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Title 8Chapter ISubchapter BPart 245a → Subpart B


Title 8: Aliens and Nationality
PART 245a—ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS TO THAT OF PERSONS ADMITTED FOR TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS UNDER SECTION 245A OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT


Subpart B—Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act Legalization Provisions


Contents
§245a.10   Definitions.
§245a.11   Eligibility to adjust to LPR status.
§245a.12   Filing and applications.
§245a.13   During pendency of application.
§245a.14   Application for class membership in the CSS, LULAC, or Zambrano lawsuit.
§245a.15   Continuous residence in an unlawful status since prior to January 1, 1982, through May 4, 1988.
§245a.16   Continuous physical presence from November 6, 1986, through May 4, 1988.
§245a.17   Citizenship skills.
§245a.18   Ineligibility and applicability of grounds of inadmissibility.
§245a.19   Interviews.
§245a.20   Decisions, appeals, motions, and certifications.
§245a.21   Confidentiality.
§245a.22   Rescission.
§§245a.23-245a.29   [Reserved]

Source: 66 FR 29673, June 1, 2001, unless otherwise noted.

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§245a.10   Definitions.

In this Subpart B, the terms:

Eligible alien means an alien (including a spouse or child as defined at section 101(b)(1) of the Act of the alien who was such as of the date the alien alleges that he or she attempted to file or was discouraged from filing an application for legalization during the original application period) who, before October 1, 2000, filed with the Attorney General a written claim for class membership, with or without filing fee, pursuant to a court order issued in the case of:

(1) Catholic Social Services, Inc. v. Meese, vacated sub nom. Reno v. Catholic Social Services, Inc., 509 U.S. 43 (1993) (CSS);

(2) League of United Latin American Citizens v. INS, vacated sub nom. Reno v. Catholic Social Services, Inc., 509 U.S. 43 (1993) (LULAC); or

(3) Zambrano v. INS, vacated, 509 U.S. 918 (1993) (Zambrano).

Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) means the status of having been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws, such status not having changed.

LIFE Act means the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act and the LIFE Act Amendments of 2000.

LIFE Legalization means the provisions of section 1104 of the LIFE Act and section 1503 of the LIFE Act Amendments.

Prima facie means eligibility is established if an “eligible alien” presents a properly filed and completed Form I-485 and specific factual information which in the absence of rebuttal will establish a claim of eligibility under this Subpart B.

Written claim for class membership means a filing, in writing, in one of the forms listed in §245a.14 that provides the Attorney General with notice that the applicant meets the class definition in the cases of CSS, LULAC or Zambrano.

[66 FR 29673, June 1, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 38350, June 4, 2002; 67 FR 66532, Nov. 1, 2002]

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§245a.11   Eligibility to adjust to LPR status.

An eligible alien, as defined in §245a.10, may adjust status to LPR status under LIFE Legalization if:

(a) He or she properly files, with fee, Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with the Service during the application period beginning June 1, 2001, and ending June 4, 2003.

(b) He or she entered the United States before January 1, 1982, and resided continuously in the United States in an unlawful status since that date through May 4, 1988;

(c) He or she was continuously physically present in the United States during the period beginning on November 6, 1986, and ending on May 4, 1988;

(d) He or she is not inadmissible to the United States for permanent residence under any provisions of section 212(a) of the Act, except as provided in §245a.18, and that he or she:

(1) Has not been convicted of any felony or of three or more misdemeanors committed in the United States;

(2) Has not assisted in the persecution of any person or persons on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; and

(3) Is registered or registering under the Military Selective Service Act, if the alien is required to be so registered; and

(e) He or she can demonstrate basic citizenship skills.

[66 FR 29673, June 1, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 38350, June 4, 2002]

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§245a.12   Filing and applications.

(a) When to file. The application period began on June 1, 2001, and ends on June 4, 2003. To benefit from the provisions of LIFE Legalization, an alien must properly file an application for adjustment of status, Form I-485, with appropriate fee, to the Service during the application period as described in this section. All applications, whether filed in the United States or filed from abroad, must be postmarked on or before June 4, 2003, to be considered timely filed.

(1) If the postmark is illegible or missing, and the application was mailed from within the United States, the Service will consider the application to be timely filed if it is received on or before June 9, 2003.

(2) If the postmark is illegible or missing, and the application was mailed from outside the United States, the Service will consider the application to be timely filed if it is received on or before June 18, 2003.

(3) If the postmark is made by other than the United States Post Office, and is filed from within the United States, the application must bear a date on or before June 4, 2003, and must be received on or before June 9, 2003.

(4) If an application filed from within the United States bears a postmark that was made by other than the United States Post Office, bears a date on or before June 4, 2003, and is received after June 9, 2003, the alien must establish:

(i) That the application was actually deposited in the mail before the last collection of the mail from the place of deposit that was postmarked by the United States Post Office June 4, 2003; and

(ii) That the delay in receiving the application was due to a delay in the transmission of the mail; and

(iii) The cause of such delay.

(5) If an application filed from within the United States bears both a postmark that was made by other than the United States Post Office and a postmark that was made by the United States Post Office, the Service shall disregard the postmark that was made by other than the United States Post Office.

(6) If an application filed from abroad bears both a foreign postmark and a postmark that was subsequently made by the United States Post Office, the Service shall disregard the postmark that was made by the United States Post Office.

(7) In all instances, the burden of proof is on the applicant to establish timely filing of an application for LIFE Legalization.

(b) Filing of applications in the United States. The Service has jurisdiction over all applications for the benefits of LIFE Legalization under this Subpart B. All applications filed with the Service for the benefits of LIFE Legalization must be submitted by mail to the Service. After proper filing of the application, the Service will instruct the applicant to appear for fingerprinting as prescribed in 8 CFR 103.16. The Director of the National Benefit Center shall have jurisdiction over all applications filed with the Service for LIFE Legalization adjustment of status, unless the Director refers the applicant for a personal interview at a local Service office as provided in §245a.19.

(1) Aliens in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings, or who have a pending motion to reopen or motion to reconsider. An alien who is prima facie eligible for adjustment of status under LIFE Legalization who is in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings before the Immigration Court or the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board), or who is awaiting adjudication of a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider filed with the Immigration Court of the Board, may request that the proceedings be administratively closed or that the motion filed be indefinitely continued, in order to allow the alien to pursue a LIFE Legalization application with the Service. In the request to administratively close the matter or indefinitely continue the motion, the alien must include documents demonstrating prima facie eligibility for the relief, and proof that the application for relief had been properly filed with the Service as prescribed in this section. With the concurrence of Service counsel, if the alien appears eligible to file for relief under LIFE Legalization, the Immigration Court or the Board, whichever has jurisdiction, shall administratively close the proceeding or continue the motion indefinitely.

(2) If an alien has a matter before the Immigration Court or the Board that has been administratively closed for reasons unrelated to this Subpart B, the alien may apply before the Service for LIFE Legalization adjustment of status.

(3) Aliens with final orders of exclusion, deportation, or removal. An alien, who is prima facie eligible for adjustment of status under LIFE Legalization, and who is subject to a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal, may apply to the Service for LIFE Legalization adjustment.

(c) Filing of applications from outside the United States. An applicant for LIFE Legalization may file an application for LIFE Legalization from abroad. An application for LIFE Legalization filed from outside the United States shall be submitted by mail to the Service according to the instructions on the application. The National Benefit Center Director shall have jurisdiction over all applications filed with the Service for LIFE Legalization adjustment of status. After reviewing the application and all evidence with the application, the Service shall notify the applicant of any further requests for evidence regarding the application and, if eligible, how an interview will be conducted.

(d) Application and supporting documentation. Each applicant for LIFE Legalization adjustment of status must submit the form prescribed by USCIS completed in accordance with the form instructions accompanied by the required evidence.

(1) The Form I-485 application fee as contained in 8 CFR 106.2.

(2) [Reserved]

(3) Evidence to establish identity, such as a passport, birth certificate, any national identity document from the alien's country of origin bearing photo and fingerprint, driver's license or similar document issued by a state if it contains a photo, or baptismal record/marriage certificate.

(4) [Reserved]

(5) A report of medical examination, as specified in §245.5 of this chapter.

(6) [Reserved]

(7) Proof of application for class membership in CSS, LULAC, or Zambrano class action lawsuits as described in §245a.14.

(8) Proof of continuous residence in an unlawful status since prior to January 1, 1982, through May 4, 1988, as described in §245a.15.

(9) Proof of continuous physical presence from November 6, 1986, through May 4, 1988, as described in §245a.16.

(10) Proof of citizenship skills as described in §245a.17. This proof may be submitted either at the time of filing the application, subsequent to filing the application but prior to the interview, or at the time of the interview.

(e) Burden of proof. An alien applying for adjustment of status under this part has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she has resided in the United States for the requisite periods, is admissible to the United States under the provisions of section 212(a) of the Act, and is otherwise eligible for adjustment of status under this Subpart B. The inference to be drawn from the documentation provided shall depend on the extent of the documentation, its credibility and amenability to verification as set forth in paragraph (f) of this section.

(f) Evidence. The sufficiency of all evidence produced by the applicant will be judged according to its probative value and credibility. To meet his or her burden of proof, an applicant must provide evidence of eligibility apart from his or her own testimony. In judging the probative value and credibility of the evidence submitted, greater weight will be given to the submission of original documentation. Subject to verification by the Service, if the evidence required to be submitted by the applicant is already contained in the Service's file or databases relating to the applicant, the applicant may submit a statement to that effect in lieu of the actual documentation.

[66 FR 29673, June 1, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 38350, June 4, 2002; 76 FR 53794, Aug. 29, 2011; 85 FR 46927, Aug. 3, 2020]

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§245a.13   During pendency of application.

(a) In general. When an eligible alien in the United States submits a prima facie application for adjustment of status under LIFE Legalization during the application period, until a final determination on his or her application has been made, the applicant:

(1) May not be deported or removed from the United States;

(2) Is authorized to engage in employment in the United States and is provided with an “employment authorized” endorsement or other appropriate work permit; and

(3) Is allowed to travel and return to the United States as described at paragraph (e) of this section. Any domestic LIFE Legalization applicant who departs the United States while his or her application is pending without advance parole may be denied re-admission to the United States as described at paragraph (e) of this section.

(b) Determination of filing of claim for class membership. With respect to each LIFE Legalization application for adjustment of status that is properly filed under this Subpart B during the application period, the Service will first determine whether or not the applicant is an “eligible alien” as defined under §245a.10 of this Subpart B by virtue of having filed with the Service a claim of class membership in the CSS, LULAC, or Zambrano lawsuit before October 1, 2000. If the Service's records indicate, or if the evidence submitted by the applicant with the application establishes, that the alien had filed the requisite claim of class membership before October 1, 2000, then the Service will proceed to adjudicate the application under the remaining standards of eligibility.

(c) Prima facie eligibility. Unless the Service has evidence indicating ineligibility due to criminal grounds of inadmissibility, an application for adjustment of status shall be treated as a prima facie application during the pendency of application, until the Service has made a final determination on the application, if:

(1) The application was properly filed under this Subpart B during the application period; and

(2) The applicant establishes that he or she filed the requisite claim for class membership in the CSS, LULAC, or Zambrano lawsuit.

(d) Authorization to be employed in the United States while the application is pending—(1) Application for employment authorization. An applicant for adjustment of status under LIFE Legalization who wishes to obtain initial or continued employment authorization during the pendency of the adjustment application must file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with the Service, including the fee as set forth in 8 CFR 106.2. The applicant may submit Form I-765 either concurrently with or subsequent to the filing of the application for adjustment of status benefits on Form I-485.

(2) Adjudication and issuance. Until a final determination on the application has been made, an eligible alien who submits a prima facie application for adjustment of status under this Subpart B shall be authorized to engage in employment in the United States and be provided with an “employment authorized” endorsement or other appropriate work permit in accordance with §274a.12(c)(24) of this chapter. An alien shall not be granted employment authorization pursuant to LIFE Legalization until he or she has submitted a prima facie application for adjustment of status under this Subpart B. If the Service finds that additional evidence is required from the alien in order to establish prima facie eligibility for LIFE Legalization, the Service shall request such evidence from the alien in writing. Nothing in this section shall preclude an applicant for adjustment of status under LIFE Legalization from being granted an initial employment authorization or an extension of employment authorization under any other provision of law or regulation for which the alien may be eligible.

(e) Travel while the application is pending. This paragraph is authorized by section 1104(c)(3) of the LIFE Act relating to the ability of an alien to travel abroad and return to the United States while his or her LIFE Legalization adjustment application is pending. Parole authority is granted to the National Benefit Center Director for the purposes described in this section. Nothing in this section shall preclude an applicant for adjustment of status under LIFE Legalization from being granted advance parole or admission into the United States under any other provision of law or regulation for which the alien may be eligible.

(1) An applicant for LIFE Legalization benefits who wishes to travel during the pendency of the application and who is applying from within the United States should file, with his or her application for adjustment, at the National Benefit Center, a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with fee as set forth in 8 CFR 106.2. The Service shall approve the Form I-131 and issue an advance parole document, unless the Service finds that the alien's application does not establish a prima facie claim to adjustment of status under LIFE Legalization.

(2) An eligible alien who has properly filed a Form I-485 pursuant to this Subpart B, and who needs to travel abroad pursuant to the standards prescribed in section 212(d)(5) of the Act, may file a Form I-131 with the district director having jurisdiction over his or her place of residence.

(3) If an alien travels abroad and returns to the United States with a grant of advance parole, the Service shall presume that the alien is entitled to return under section 1104(c)(3)(B) of the LIFE Act, unless, in a removal or expedited removal proceeding, the Service shows by a preponderance of the evidence, that one or more of the provisions of §245a.11(d) makes the alien ineligible for adjustment of status under LIFE Legalization.

(4) If an alien travels abroad and returns without a grant of advance parole, he or she shall be denied admission and shall be subject to removal or expedited removal unless the alien establishes, clearly and beyond doubt, that:

(i) He or she filed an application for adjustment pursuant to LIFE Legalization during the application period that presented a prima facie claim to adjustment of status under LIFE Legalization; and,

(ii) His or her absence was either a brief and casual trip consistent with an intention on the alien's part to pursue his or her LIFE Legalization adjustment application, or was a brief temporary trip that occurred because of the alien's need to tend to family obligations relating to a close relative's death or illness or similar family need.

(5) An applicant for LIFE Legalization benefits who applies for admission into the United States shall not be subject to the provisions of section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Act.

(6) Denial of admission under this section is not a denial of the alien's application for adjustment. The alien may continue to pursue his or her application for adjustment from abroad, and may also appeal any denial of such application from abroad. Such application shall be adjudicated in the same manner as other applications filed from abroad.

(f) Stay of final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal. The filing of a LIFE Legalization adjustment application on or after June 1, 2001, and on or before June 4, 2003, stays the execution of any final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal. This stay shall remain in effect until there is a final decision on the LIFE Legalization application, unless the district director who intends to execute the order makes a formal determination that the applicant does not present a prima facie claim to LIFE Legalization eligibility pursuant to §§245a.18(a)(1) or (a)(2), or §§245a.18(c)(2)(i), (c)(2)(ii), (c)(2)(iii), (c)(2)(iv), (c)(2)(v), or (c)(2)(vi), and serves the applicant with a written decision explaining the reason for this determination. Any such stay determination by the district director is not appealable. Neither an Immigration Judge nor the Board has jurisdiction to adjudicate an application for stay of execution of an exclusion, deportation, or removal order, on the basis of the alien's having filed a LIFE Legalization adjustment application.

[66 FR 29673, June 1, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 38351, June 4, 2002; 85 FR 46927, Aug. 3, 2020]

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§245a.14   Application for class membership in the CSS, LULAC, or Zambrano lawsuit.

The Service will first determine whether an alien filed a written claim for class membership in the CSS, LULAC, or Zambrano lawsuit as reflected in the Service's indices, a review of the alien's administrative file with the Service, and by all evidence provided by the alien. An alien must provide with the application for LIFE Legalization evidence establishing that, before October 1, 2000, he or she was a class member applicant in the CSS, LULAC, or Zambrano lawsuit. An alien should include as many forms of evidence as the alien has available to him or her. Such forms of evidence include, but are not limited to:

(a) An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or other employment document issued by the Service pursuant to the alien's class membership in the CSS, LULAC, or Zambrano lawsuit (if a photocopy of the EAD is submitted, the alien's name, A-number, issuance date, and expiration date should be clearly visible);

(b) Service document(s) addressed to the alien, or his or her representative, granting or denying the class membership, which includes date, alien's name and A-number;

(c) The questionnaire for class member applicant under CSS, LULAC, or Zambrano submitted with the class membership application, which includes date, alien's full name and date of birth;

(d) Service document(s) addressed to the alien, or his or her representative, discussing matters pursuant to the class membership application, which includes date, alien's name and A-number. These include, but are not limited to the following:

(1) Form I-512, Parole authorization, or denial of such;

(2) Form I-221, Order to Show Cause;

(3) Form I-862, Notice to Appear;

(4) Final order of removal or deportation;

(5) Request for evidence letter (RFE); or

(6) Form I-687 submitted with the class membership application.

(e) Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, submitted pursuant to a court order granting interim relief.

(f) An application for a stay of deportation, exclusion, or removal pursuant to a court's order granting interim relief.

(g) Any other relevant document(s).

[66 FR 29673, June 1, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 38351, June 4, 2002]

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§245a.15   Continuous residence in an unlawful status since prior to January 1, 1982, through May 4, 1988.

(a) General. The Service will determine whether an alien entered the United States before January 1, 1982, and resided in continuous unlawful status since such date through May 4, 1988, based on the evidence provided by the alien. An alien must provide with the application for LIFE Legalization evidence establishing that he or she entered the United States before January 1, 1982, and resided in continuous unlawful status since that date through May 4, 1988.

(b) Evidence. (1) A list of evidence that may establish an alien's continuous residence in the United States can be found at §245a.2(d)(3).

(2) The following evidence may establish an alien's unlawful status in the United States:

(i) Form I-94 (see §1.4), Arrival-Departure Record;

(ii) Form I-20A-B, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status—For Academic and Language Students;

(iii) Form IAP-66, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status;

(iv) A passport; or

(v) Nonimmigrant visa(s) issued to the alien.

(c) Continuous residence. An alien shall be regarded as having resided continuously in the United States if:

(1) No single absence from the United States has exceeded forty-five (45) days, and the aggregate of all absences has not exceeded one hundred and eighty (180) days between January 1, 1982, and May 4, 1988, unless the alien can establish that due to emergent reasons, his or her return to the United States could not be accomplished within the time period allowed;

(2) The alien was maintaining residence in the United States; and

(3) The alien's departure from the United States was not based on an order of deportation.

(d) Unlawful status. The following categories of aliens, who are otherwise eligible to adjust to LPR status pursuant to LIFE Legalization, may file for adjustment of status provided they resided continuously in the United States in an unlawful status since prior to January 1, 1982, through May 4, 1988:

(1) An eligible alien who entered the United States without inspection prior to January 1, 1982.

(2) Nonimmigrants. An eligible alien who entered the United States as a nonimmigrant before January 1, 1982, whose authorized period of admission as a nonimmigrant expired before January 1, 1982, through the passage of time, or whose unlawful status was known to the Government before January 1, 1982. Known to the Government means documentation existing in one or more Federal Government agencies' files such that when such document is taken as a whole, it warrants a finding that the alien's status in the United States was unlawful. Any absence of mandatory annual and/or quarterly registration reports from Federal Government files does not warrant a finding that the alien's unlawful status was known to the Government.

(i) A or G nonimmigrants. An eligible alien who entered the United States for duration of status (D/S) in one of the following nonimmigrant classes, A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-4, whose qualifying employment terminated or who ceased to be recognized by the Department of State as being entitled to such classification prior to January 1, 1982. A dependent family member may be considered a member of this class if the dependent family member was also in A or G status when the principal A or G alien's status terminated or ceased to be recognized by the Department of State.

(ii) F nonimmigrants. An eligible alien who entered the United States for D/S in one of the following nonimmigrant classes, F-1 or F-2, who completed a full course of study, including practical training, and whose time period, if any, to depart the United States after completion of study expired prior to January 1, 1982. A dependent F-2 alien otherwise eligible who was admitted into the United States with a specific time period, as opposed to duration of status, documented on Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, that extended beyond January 1, 1982, is considered eligible if the principal F-1 alien is found eligible.

(iii) Nonimmigrant exchange visitors. An eligible alien who was at any time a nonimmigrant exchange alien (as defined in section 101(a)(15)(J) of the Act), who entered the United States before January 1, 1982, and who:

(A) Was not subject to the 2-year foreign residence requirement of section 212(e) of the Act; or

(B) Has fulfilled the 2-year foreign residence requirement of section 212(e) of the Act; or

(C) Has received a waiver for the 2-year foreign residence requirement of section 212(e) of the Act.

(3) Asylum applicants. An eligible alien who filed an asylum application prior to January 1, 1982, and whose application was subsequently denied or whose application was not decided by May 4, 1988.

(4) Aliens considered to be in unlawful status. Aliens who were present in the United States in one of the following categories were considered to be in unlawful status:

(i) An eligible alien who was granted voluntary departure, voluntary return, extended voluntary departure, or placed in deferred action category by the Service prior to January 1, 1982.

(ii) An eligible alien who is a Cuban or Haitian entrant (as described in paragraph (1) or (2)(A) of section 501(e) of Public Law 96-422 and at §212.5(g) of this chapter), who entered the United States before January 1, 1982. Pursuant to section 1104(c)(2)(B)(iv) of the LIFE Act, such alien is considered to be in an unlawful status in the United States.

(iii) An eligible alien who was paroled into the United States prior to January 1, 1982, and whose parole status terminated prior to January 1, 1982.

(iv) An eligible alien who entered the United States before January 1, 1982, and whose entries to the United States subsequent to January 1, 1982, were not documented on Form I-94.

[66 FR 29673, June 1, 2001, as amended at 78 FR 18472, Mar. 27, 2013]

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§245a.16   Continuous physical presence from November 6, 1986, through May 4, 1988.

(a) The Service will determine whether an alien was continuously physically present in the United States from November 6, 1986, through May 4, 1988, based on the evidence provided by the alien. An alien must provide with the application evidence establishing his or her continuous physical presence in the United States from November 6, 1986, through May 4, 1988. Evidence establishing the alien's continuous physical presence in the United States from November 6, 1986, to May 4, 1988, may consist of any documentation issued by any governmental or nongovernmental authority, provided such evidence bears the name of the applicant, was dated at the time it was issued, and bears the signature, seal, or other authenticating instrument of the authorized representative of the issuing authority, if the document would normally contain such authenticating instrument.

(b) For purposes of this section, an alien shall not be considered to have failed to maintain continuous physical presence in the United States by virtue of brief, casual, and innocent absences from the United States. Also, brief, casual, and innocent absences from the United States are not limited to absences with advance parole. Brief, casual, and innocent absence(s) as used in this paragraph means temporary, occasional trips abroad as long as the purpose of the absence from the United States was consistent with the policies reflected in the immigration laws of the United States.

(c) An alien who has been absent from the United States in accordance with the Service's advance parole procedures shall not be considered as having interrupted his or her continuous physical presence as required at the time of filing an application under this section.

[66 FR 29673, June 1, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 38351, June 4, 2002]

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§245a.17   Citizenship skills.

(a) Requirements. Applicants for adjustment under LIFE Legalization must meet the requirements of section 312(a) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1423(a)) (relating to minimal understanding of ordinary English and a knowledge and understanding of the history and government of the United States). Unless an exception under paragraph (c) of this section applies to the applicant, LIFE Legalization applicants must establish that:

(1) He or she has complied with the same requirements as those listed for naturalization applicants under §§312.1 and 312.2 of this chapter; or

(2) He or she has a high school diploma or general educational development diploma (GED) from a school in the United States. A GED gained in a language other than English is acceptable only if a GED English proficiency test has been passed. (The curriculum for both the high school diploma and the GED must have included at least 40 hours of instruction in English and United States history and government). The applicant may submit a high school diploma or GED either at the time of filing Form I-485, subsequent to filing the application but prior to the interview, or at the time of the interview (the applicant's name and A-number must appear on any such evidence submitted); or

(3) He or she has attended, or is attending, a state recognized, accredited learning institution in the United States, and that institution certifies such attendance. The course of study at such learning institution must be for a period of one academic year (or the equivalent thereof according to the standards of the learning institution) and the curriculum must include at least 40 hours of instruction in English and United States history and government. The applicant may submit certification on letterhead stationery from a state recognized, accredited learning institution either at the time of filing Form I-485, subsequent to filing the application but prior to the interview, or at the time of the interview (the applicant's name and A-number must appear on any such evidence submitted).

(b) Second interview. An applicant who fails to pass the English literacy and/or the United States history and government tests at the time of the interview, shall be afforded a second opportunity after 6 months (or earlier, at the request of the applicant) to pass the tests or submit evidence as described in paragraphs (a)(2) or (a)(3) of this section. The second interview shall be conducted prior to the denial of the application for permanent residence and may be based solely on the failure to pass the basic citizenship skills requirements.

(c) Exceptions. LIFE Legalization applicants are exempt from the requirements listed under paragraph (a)(1) of this section if he or she has qualified for the same exceptions as those listed for naturalization applicants under §§312.1(b)(3) and 312.2(b) of this chapter. Further, at the discretion of the Attorney General, the requirements listed under paragraph (a) of this section may be waived if the LIFE Legalization applicant:

(1) Is 65 years of age or older on the date of filing; or

(2) Is developmentally disabled as defined under §245a.1(v).

[66 FR 29673, June 1, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 38351, June 4, 2002]

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§245a.18   Ineligibility and applicability of grounds of inadmissibility.

(a) Ineligible aliens. (1) An alien who has been convicted of a felony or of three or misdemeanors committed in the United States is ineligible for adjustment to LPR status under this Subpart B; or

(2) An alien who has assisted in the persecution of any person or persons on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion is ineligible for adjustment of status under this Subpart B.

(b) Grounds of inadmissibility not to be applied. Section 212(a)(5) of the Act (labor certification requirements) and section 212(a)(7)(A) of the Act (immigrants not in possession of valid visa and/or travel documents) shall not apply to applicants for adjustment to LPR status under this Subpart B.

(c) Waiver of grounds of inadmissibility. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the Service may waive any provision of section 212(a) of the Act only in the case of individual aliens for humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or when the granting of such a waiver is otherwise in the public interest. If available, an applicant may apply for an individual waiver as provided in paragraph (c)(1) of this section without regard to section 241(a)(5) of the Act.

(1) Special rule for waiver of inadmissibility grounds for LIFE Legalization applicants under sections 212(a)(9)(A) and 212(a)(9)(C) of the Act. An applicant for adjustment of status under LIFE Legalization who is inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(A) or 212(a)(9)(C) of the Act, may apply for a waiver of these grounds of inadmissibility while present in the United States, without regard to the normal requirement that a Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal, be filed prior to embarking or re-embarking for travel to the United States, and without regard to the length of time since the alien's removal or deportation from the United States. Such an alien shall file Form I-690, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability Under Sections 245A or 210 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, with the district director having jurisdiction over the applicant's case if the application for adjustment of status is pending at a local office, or with the Director of the National Benefit Center. Approval of a waiver of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(9)(A) or section 212(a)(9)(C) of the Act does not cure a break in continuous residence resulting from a departure from the United States at any time during the period from January 1, 1982, and May 4, 1988, if the alien was subject to a final exclusion or deportation order at the time of the departure.

(2) Grounds of inadmissibility that may not be waived. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Act, the following provisions of section 212(a) of the Act may not be waived by the Attorney General under paragraph (c) of this section:

(i) Section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) (crimes involving moral turpitude);

(ii) Section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) (controlled substance, except for so much of such paragraph as relates to a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana);

(iii) Section 212(a)(2)(B) (multiple criminal convictions);

(iv) Section 212(a)(2)(C) (controlled substance traffickers);

(v) Section 212(a)(3) (security and related grounds); and

(vi) Section 212(a)(4) (public charge) except for an alien who is or was an aged, blind, or disabled individual (as defined in section 1614(a)(1) of the Social Security Act). If a LIFE Legalization applicant is determined to be inadmissible under section 212(a)(4) of the Act, he or she may still be admissible under the Special Rule described under paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(d)(1) In determining whether an alien is “likely to become a public charge”, financial responsibility of the alien is to be established by examining the totality of the alien's circumstance at the time of his or her application for adjustment. The existence or absence of a particular factor should never be the sole criteria for determining if an alien is likely to become a public charge. The determination of financial responsibility should be a prospective evaluation based on the alien's age, health, family status, assets, resources, education and skills.

(2) An alien who has a consistent employment history that shows the ability to support himself or herself even though his or her income may be below the poverty level is not excludable under paragraph (c)(2)(vi) of this section. The alien's employment history need not be continuous in that it is uninterrupted. In applying the Special Rule, the Service will take into account an alien's employment history in the United States to include, but not be limited to, employment prior to and immediately following the enactment of IRCA on November 6, 1986. However, the Service will take into account that an alien may not have consistent employment history due to the fact that an eligible alien was in an unlawful status and was not authorized to work. Past acceptance of public cash assistance within a history of consistent employment will enter into this decision. The weight given in considering applicability of the public charge provisions will depend on many factors, but the length of time an applicant has received public cash assistance will constitute a significant factor. It is not necessary to file a waiver in order to apply the Special Rule for determination of public charge.

(3) In order to establish that an alien is not inadmissible under paragraph (c)(2)(vi) of this section, an alien may file as much evidence available to him or her establishing that the alien is not likely to become a public charge. An alien may have filed on his or her behalf a Form I-134, Affidavit of Support. The failure to submit Form I-134 shall not constitute an adverse factor.

(e) Public cash assistance and criminal history verification. Declarations by an alien that he or she has not been the recipient of public cash assistance and/or has not had a criminal record are subject to a verification by the Service. The alien must agree to fully cooperate in the verification process. Failure to assist the Service in verifying information necessary for proper adjudication may result in denial of the application.

[66 FR 29673, June 1, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 38351, June 4, 2002; 85 FR 46927, Aug. 3, 2020]

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§245a.19   Interviews.

(a) All aliens filing applications for adjustment of status with the Service under this section must be personally interviewed, except that the adjudicative interview may be waived for a child under the age of 14, or when it is impractical because of the health or advanced age of the applicant. Applicants will be interviewed by an immigration officer as determined by the Director of the National Benefit Center. An applicant failing to appear for the scheduled interview may, for good cause, be afforded another interview. Where an applicant fails to appear for two scheduled interviews, his or her application shall be denied for lack of prosecution. Applications for LIFE Legalization adjustment may be denied without interview if the applicant is determined to be statutorily ineligible.

(b) At the time of the interview, wherever possible, original documents must be submitted except the following: official government records; employment or employment-related records maintained by employers, unions, or collective bargaining organizations; medical records; school records maintained by a school or school board; or other records maintained by a party other than the applicant. Copies of records maintained by parties other than the applicant which are submitted in evidence must be certified as true and correct by such parties and must bear their seal or signature or the signature and title of persons authorized to act in their behalf.

(c) If at the time of the interview the return of original documents is desired by the applicant, they must be accompanied by notarized copies or copies certified true and correct by the alien's representative. At the discretion of the district director, original documents, even if accompanied by certified copies, may be temporarily retained for forensic examination by the Service.

[66 FR 29673, June 1, 2001, as amended at 85 FR 46927, Aug. 3, 2020]

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§245a.20   Decisions, appeals, motions, and certifications.

(a) Decisions—(1) Approval of applications. If the Service approves the application for adjustment of status under LIFE Legalization, the district director shall record the alien's lawful admission for permanent residence as of the date of such approval and notify the alien accordingly. The district director shall also advise the alien regarding the delivery of his or her Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, and of the process for obtaining temporary evidence of alien registration. If the alien has previously been issued a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal, such order shall be deemed canceled as of the date of the district director's approval of the application for adjustment of status. If the alien had been in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings that were administratively closed, such proceedings shall be deemed terminated as of the date of approval of the application for adjustment of status by the district director.

(2) Denials. The alien shall be notified in writing of the decision of denial and of the reason(s) therefore. An applicant affected under this part by an adverse decision is entitled to file an appeal on Form I-290B Notice of Appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), with the required fee specified in 8 CFR 106.2. Renewal of employment authorization issued pursuant to 8 CFR 245a.13 will be granted until a final decision has been rendered on appeal or until the end of the appeal period if no appeal is filed. After exhaustion of an appeal, an alien who believes that the grounds for denial have been overcome may submit another application with fee, provided that the application is submitted on or before June 4, 2003.

(b) Appeals process. An adverse decision under this part may be appealed to the Associate Commissioner, Examinations, Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), who is the appellate authority designated in §103.1(f)(3) of this chapter. Any appeal shall be submitted to the Service office that rendered the decision with the required fee.

(1) If an appeal is filed from within the United States, it must be received by the Service within 30 calendar days after service of the Notice of Denial (NOD) in accordance with the procedures of §103.3(a) of this chapter. An appeal received after the 30 day period has tolled will not be accepted. The 30 day period for submitting an appeal begins 3 days after the NOD is mailed. If a review of the Record of Proceeding (ROP) is requested by the alien or his or her legal representative, and an appeal has been properly filed, an additional 30 days will be allowed for this review from the time the ROP is photocopied and mailed.

(2) If an applicant's last known address of record was outside the United States, and the NOD was mailed to that foreign address, the appeal must be received by the Service within 60 calendar days after service of the NOD in accordance with the procedures of §103.3(a) of this chapter. An appeal received after the 60 day period has tolled will not be accepted. The 60-day period for submitting an appeal begins 3 days after the NOD is mailed.

(c) Motions. The Service director who denied the application may reopen and reconsider any adverse decision sua sponte. When an appeal to the AAO has been filed, the director may issue a new decision that will grant the benefit that has been requested. Motions to reopen a proceeding or reconsider a decision shall not be considered under this Subpart B.

(d) Certifications. The Service director who adjudicates the application may, in accordance with §103.4 of this chapter, certify a decision to the AAO when the case involves an unusually complex or novel question of law or fact.

(e) Effect of final adjudication of application on aliens previously in proceedings—(1) Upon the granting of an application. If the application for LIFE Legalization is granted, proceedings shall be deemed terminated or a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal shall be deemed canceled as of the date of the approval of the LIFE Legalization application for adjustment of status.

(2) Upon the denial of an application—(i) Where proceedings were administratively closed. In the case of an alien whose previously initiated exclusion, deportation or removal proceeding had been administratively closed or continued indefinitely under §245a.12(b)(1), the director shall make a request for recalendaring to the Immigration Court that had administratively closed the proceeding, or the Board, as appropriate, when there is a final decision denying the LIFE Legalization application. The Immigration Court or the Board will then recalendar the prior proceeding.

(ii) Where final order was stayed. If the application for LIFE Legalization is denied, the stay of a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal afforded in §245a.13(f) shall be deemed lifted as of the date of such denial.

[66 FR 29673, June 1, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 38352, June 4, 2002; 72 FR 19107, Apr. 17, 2007; 85 FR 46927, Aug. 3, 2020]

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§245a.21   Confidentiality.

(a) No person other than a sworn officer or employee of the Department of Justice or bureau or agency thereof, will be permitted to examine individual applications. For purposes of this part, any individual employed under contract by the Service to work in connection with the LIFE Legalization provisions shall be considered an employee of the Department of Justice or bureau or agency thereof.

(b) No information furnished pursuant to an application for permanent resident status under this Subpart B shall be used for any purpose except:

(1) To make a determination on the application;

(2) For the enforcement of the provisions encompassed in section 245A(c)(6) of the Act, except as provided in paragraphs (c) of this section; or

(3) For the purposes of rescinding, pursuant to section 246(a) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1256(a)), any adjustment of status obtained by the alien.

(c) If a determination is made by the Service that the alien has, in connection with his or her application, engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact, knowingly provided a false statement or document in making his or her application, knowingly made a false statement or representation, or engaged in any other activity prohibited by section 245A(c)(6) of the Act, the Service shall refer the matter to the United States Attorney for prosecution of the alien and/or of any person who created or supplied a false statement or document for use in an application for adjustment of status under this Subpart B.

(d) Information contained in granted files may be used by the Service at a later date to make a decision:

(1) On an immigrant visa petition or other status filed by the applicant under section 204(a) of the Act;

(2) On a naturalization application submitted by the applicant;

(3) For the preparation of reports to Congress under section 404 of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986; or

(4) For the furnishing of information, at the discretion of the Attorney General, in the same manner and circumstances as census information may be disclosed by the Secretary of Commerce under 13 U.S.C. 8.

(e) Information concerning whether the applicant has at any time been convicted of a crime may be used or released for immigration enforcement or law enforcement purposes.

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§245a.22   Rescission.

(a) Rescission of adjustment of status under LIFE Legalization shall occur only under the procedures of 8 CFR part 246.

(b) Information furnished by an eligible alien pursuant to any application filed under LIFE Legalization may be used by the Attorney General, and other officials and employees of the Department of Justice and any bureau or agency thereof, for purposes of rescinding, pursuant to 8 CFR part 246, any adjustment of status obtained by the alien.

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§§245a.23-245a.29   [Reserved]

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