Did You Enter Without Inspection? YOU May Be Eligible for the LIFE Act 245(i) Exception!

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Noncitizen spouses who have entered the United States without inspection may still be eligible for immigration benefits under section 245(i) of the LIFE Act.  Many people who have either never had valid immigration status in the U.S. or who have fallen out of valid status are allowed to apply for adjustment of status in the U.S. if they pay a penalty fee.  Without this type of waiver, many people who do not have valid status in the U.S. would be unable to seek a visa while in the United States.  Without this waiver, they would be required to seek their immigrant visa from within their home country.  However, due to the status violation, they also would be barred from reentering the U.S. for at least three years.  In many cases, they may even be banned from re-entering the U.S. for ten years!

To be eligible for this waiver, you must:

  • have been present in the U.S. before December 18, 2000, and
  • have either filed a family or employment based residency petition on or before April 30, 2001, or you must have been the derivative beneficiary of such a petition.

Even if your initial petition was not successful, but was filed on or before April 30, 2001, you may still be eligible for the 245(i) waiver.   Under certain circumstances you may apply again for residency through another family petition.   Immigration law is one of the most complicated areas of law, with a constantly evolving and changing laws and regulations.  At Your Immigration Angel, we are committed to staying on top of the most recent changes to help you better follow your immigration path! Let us guide you on your path and assist you in achieving your immigration goals!

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If You or Your Spouse “Entered Without Inspection,” There May Still Be Options!

Border and IDs

All noncitizens entering the U.S. are required to present themselves to a USCIS immigration officer for inspection.  This inspection meant that they will be assessed and that they must demonstrate the right to enter the country based on approval obtained prior to entry in the U.S.  If you do not have an approved means for entering the United States, then the Customs and Border Patrol or USCIS officer may refuse entry to you.

If you have entered without inspection (EWI) and without the proper documentation, there are a limited number of legal immigration options available to you.  If you or your spouse EWI, that means that you do not have legal immigration status in the United States.   That also means that you cannot file to change or adjust your status, as you do not have a legal status to begin with.  It is not possible to adjust status even if you marry a U.S. citizen or have U.S. citizen parents or children that will petition for them. However, there are a few exceptions that might allow an adjustment of status. The two most common are the LIFE Act and a waiver implemented in new immigration law as of 2012.