USCIS to Accept Green Card Applications from Liberian Nationals

December 30, 2019

On December 20th Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) was signed into law and on December 26th USCIS announced that it will begin to accept Green Card applications from certain Liberian nationals and their spouses, unmarried children under 21 years old, or unmarried children 21 years old or older living in the United States who meet the eligibility requirements.

What is LRIF?

The LRIF was signed into law as Section 7611 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. The LRIF authorizes certain Liberian nationals to apply to adjust status to lawful permanent resident, also known as the Green Card, via Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

This provides a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 4,000 Liberian foreign nationals who have temporary legal status under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), a status President Trump plans to terminate in March 2020. It also provides a pathway for Liberians who had other temporary legal statuses including Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which President Trump revoked for Liberians in 2017, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA.)

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible for a Green Card under LRIF, a Liberian national must:

  • Have been continuously physically present in the United States from Nov. 20, 2014, to the date they file their I-485, with absences from the US not exceeding a total of 180 days;
  • File their Form I-485 by Dec. 20, 2020;
  • Be otherwise eligible to receive an immigrant visa; and,
  • Be admissible to the US.

The following grounds of inadmissibility do not apply to applicants under the LRIF:

  • Public charge;
  • Labor certification requirements;
  • Foreign nationals present without admission or parole; and,
  • Documentation requirements.

When submitting an I-485, applicants are directed to choose “Other Eligibility” under Item Number 1.g. and to write “LRIF” in the text box to indicate that they are applying to adjust status based on the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness provision. Applicants may also apply for Employment Authorization and Advance Parole documents (EAD/AP) under Forms I-765 and I-131, respectively. For more information on permanent residence, please see our website or contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

 


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