Immigration Registry Laws
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What Is the Immigration Registry?
The Immigration Registry was created to allow certain long-term illegal residents to apply for permanent legal resident status. Persons who have lived in the U.S. since at January 1, 1972, may be eligible to apply to the registry, even if their presence in the country is unlawful or if they entered the country unlawfully.
Which Persons are Eligible for Participation in the Registry?
The eligibility requirements for participation in the Registry include:
- Entry into the U.S. on or prior to January 1, 1972
- Continuous residence in the U.S. since entering the country (short, temporary trips outside the country are allowed)
- Applicant has “good moral character”
In order to apply for the Immigration Registry, the applicant would need to file Form I-485, “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status” and Form G-325 A, “Biographic Information”. A filing fee in the amount of $1,010 will also be required (this may be reduced for some eligible applicants).
Conditions That Can Disqualify an Alien from the Immigration Registry
Certain conditions might disqualify an alien from the Registry. These can include:
- Participation in certain criminal activities, including narcotics violations and smuggling/human trafficking
- Involvement or participation in “terrorist activities”, as defined by law
- Involvement in persecutions under a Nazi regime, or engagement in genocidal programs
- Being removable (deportable) under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
- Being otherwise ineligible for U.S. citizenship through naturalization
Finally, aliens who failed to appear at a removal hearing, or failed to leave the U.S. after agreeing to voluntary departure are disqualified from the Registry for 10 years.
What Types of Supporting Documents Are Required for a Registry Application?
No medical exam is needed when applying for the Immigration Registry. However, the following documents and forms should be submitted along with the Form I-485:
- Two passport-type photographs
- From G-325 A (Biographic Information), if the applicant is between 14 and 79 years old
- Copy of birth certificate
- Copy of a photo ID issued by the government
- Copy of passport page with admission stamp or nonimmigrant visa, if applicable
- Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record), if applicable
- Evidence in support that the applicant entered the U.S. before January 1, 1972
- Evidence establishing continuous residence in the U.S. since the time of entry
More documents may be requested as considered necessary by immigration authorities. Be sure to keep copies of the documents you submitted for your reference, in case they are needed in the future. Also, you will want to compile the documents in the order that they are being requested, so that your application is easy for the reviewers to sort through.
Do I Need an Immigration Lawyer?
Immigration Registry laws can provide an opportunity for some aliens to apply for a green card. If you plan on applying to the Immigration Registry, you may wish to contact an experienced immigration lawyer in your area. Your attorney can help you determine whether you’re eligible for the Registry, and if so, they can assist you with the filing process. A lawyer can also represent you if you are summoned to appear in an immigration court.
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Last Modified: 09-17-2014 02:18 PM PDT
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