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Lawful Permanent Resident Status Options

Scott Mossman represents immigrants on all marriage and family-based immigration applications, including I-130 immigrant petitions, I-485 adjustment of status applications, DS-260 immigrant visa applications, and I-751 conditional resident petitions (but not orphan or adoption cases). Scott's clients, however, tend to need more than routine form preparation. Most of his immigration clients have been in undocumented status for years, and they have the complications that come with that.

A few lucky undocumented immigrants remain who still qualify for 245(i) special rule adjustment of status. This rule permits adjustment to permanent resident status even if the immigrant entered the U.S. illegally, overstayed admission on a visa, worked without authorization, or committed a variety of other immigration violations. To qualify, an approvable immigrant petition or labor certification must have been filed for the immigrant (or, in some cases, a spouse or parent of the immigrant) no later than April 30, 2001. Some immigrants must also prove physical presence in the U.S. on December 21, 2000, to qualify.

Recently, the I-601A provisional waiver process has provided another good option for an undocumented spouse, son, or daughter of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The I-601A process minimizes the separation and uncertainty that used to discourage undocumented persons from obtaining status the “right way.” Now, immigrants can apply for an immigrant visa in their home country knowing in advance that the government has forgiven their past unlawful presence. Read more about waivers of inadmissibility.

For those undocumented persons who don’t qualify for immigration through a family member, sometimes U visa status is an option. Unfortunately, far too many undocumented persons have been the victims of violent or other serious crime. Those who cooperated with the investigation (and prosecution, if any) of the crime may be eligible for U visa status. This status provides four years of legal authorization to live and work in the U.S. After three years in U visa status, it is also possible to apply for permanent resident status. Learn more about U visa status.