In 1994 Congress amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to include §245(i) [INA §245(i)], a new section which gave hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants an opportunity to become legal permanent residents. From the time the law was enacted until January 14, 1998, individuals who had entered without inspection (i.e., who crossed the border without a visa) or who had overstayed a visa and had accrued unlawful presence were eligible for Adjustment of Status (AOS).
AOS is a procedure that allows non-resident aliens to become residents without leaving the United States, which would normally be a requirement for an immigrant visa.
Under 245(i), illegal immigrants who pay a $1,000 fine can pursue an AOS if they qualify for a Green Card through a family member (spouse, parent, child, or sibling) or through an employer. An undocumented alien who is 245(i)-eligible and who is currently married to a U.S. citizen can become a resident immediately, as can the parent or minor child (under 21) of a citizen.
Case Study #1:
A Romanian Citizen arrived in the USA on an H2B visa in May 2007. After 2 years, he married a US Citizen. We were retained in March 2010 and he was approved as a permanent resident in September, a seven months processing time.
Despite this great opportunity for illegal immigrants to become legal residents, many thousands failed to do for a variety of reasons. On December 15, 2000, President Clinton extended the January 1998 deadline to April 30, 2001 for any illegal immigrants who missed the 1998 deadline and who were present in the United States on December 15, 2000. This gave a second chance to those who had missed or been unaware of the original deadline, and many thousands had petitions filed on their behalves.
If a petition was filed on your behalf on or before April 30, 2001, you may be 245(i)-eligible, meaning you can get a Green Card without leaving the United States. You may also be eligible if the petition was filed for a family member of yours (e.g. spouse, parent). If you believe that you are 245(i)-eligible, contact our Nevada Immigration Law Offices today for a free consultation.