is no longer able to be responsible for your petition when you attempt to get a green card, you may still be eligible to be included. Examples could include the death of your petitioner, a divorce from your petitioner, your employer is no longer in business, and so on.
If you have petitioned for the proper immigration provisions or have petitioned for labor certification, you may be eligible to get a green card for permanent residence under the LIFE act.
For more information and help with petitioning for residence and other immigration services, contact immigration attorney Phillip Kim.