Green Card Through INA 245(i) Adjustment: Navigating the Path to U.S. Permanent Residence

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Learn how The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A. can help you navigate the complexities of applying for a Green Card through INA 245(i) Adjustment, ensuring compliance and maximizing your chances of approval.

Qualifying for Adjustment of Status Under INA 245(i)

Adjustment of status is a process that enables foreign nationals who are physically present in the U.S. to obtain Lawful Permanent Resident status without returning to their home country.

Typically, applicants for adjustment of status must have entered the U.S. lawfully and maintained legal status while in the country to qualify for this procedure. Those who qualify for a Green Card but do not meet this requirement might need to return to their home country to initiate the Green Card application process.

Green Card applications abroad could take years to process, which could mean long periods of separation for the affected applicants and their families. Furthermore, traveling back to their home countries might mean that they could be barred from the U.S. for up to 10 years as a penalty for their illegal entry or unlawful presence in the U.S.  

Fortunately, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), through  Section 245(i)provides a pathway that allows certain Green Card applicants to adjust their status and become Lawful Permanent Residents despite previous immigration violations. 

Understanding how the law works is crucial if you wish to benefit from the relief offered by Section 245(i). 

Our skilled immigration attorney at The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A., is dedicated to helping immigrants navigate the complexities of U.S. immigration law. We can help you understand your options and work to ensure the Green Card process is as straightforward as possible.

What Is INA 245(i)?

Section 245(i) in its current form results from an amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act by the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act in 2000.

The amendment allowed individuals who would not ordinarily qualify for adjustment of status to obtain Green Cards without leaving the U.S. if they

  • Entered the U.S. through illegal channels
  • Worked in the U. S. without authorization
  • Failed to maintain continuous lawful status since their entry into the country. 

One of the primary purposes of Section 245(i) is to facilitate family reunification by allowing undocumented immigrants who are close family members of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents to adjust their status without the risk and hardship of leaving the U.S.

Section 245(i) also helps reduce the consular processing backlog by allowing qualified immigrants to adjust their status within the U.S., thereby streamlining the overall immigration system.

Eligibility Requirements for 245(i) Adjustment

To qualify for adjustment of status under Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, you’ll need to meet certain specific requirements:

  • Be the beneficiary of a Labor Certification application (Form ETA-750) filed on or before April 30, 2001, or
  • Be the beneficiary of an immigrant petition (such as Form I-130 for family-based applications or I-140 for employment-based applications )filed on or before April 30, 2001
  • Pay a $1000 penalty fee. 

Those who meet the first two criteria above, as principal or derivative beneficiaries of either petition, are called grandfathered non-citizens.

Being grandfathered means that the beneficiary of a qualifying petition filed before the cut-off date can still adjust their status later under Section 245(i), even if they intend to rely on another immigrant petition for their adjustment of status application. For instance, if a person was a child on their parent’s petition filed before the cut-off date but is now an adult, they might still qualify for 245(i) adjustment based on their parent’s petition.  

However, to qualify as such, the petition upon which their eligibility is based must have been properly filed and approvable on or before the given date. For example, if there were issues or errors in the application forms that rendered them defective, relying on such a petition as a basis for 245(i) adjustment of status would be difficult. 

Applicants would also need to meet the general criteria for adjustment of status, including the following :

  • They must be physically present in the U.S. when filing the adjustment of status application (and must have been so present in the country as of Dec 21, 2000
  • They must not be under any other ground of inadmissibility other than those covered by the 245(i) exemption. Otherwise, they would need to obtain an immigration waiver (where possible)
  • An immigrant visa number must be available in their Green Card category. 

It’s not just enough to believe you meet these requirements. You must show the immigration authorities that you do, with solid documentation and evidence, some of which shall be identified in the next section.  

How to Apply for 245(i) Adjustment and Required Documentation

To begin the application process, you need to file Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)and Form I-485 (Supplement A) with USCIS and pay the necessary filing fees, including the $1,000 penalty fee.

These forms must be accompanied by copies of certain crucial documents, including:

  • Two passport photographs
  • A government-issued identity document with photograph
  • The applicant’s birth certificate
  • Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693)
  • Proof of the applicant’s physical presence in the United States on December 21, 2000, 
  • A copy of the immigrant visa petition or labor certification that stands as the basis for 245(i) grandfathering. 

Timely and accurate filing of these forms and documents is essential. Ensuring that every form is correctly filled out and each piece of required evidence is included will help smoothen the application process.

How The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A. Can Help

At The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A., we understand that navigating the complexities of INA 245(i) adjustments can be overwhelming. We are dedicated to guiding you through this process and can help you in several ways, including the following:

  • We can help you evaluate your eligibility for Section 245(i) adjustment so you don’t waste your time and resources on a procedure you don’t qualify for.
  • We can also assist with preparing and filing the adjustment of status application and organizing the required supporting documents to ensure you provide USCIS with all the details they’ll need to process your application.
  • The immigration process is rarely straightforward. We can offer quality legal counsel on potential issues you may encounter and help formulate working strategies to address them.
  • If you are inadmissible or ineligible for adjustment due to immigration violations other than those covered by section 245(i), we can help you navigate the process to obtain an immigration waiver of inadmissibility. Such a waiver (if you are eligible) would help you overcome your inadmissibility and bring you one step closer to obtaining a Green Card.
  • We can also handle any correspondence from the immigration authorities and send an appropriate response when required.

As part of our services, we also help clarify immigration options for crewmembers and the adjustment of status eligibility requirements for Temporary Protected Status holders.

In each case we handle, we aim to reduce our clients’ burdens and help them achieve their immigration goals with minimal stress. We’ve recorded many successes in our years of practice, and we’d be glad to put our skills and knowledge of immigration law to work for you. 

Contact Us Today

Adjustment of status under section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act offers a vital opportunity for certain individuals to obtain lawful permanent residence without having to leave the United States, even if they entered the country unlawfully or overstayed their visa. This provision is a crucial lifeline for eligible applicants, allowing them to obtain Green Cards while remaining with their families and continuing their lives in the U.S. 

Navigating the complexities of 245(i) requires careful eligibility assessment, thorough documentation, and strategic guidance from an experienced immigration attorney.

Our law firm has the skills and experience to significantly enhance the chances of a successful application by providing quality legal counsel with robust representation throughout the process.

Contact us today for personalized legal support that is tailored to your unique needs. Let us help you overcome the procedural challenges of the immigration system and work towards securing a stable future in the United States.

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