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GOOD NEWS FOR OUT OF STATUS IMMIGRANTS IN USA
LIMITED AMNESTY GRANTED BY THE US PRESIDENT
Reports M. Ishaq N. Rana

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is advising the public that
agency is moving as quickly as possible to develop application procedures
for immigration benefits created by the Legal Immigration and Family Equity
Act (LIFE). The agency will immediately inform the public as procedures are
finalized.

One of the provisions of the LIFE Act is the temporary reinstatement of
Section 245(i) of Immigration and Nationality Act (INA); Section 2425(i) is
not amnesty for all persons unlawfully in the United States. This provision
only applies to certain persons residing in the United States who, although
otherwise eligible for an immigration visa, are barred from adjusting their
status in the United States. It allows such persons to adjust their status
in US instead of acquiring their visa abroad.

To preserve eligibility to file for adjustment of status under Section
245(i), an individual must be the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition
(Form I-130 or Form I-140), or an application for labor certification filed
by April 30, 2001. If the petition or application was filed after January
14, 1998, the beneficiary must be able to demonstrate physical presence in
US on December 21, 2000,

An application for adjustment of status (Form I-485) based on Section 245(i)
does not need to be filed before April 30, 2001. The application can be
filed when an immigrant petition is approved and visa number is available
for the beneficiary in the appropriate preference category in accordance
with the State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin. The applicant must also
pay the application fee and a $ 1,000 penalty fee.

The (LIFE) Act also created a new non-immigrant visa category, the “V” visa
and expanded the current “K” visa category. INS cannot process applications
for these two categories until application and adjudication procedures are
finalized. At this time, INS has begun consulting with Department of State
and hopes to issue guidelines on these new visas by early spring.

The interested persons about their eligibility for LIFE Act benefits should
contact an immigration assistance organization accredited by the Board.