Section 245(i) – Possible Path to Citizenship for Unlawful Entry or Overstay
Section 245(i) of the US Immigration and Nationality Act may provide lawful permanent resident (green card holder) status to individuals even if they entered the US without any documentation or overstayed their visa and does not require the individual to leave the United States.
If you have not heard of Section 245(i), it is just one example of relief that can provide you with a path to a green card. Our Sacramento immigration law office has been receiving many questions regarding President Obama’s recent announcement on his executive action on immigration and have later learned that they qualify for (and have a strong case in favor of) a different and permanent form of relief, such as a U-Visa for Victims of Crime and/or I-601A Provisional Waiver for Unlawful Presence.
What do I need to show to qualify for Section 245(i)?
In order to qualify for Section 245(i) relief, you must be able to show:
- You, or your parents while you were an unmarried minor, had a relative file a visa petition (I-130), or employer file a visa petition (I-140) or labor certification;
- This petition must have been filed on or before April 30, 2001;
- Pay a $1000 fine when applying; and,
- If the petition was filed between January 15, 1998 and April 30, 2001, you must show physical presence in the US on December 21, 2000.
I had a petition filed for me, so I meet the qualifications for Section 245(i), but since the petition was filed, I married. Will my spouse be eligible for a green card?
Yes, fortunately, spouses and children are eligible to adjust under Section 245(i) even if the individual was not a spouse or child at the time of the petition as long as the new relationship is established prior to the time you adjust status, as you will see in this memo.
My parent qualifies for Section 245(i) and I was a minor at the time, so I qualify, but now I’m over 21 and married. Does my age or my marital status disqualify me?
No. Fortunately, you’re grandfathered in and irrespective of your current age and marital status you can take advantage of Section 245(i). Please see this memo describing grandfathering.
I believe I qualify for Section 245(i) relief, but can I leave the United States before I apply for my green card? Also, will my 245(i) relief ever expire?
You may be subject to either the 3-year or 10-year bar for unlawful presence in the United States, so you should speak to one of our Sacramento immigration lawyers to discuss whether you can leave the United States. 245(i) never expires, but that does not mean that there might be other issues that could make you inadmissible, such as criminal matters, so we recommend that you contact our Sacramento immigration law firm.
Section 245(i) can provide you relief if you meet the above-referenced requirements and we understand that every situation is unique. We recommend that you speak with our Sacramento immigration lawyer in order to discuss how Section 245(i) might provide you with a path to US citizenship.
Our Sacramento immigration law firm has been very successful with adjustment of status applications, so don’t hesitate to contact us today to discuss your immigration matter with our Sacramento immigration lawyer.
*The information provided in this post does not constitute legal advice or opinion. The information is for guidance purposes only. Individual situations vary and you should contact us for a consultation. Carson & Kyung, Sacramento’s Immigration Attorneys on Section 245(i) – Possible Path to Citizenship for Unlawful Entry or Overstay.