What is INA Section 245(i)

All nonimmigrants with a temporary visa or green card must follow specific steps to become U.S. lawful permanent residents (to obtain a green card). If you try to stay in the U.S. without authorization, you may be subject to severe consequences. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) subsection 245(i) allows certain people who have an immigrant visa available but entered without inspection or otherwise violated their status to apply for an adjustment of status if they pay a $1000 penalty.

Who Qualifies for INA Section 245(i)?

You may qualify to receive a green card under section 245(i) if:

➤ A family- or employment-based immigrant petition was submitted on your behalf on or before April 30, 2001, and you can show you were physically present in the U.S. on December 21, 2000.

➤ You’re currently the beneficiary of an immigrant petition.

➤ You filed your application while in the U.S.

➤ You’ve been found admissible or had inadmissibility waived.

➤ You pay the $1,000 fee (unless it’s waived).

➤ Your case warrants the favorable exercise of discretion.

During this process, you’ll still be required to take the same steps required for a green card to become available. This includes passing the requisite background and security checks, submitting biometrics, and paying the fees. In addition, depending on your case, your spouse or child may also be eligible to adjust their status under section 245(i).

Some other situations where you may be eligible to receive a green card under section 245(i) include:

➤ You get divorced from the original petitioner.

➤ The original petitioner passes away.

➤ The original petitioner or sponsoring employer withdraws their petition or labor certification or can no longer maintain the application.

➤ The employer who initially filed the labor certification or Form 1-140 has gone out of business.

The Benefits of Filing for 245i

There are several benefits to filing for 245(i) over an I-601A waiver. First, you’ll get to stay in the U.S. and don’t need to show exceptional hardship, which can be challenging to prove. In addition, 245i processing times are faster than those for an exceptional hardship waiver.

Section 245(i) provides the opportunity to have a clean slate, regardless of how you entered the U.S., worked without authorization, or failed to maintain lawful status. For example, suppose you were unauthorized but wanted to obtain a green card based on your relationship with a relative who is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. In that case, you’d need to apply for a green card abroad. However, you may be subject to a three- or ten-year bar from reentering the U.S. With section 245i, you can waive your unlawful status and adjust your status without needing to leave the country.

For more information on section 245i or to discuss the details of your case, please contact Ranchod Law Group at 916-613-3553 or email us at info@ranchodlaw.com to schedule a consultation.