Section 245i is a provision of the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE Act), which was passed by Congress in 1994 and renewed by Congress in February 1998 when the LIFE Act was extended. It was initially passed as a temporary provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to allow individuals who entered the United States undocumented, but were otherwise eligible, to apply for adjustment of status based on a family relationship or job skillset, to adjust status. The goal of Section 245i is to protect applicants’ eligibility for immigration benefits. Section 245i allows an applicant who entered the United States either illegally or who overstayed an allowed duration of time in the United States to apply for adjustment of status if certain requirements are met. Important to note immediately is that Section 245i allows applicants who are ineligible under the current set of immigration laws to apply for adjustment of status but does not provide the applicant with amnesty for violating American immigration laws. To determine if you qualify under Section 245i, contact an experienced immigration attorney at JRQ & Associates, LLC for a free immigration consultation.
In order to qualify for adjustment of status under Section 245i, an applicant must fall in one of two categories. The applicant must have had a petition filed on his or her behalf on or before January 14, 1998. This means that the applicant seeking to adjust status under Section 245i must be the named beneficiary on a relative petition or an application for labor certification that was previously filed with the United States Department of Labor (DOL) either on or before January 14, 1998. Or, the applicant wishing to apply for adjustment of status under Section 245i be the named beneficiary on a relative petition or an application for labor certification that was filed between January 14, 1998, and April 30, 2011, AND have been continuously present in the United States since December 21, 2000. Continuously present means that the applicant must have entered the country on or before December 21, 2000, and never left the country since the date of entry. If an applicant falls in either category, then an applicant may then proceed with an application to adjust status under Section 245i. In addition to the normal filing fees with immigration applications, there is an additional filing fee for Section 245i applications; this additional filing fee acts as a penalty payment for unlawful presence in the United States. For additional information, contact an experienced immigration attorney at JRQ & Associates, LLC for a free immigration consultation.
When an applicant submits an application for adjustment of status under Section 245i, the application must include the filing fees and Form I-485 Supplement A, along with the regular adjustment of status application packet and filing fees. In addition, the applicant must provide evidence that the applicant was the beneficiary of an immigrant visa labor petition or relative petition submitted on or before April 30, 2001, and evidence that the applicant has been physically present in the United States since December 21, 2000. For more information, contact an experienced immigration attorney at JRQ & Associates, LLC for a free immigration consultation.