What is the LIFE Act?

The Legal Immigration Family Equity Act, or the LIFE Act, allows for people who would not normally qualify for adjustment of status to obtain their green card, regardless of how they entered the U.S., if they worked in the U.S. without proper work authorization, or if they somehow failed to maintain continuous lawful status since their entry into the United States.

Who is Eligible?

Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) specifies who is eligible. This information is also available on the USCIS’s website.

You may be eligible to receive a green card through Section 245(i) if you:

  • Are the beneficiary of a qualified immigrant petition (Form I-130 or I-140) or application for labor certification (Form ETA-750) filed on or before April 30, 2001;
  • Were physically present in the United States on December 21, 2000, if you are the principal beneficiary and the petition was filed between January 15, 1998, and April 30, 2001;
  • Are currently the beneficiary of a qualifying immigrant petition (either the original Form I-130 or I-140 through which you are grandfathered or through a subsequently filed immigrant petition);
  • Have a visa immediately available to you;
  • Are admissible to the United States;
  • The qualifying immigrant visa petition or the qualifying application for labor certification must have been “properly filed” (signed and submitted with the correct fees) and “approvable” (meritorious based on the facts and “non-frivolous”) when filed.

The “V” Visa

The LIFE Act also created the V Visa, which grants some family members a legal status and work authorization in the United States. A V Visa can be granted to people who have been waiting for more than three years for their green card. This type of visa is not available to persons who have applied after the cutoff date of December 21, 2000.

If Eligible, how is the Process Started?

 Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status must be filed with the USCIS, along with Supplement A, any applicable fees and supporting documentation.

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