There are many reasons why someone from another country may want to immigrate to the United States from his or her native land. In some cases, he or she may wish to flee religious persecution or obtain better employment or even join relatives who are already in the country. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the immigration and naturalization process.
In 2000, the LIFE Act was passed and signed into law. The Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act was established so certain non-U.S. citizens in the United States can obtain a Green Card. In many cases, they would not otherwise qualify for an adjustment of status. The LIFE Act was based on legislative changes in response to immigration enforcement. Its purpose was to find a compromise between stopping illegal immigration while recognizing that U.S. citizens’ and lawful permanent residents’ (LPR) wishes to be together with their families. It is important to note that only certain immigrants are eligible for relief under the LIFE Act. If you believe you or your family member may qualify for this opportunity, a knowledgeable immigration attorney can explain your options.
Who Is Eligible for the LIFE Act?
In order to qualify for the LIFE Act, an individual must be the beneficiary of a labor certification or immigrant visa petition that was filed on or before April 30, 2001. In addition, he or she must complete an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and submit it with Form I-485. In the majority of cases, an extra $1,000 fee will apply.
The LIFE Act allows a person who qualifies to obtain lawful permanent residence (LPR) status regardless of the following factors:
- The manner in which he or she entered the United States
- He or she is employed in the United States without authorization
- He or she fails to maintain LPR status since entering the United States
If an immigrant withdraws the petition for any reason, or if USCIS or the former Immigration or Naturalization Service (INS) denied or revoked the petition after approval, a person can still be considered “grandfathered” if the visa petition or labor certification was eligible for approval upon filing. In order to maintain eligibility, any change in circumstances must be due to factors beyond the immigrant’s control rather than the terms of the petition at the time of filing.
Contact an Illinois Immigration Attorney
The U.S. immigration process can be complicated, with many legal steps to complete before you can join your loved ones who may already be in the country. The award-winning legal team at Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices has decades of experience helping immigrants from all over the world enter the United States legally through the LIFE Act. Our skilled and dedicated Illinois immigration lawyers will handle your immigration case with personalized care and the attention to detail that is necessary when dealing with government regulations. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at 630-932-9100.