The LIFE (Legal Immigration Family Equity) Act provisions cover the following:
1. Extended INA Â§245(i) to April 30, 2001 for persons physically present in the United States on Dec. 21, 2000.
INA Â§245(i) enables unauthorized aliens in the United States who are eligible for immigrant visas based on family or employment petitions to become Lawful Permanent Residents without leaving the country, provided they pay a penalty fee. Before an alien can adjust status (obtain a green card in the United States), the alien must have an approved immigrant visa petition and a visa number must be immediately available. Currently, to be eligible to adjust status under Â§245(i), an alien must be the beneficiary of such a petition filed by April 30, 2001. If such a petition was not filed by April 30, 2001, the alien must go overseas to obtain a visa. However, by doing so, he or she will trigger unlawful presence bars and will need a waiver. Please consult Hart Immigration before deciding to move abroad.
2. Established V visa for spouses and children of Lawful Permanent Residents if an I-130 petition was filed on or before Dec. 21, 2000. V visas are available if the I-130 petition was pending for 3 or more years, or if the petition had been approved but 3 or more years had elapsed and a visa number was not immediately available or a visa number was available but the Immigrant Visa or adjustment of status application (Form I-485) was still pending. The LIFE Act provided for work permits for 30 days after the denial of the I-130 petition or adjustment of status. Unlawful presence is irrelevant. Persons in the U.S. may be â€œadjustedâ€ to V status.
3. Established K-3 visas for spouses and children of United States citizens who seek to enter the U.S. while awaiting approval of an I-130. The K-3 status terminates 30 days after the denial of the I-130 or denial of adjustment of status. The K-3 became effective on December 21, 2000 and applies to all petitions filed before, on, or after that date.
4. Provided that the spouse of a United States citizen who married abroad, is inadmissible if not in possession of a valid non-immigrant visa issued by a consular officer in the foreign state where the marriage took place.
5. Provided for adjustment of status of persons who filed for class membership in â€œCatholic Social Services vs. Meeseâ€ (Persons who were illegally in the United States before January 1, 1982, but who made a brief, casual and innocent trip outside the United States between May 1, 1987 and May 4, 1988), â€œLULAC v. INSâ€ (persons who were illegally in the United States before January 1, 1982 and re-entered with a visa that was fraudulently obtained), or â€œZambrano v. INSâ€ (undocumented persons who applied for amnesty [legalization] but were denied or turned away based on the likelihood that they would become public charges [received government need-based benefits]) if they entered before Jan. 1, 1982 and meet certain residency requirements.
6. Corrected NACARA (Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act) and HRIFA (Immigration Refugee Immigration Fairness Act), allowing the Attorney General to waive the provisions of INA Â§212(a)(9)(A) (Aliens Previously Removed) and INA Â§212(a)(9)(C) (Aliens Unlawfully Present After Previous Immigration Violations) and nullifying the application of INA Â§241(a)(5) (Reinstatement of removal orders against aliens illegally reentering) in both acts. Allowed NACARA and HRIFA applicants with final orders of removal, deportation or exclusion, to file one motion to reopen within 180 days of Dec. 21, 2000.
Hart Immigration provides immigration services in Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding areas.