If eligible, Hart Immigration would first apply for your temporary residence. After approval, you would then be eligible for lawful permanent residency.


You are eligible for temporary residence if you:


    • Entered the U.S. before January 1, 1982;


    • You resided continuously in the United States in unlawful status since January 1, 1982 and through the date of the application for temporary residence;


    • Entered as a nonimmigrant:
        • And your authorized stay expired before January 1, 1982 through the passage of time, or
          • If you were in F-1 status and were granted a departure record evidencing “duration of status” and can prove a completed full course of study plus 30 days before January 1, 1982;
          • If you were an A or G visa holder, were granted a departure record evidencing “duration of status” and your emloyment terminated or otherwise ceased to be recognized by the Department of State;
          • If you are a member of the class in the Silva-Levi lawsuit. You are such a class member if you are from an independent country of the Western Hemisphere, you were present in the United States prior to March 11, 1977, you were known by legacy INS to have a priority date for the issuance of an immigrant visa between July 1, 1968 and December 31, 1976, inclusive, and you were clearly eligible for an immigrant visa.
          • If you are an asylee who filed her application before January 1, 1982 and your claims were denied or not decided.


      • And your expired status was known to the government before January 1, 1982.


    • You are still eligible for temporary residence even if you entered after January 1, 1982 but your entry was not documented on your departure record (Form I-94);


    • You have been continuously physically present since November 6, 1986;


  • You are otherwise eligible. Eligibility means:
      • You have not been convicted of any felony or committed three or more misdemeanors in the United States;
      • You have not assisted in persecuting others;
      • You have registered or are in the process of registering for Selective Service if required;
      • You are otherwise admissible. You are inadmissible if you are a public charge, have been convicted of drug-based crimes (except for possession of 30 grams of marijuana or less) or you are inadmissible based on political and security grounds. Waivers of inadmissibility are available in certain cases.


  • You have filed a timely application. If your application was filed within one year from May 5, 1987, or if you were served with an Order to Show Cause issued after November 6, 1986 or you were apprehended after that date, then you could have applied within 30 days of May 5, 1987, or 30 days from the date of your apprehension. Two cases have extended the time for filing legalization applications beyond May 4, 1988. In both the following cases, you must show that you were misled or discouraged from applying for legalization before May 5, 1988.
    • Lulac v. INS (LULAC/Newman), 956 F.2d 914 (9th Cir. 1992). This class of persons was illegally in the U.S. before January 1, 1982 and re-entered with a fraudulently obtained visa.
    • Catholic Social Services (CSS) v. Meese, Case No. 86-1343-LKK (E.D. Cal. Apr. 1988). This case covers persons who were illegally in the U.S. prior to January 1, 1982, but traveled briefly, casually and innocently outside the U.S. between May 1, 1987 and May 4, 1988.
    • LULAC/Newman and CSS Settlement: After years of litigation, the parties reached a settlement under the cases of LULAC/Newman and Catholic Social Services. The settlement extends the ability to apply for legalization under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). You are covered under this provision if:
        • You are otherwise eligible for legalization (please see above) and you attempted to file a completed application with a filing fee with INS or a Qualified Designated Entity (QDE) between the dates of May 5, 1987 and May 4, 1988 but your paperwork was not accepted because you traveled abroad and returned with a visa or travel document;
        • You are a member of the Newman class. You fall under the same criteria as LULAC but you were denied or turned away because of travel and returned with a technically valid visa (the visa was otherwise invalid because you failed to advise the consulate that you had lived in the U.S. previously);
        • You are a member of CSS. You are covered even if you traveled outside the U.S. after November 6, 1986 without a travel document (advance parole);
        • You are a member of CSS v. Reno. You fall under the same criteria as above but you were told by the government that you were ineligible or unable to obtain the required application forms and therefore were not able to file a timely application.


  • If you are in J-1 status, you must still obtain a waiver of the two-year residency requirement;
  • You may be granted legalization even if you were granted voluntary departure or deferred action or your parole terminated prior to January 1, 1982;
  • The evidence submitted must also include proof of identification, proof of residence and proof of financial responsibility.

Hart Immigration provides immigration services in Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding areas.

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