Updated: Feb 21, 2019
In 1994, a section was listen in immigration law known as 245(i), also known as the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act. This was enacted as a way to allow certain citizens in the U.S. to adjust their status in the U.S. if they qualified for green cards. This allowed people who would otherwise be penalized for not leaving the U.S. to reinstate their rights by paying a fine of $1,000. Since 1998, 245(i) was phased out of existence. However, if somebody qualified under the law based on the date requirements, they were considered 'grandfathered' and could still apply for the LIFE Act.
You could very well qualify for the 245(i) if somebody with a labor certification filed on you behalf before the LIFE Act fizzled out of existence on January 14, 1998. If you had somebody file on your behalf on or before April 30, 2001, you may also qualify for these benefits. However, this is only if you were physically present in the U.S. when the new law was enacted, December 21, 2000. This doesn't mean that you had to be a legal resident on that date, either. It means that you were just present in the U.S., legally or illegally.
Understanding the Many Facts of the 245(i)
You should know that, even if you believe you qualify for the LIFE Act, it might not be as crystal clear as it seems. For instance, you never know if you are going to be approved. Section 245(i) only acts to lift the bars to aliens who have entered the U.S. without inspection, those who overstayed, or those who worked without any authorization. You should know that, even if you might qualify for 245(i), you are still not protected from removal proceedings and you will not be given any other benefits. If you are already in the midst of removal proceedings, you may believe that the LIFE Act will protect you, but this is not the case. You are actually not eligible to utilize its benefits when you are being removed from the U.S. This is why it is vital to speak to an attorney about your case so you know where you stand from a legal standpoint.
You may be concerned because the petitioner who petitioned the 245(i) on your behalf has since passed away. You could still be able to qualify if the petitioner died, if the family member who filed divorced you since, your employer from the labor certification goes out of business, or you are withdrawn from the petition due to your employer choosing to deny it. You could be grandfathered based on the previous requirements, which means that you should never give up hope.
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Luckily for you, you have many chances to qualify under the LIFE Act, even though there are also many requirements to meet. You can turn to us for help when you want to go through the application process because you believe you have been grandfathered under the law and want to collect supporting evidence for this claim. We can help you every step of the way at the Sky Law Firm. Call us as soon as possible to get started on your case at 714-522-1033.