Adjustment of Status Under
Section 245(i) of the INA and LIFE Act Provisions

If you are seeking to adjust your status to obtain a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) but have entered the U.S. illegally or overstayed your visa, section 245(i) Adjustment of Status may be an option for you.

In general, the applicants for adjustment of status must show that they have entered the United States legally and maintained a valid immigration status while remaining on U.S. soil. In other words, if you entered the U.S. illegally or overstayed your visa, you may not be eligible for adjustment of status.

However, section  245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as revised by the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE), allows certain individuals to apply for adjustment of status regardless of their manner of entry or current immigration status. To be eligible for 245(i) protection, you must:

  • have an immigrant visa immediately available to you;
  • be admissible to the United States;
  • be the primary or derivative beneficiary of Form I-130, I-140, I-360, ETA 750, or I-526 that was filed on or before April 30, 2001; and
  • pay the $1,000 fee as a penalty for your illegal presence in the United States (unless excepted).

To adjust your status and obtain a Green Card through Section 245(i) of INA, you must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, along with its Supplement A. You are also required to pay the necessary filing fees unless an exemption applies. Once the applicant files Form I-485, they become eligible to receive an Employment Authorization Document.

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Things to consider before applying for
Adjustment of Status under Section 245(i) of INA:

  • Note that if you fall under the protection of section 245(i) but left the United States, you may be inadmissible to the United States due to the three-year or ten-year ban.  You can find these inadmissibility grounds in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) and (II) (the three-year and 10-year unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility) and INA 212(a)(9)(C)(i)(I) (the permanent unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility).
  • Many people mistakenly believe that section 245(i) of the INA constitutes amnesty (that is, the forgiveness of unlawful presence or other breaches of status). On the contrary, unlawful presence continues to accrue until you apply for adjustment of status.
  • Section 245(i) does not protect you from deportation, nor does having a grandfathered petition or application for labor certification place you in a period of stay authorized by the secretary of Homeland Security.
  • Unless you obtain a waiver or some other form of relief for any ground of inadmissibility, you may not qualify for adjustment of status under section 245(i).
  • Filing Form I-485 under section 245(i) does not protect an individual against removal based on an applicable ground of inadmissibility by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • United States employer who files a labor certification or Forms I-140 with an unauthorized individual as beneficiary will be subject to sanctions if they are discovered to be knowingly employing that individual before adjustment of status or USCIS granting work authorization.
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Form I-485 adjustment of the status process can be complex and confusing, but with the right help, it can be a smooth and successful process. If you have any questions about the process or need help filing your application, our team at The Immigrate Fast Law Office is here to help! 

  • We arrange an initial interview with you to determine your eligibility.
  • Help you gather evidence and supporting letters
  • Form preparation and application packet assembly
  • We provide personalized assistance and follow-up for every step of the process.

Give us a call today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to speaking with you!

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