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e-CFR data is current as of November 19, 2019

Title 8Chapter ISubchapter BPart 245aSubpart A → §245a.3


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 A—Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) Legalization Provisions


§245a.3   Application for adjustment from temporary to permanent resident status.

(a) Application period for permanent residence. (1) An alien may submit an application for lawful permanent resident status, with fee, immediately subsequent to the granting of lawful temporary resident status. Any application received prior to the alien's becoming eligible for adjustment to permanent resident status will be administratively processed and held by the INS, but will not be considered filed until the beginning of the nineteenth month after the date the alien was granted temporary resident status as defined in §245a.2(s) of this chapter.

(2) No application shall be denied for failure to timely apply before the end of 43 months from the date of actual approval of the temporary resident application.

(3) The Service Center Director shall sua sponte reopen and reconsider without fee any application which was previously denied for late filing. No additional fee will be required for those applications which are filed during the twelve month extension period but prior to July 9, 1991.

(b) Eligibility. Any alien who has been lawfully admitted for temporary resident status under section 245A(a) of the Act, such status not having been terminated, may apply for adjustment of status of that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if the alien:

(1) Applies for such adjustment anytime subsequent to the granting of temporary resident status but on or before the end of 43 months from the date of actual approval of the termporary resident application. The alien need not be physically present in the United States at the time of application; however, the alien must establish continuous residence in the United States in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (b)(2) of this section and must be physically present in the United States at the time of interview and/or processing for permanent resident status (ADIT processing);

(2) Establishes continuous residence in the United States since the date the alien was granted such temporary residence status. An alien shall be regarded as having resided continuously in the United States for the purpose of this part if, at the time of applying for adjustment from temporary to permanent resident status, or as of the date of eligibility for permanent residence, whichever is later, no single absence from the United States has exceeded thirty (30) days, and the aggregate of all absences has not exceeded ninety (90) days between the date of approval of the temporary resident application, Form I-687 (not the “roll-back” date) and the date the alien applied or became eligible for permanent resident status, whichever is later, unless the alien can establish that due to emergent reasons or circumstances beyond his or her control, the return to the United States could not be accomplished within the time period(s) allowed. A single absence from the United States of more than 30 days, and aggregate absences of more than 90 days during the period for which continuous residence is required for adjustment to permanent residence, shall break the continuity of such residence, unless the temporary resident can establish to the satisfaction of the district director or the Director of the Regional Processing Facility that he or she did not, in fact, abandon his or her residence in the United States during such period;

(3) Is admissible to the United States as an immigrant, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (g) of this section; and has not been convicted of any felony, or three or more misdemeanors; and

(4)(i)(A) Can demonstrate that the alien meets the requirements of section 312 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (relating to minimal understanding of ordinary English and a knowledge and understanding of the history and government of the United States); or

(B) Is satisfactorily pursuing a course of study recognized by the Attorney General to achieve such an understanding of English and such a knowledge and understanding of the history and government of the United States.

(ii) The requirements of paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section must be met by each applicant. However, these requirements shall be waived without formal application for persons who, as of the date of application or the date of eligibility for permanent residence under this part, whichever date is later, are:

(A) Under 16 years of age; or

(B) 65 years of age or older; or

(C) Over 50 years of age who have resided in the United States for at least 20 years and submit evidence establishing the 20-year qualification requirement. Such evidence must be submitted pursuant to the requirements contained in Section 245a.2(d)(3) of this chapter; or

(D) Developmentally disabled as defined at §245a.1(v) of this chapter. Such persons must submit medical evidence concerning their developmental disability; or

(E) Physically unable to comply. The physical disability must be of a nature which renders the applicant unable to acquire the four language skills of speaking, understanding, reading, and writing English in accordance with the criteria and precedence established in OI 312.1(a)(2)(iii) (Interpretations). Such persons must submit medical evidence concerning their physical disability.

(iii)(A) Literacy and basic citizenship skills may be demonstrated for purposes of complying with paragraph (b)(4)(i)(A) of this section by:

(1) Speaking and understanding English during the course of the interview for permanent resident status. An applicant's ability to read and write English shall be tested by excerpts from one or more parts of the Federal Textbooks on Citizenship at the elementary literacy level. The test of an applicant's knowledge and understanding of the history and form of government of the United States shall be given in the English language. The scope of the testing shall be limited to subject matter covered in the revised (1987) Federal Textbooks on Citizenship or other approved training material. The test questions shall be selected from a list of 100 standardized questions developed by the Service. In choosing the subject matter and in phrasing questions, due consideration shall be given to the extent of the applicant's education, background, age, length of residence in the United States, opportunities available and efforts made to acquire the requisite knowledge, and any other elements or factors relevant to an appraisal of the adequacy of his or her knowledge and understanding; or

(2) By passing a standardized section 312 test (effective retroactively as of November 7, 1988) such test being given in the English language by the Legalization Assistance Board with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) or the California State Department of Education with the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS). The scope of the test is based on the 1987 edition of the Federal Textbooks on Citizenship series written at the elementary literacy level. An applicant may evidence passing of the standardized section 312 test by submitting the approved testing organization's standard notice of passing test results at the time of filing Form I-698, subsequent to filing the application but prior to the interview, or at the time of the interview. The test results may be independently verified by INS, if necessary.

(B) An applicant who fails to pass the English literacy and/or the U.S. history and government tests at the time of the interview, shall be afforded a second opportunity after six (6) months (or earlier, at the request of the applicant) to pass the tests, submit evidence of passing an INS approved section 312 standardized examination or submit evidence of fulfillment of any one of the “satisfactorily pursuing” alternatives listed at §245a.1(s) of this chapter. 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. An applicant whose period of eligibility expires prior to the end of the six-month re-test period, shall still be accorded the entire six months within which to be re-tested.

(iv) To satisfy the English language and basic citizenship skills requirements under the “satisfactorily pursuing” standard as defined at §245a.1(s) of this chapter the applicant must submit evidence of such satisfactory pursuit in the form of a “Certificate of Satisfactory Pursuit” (Form I-699) issued by the designated school or program official attesting to the applicant's satisfactory pursuit of the course of study as defined at §245a.1(s)(1) and (4) of this chapter; or a high school diploma or general educational development diploma (GED) under §245a.1(s)(2) of this chapter; or certification on letterhead stationery from a state recognized, accredited learning institution under §245a.1(s)(3) of this chapter; or evidence of having passed the IRCA Test for Permanent Residency under §245a.1(s)(5) of this chapter. Such applicants shall not then be required to demonstrate that they meet the requirements of §245a.3(b)(4)(i)(A) of this chapter in order to be granted lawful permanent residence provided they are otherwise eligible. Evidence of “Satisfactory Pursuit” may be submitted at the time of filing Form I-698, subsequent to filing the application but prior to the interview, or at the time of the interview (the applicant's name and A90M number must appear on any such evidence submitted). An applicant need not necessarily be enrolled in a recognized course of study at the time of application for permanent residency.

(v) Enrollment in a recognized course of study as defined in §245a.3(b)(5) and issuance of a “Certificate of Satisfactory Pursuit” must occur subsequent to May 1, 1987.

(5) A course of study in the English language and in the history and government of the United States shall satisfy the requirement of paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section if the course materials for such instruction include textbooks published under the authority of section 346 of the Act, and it is

(i) Sponsored or conducted by: (A) An established public or private institution of learning recognized as such by a qualified state certifying agency; (B) An institution of learning approved to issue Forms I-20 in accordance with §214.3 of this chapter; (C) A qualified designated entity within the meaning of section 245A(c)(2) of the Act, in good-standing with the Service; or (D) Is certified by the district director in whose jurisdiction the program is conducted, or is certified by the Director of the Outreach Program nationally.

(ii) A program seeking certification as a course of study recognized by the Attorney General under paragraph (b)(5)(i)(D) of this section shall file Form I-803, Petition for Attorney General Recognition to Provide Course of Study for Legalization: Phase II, with the Director of Outreach for national level programs or with the district director having jurisdiction over the area in which the school or program is located. In the case of local programs, a separate petition must be filed with each district director when a parent organization has schools or programs in more than one INS district. A petition must identify by name and address those schools or programs included in the petition. No fee shall be required to file Form I-803;

(A) The Director of Outreach and the district directors may approve a petition where they have determined that (1) a need exists for a course of study in addition to those already certified under §245a.3(b)(5)(i) (A), (B), or (C); and/or (2) of this chapter the petitioner has historically provided educational services in English and U.S. history and government but is not already certified under §245a.3(b)(5)(i)(A), (B), or (C); and (3) of this chapter the petitioner is otherwise qualified to provide such course of study;

(B) Upon approval of the petition the Director of Outreach and district directors shall issue a Certificate of Attorney General Recognition on Form I-804 to the petitioner. If the petition is denied, the petitioner shall be notified in writing of the decision therefor. No appeal shall lie from a denial of Form I-803, except that in such case where the petitions of a local, cross-district program are approved in one district and denied in another within the same State, the petitioner may request review of the denied petition by the appropriate Regional Commissioner. The Regional Commissioner shall then make a determination in this case;

(C) Each district director shall compile and maintain lists of programs approved under paragraph (b)(5)(i)(D) of this section within his or her jurisdiction. The Director of Outreach shall compile and maintain lists of approved national level programs.

(6) Notice of participation. All courses of study recognized under §245a.3(b)(5)(i)(A) through (C) of this chapter which are already conducting or will conduct English and U.S. history and government courses for temporary residents must submit a Notice of Participation to the district director in whose jurisdiction the program is conducted. Acceptance of “Certificates of Satisfactory Pursuit” (Form I-699) shall be delayed until such time as the course provider submits the Notice of Participation, which notice shall be in the form of a letter typed on the letterhead of the course provider (if available) and include the following:

(i) The name(s) of the school(s)/program(s).

(ii) The complete addresses and telephone numbers of sites where courses will be offered, and class schedules.

(iii) The complete names of persons who are in charge of conducting English and U.S. history and government courses of study.

(iv) A statement that the course of study will issue “Certificates of Satisfactory Pursuit” to temporary resident enrollees according to INS regulations.

(v) A list of designated officials of the recognized course of study authorized to sign “Certificates of Satisfactory Pursuit”, and samples of their original signatures.

(vi) A statement that if a course provider charges a fee to temporary resident enrollees, the fee will not be excessive.

(vii) Evidence of recognition under 8 CFR 245a.3(b)(5)(i)(A), (B), or (C) (e.g., certification from a qualified state certifying agency; evidence of INS approval for attendance by nonimmigrant students, such as the school code number, or the INS identification number from the QDE cooperative agreement).

The course provider shall notify the district director, in writing, of any changes to the information contained in the Notice of Participation subsequent to its submission within ten (10) days of such change.

A Certificate of Attorney General Recognition to Provide Course of Study for Legalization (Phase II), Form I-804, shall be issued to course providers who have submitted a Notice of Participation in accordance with the provisions of this section by the distict director. A Notice of Participation deficient in any way shall be returned to the course provider to correct the deficiency. Upon the satisfaction of the district director that the deficiency has been corrected, the course provider shall be issued Form I-804. Each district director shall compile and maintain lists of recognized courses within his or her district.

(7) Fee structure. No maximum fee standard will be imposed by the Attorney General. However, if it is believed that a fee charged is excessive, this factor alone will justify non-certification of the course provider by INS as provided in §245a.3(b)(10) and/or (12) of this section. Once fees are established, any change in fee without prior approval of the district director or the Director of Outreach may justify de-certification. In determining whether or not a fee is excessive, district directors and the Director of Outreach shall consider such factors as the means of instruction, class size, prevailing wages of instructors in the area of the program, and additional costs such as rent, materials, utilities, insurance, and taxes. District directors and the Director of Outreach may also seek the assistance of various Federal, State and local entities as the need arises (e.g., State Departments of Education) to determine the appropriateness of course fees.

(8) The Citizenship textbooks to be used by applicants for lawful permanent residence under section 245A of the Act shall be distributed by the Service to appropriate representatives of public schools. These textbooks may otherwise be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, and are also available at certain public institutions.

(9) Maintenance of Student Records. Course providers conducting courses of study recognized under §245a.3(b)(5) of this chapter shall maintain for each student, for a period of three years from the student's enrollment, the following information and documents:

(i) Name (as copied exactly from the I-688A or I-688);

(ii) A-number (90 million series);

(iii) Date of enrollment;

(iv) Attendance records;

(v) Assessment records;

(vi) Photocopy of signed “Certificate of Satisfactory Pursuit” issued to the student.

(10) Issuance of “Certificate of Satisfactory Pursuit” (I-699). (i) Each recognized course of study shall prepare a standardized certificate that is signed by the designated official. The Certificate shall be issued to an applicant who has attended a recognized course of study for at least 40 hours of a minimum of 60-hour course as appropriate for his or her ability level, and is demonstrating progress according to the performance standards of the English and U.S. history and government course prescribed. Such standards shall conform with the provisions of §245a.1(s) of this chapter.

(ii) The district director shall reject a certificate if it is determined that the certificate is fraudulent or was fraudulently issued.

(iii) The district director shall reject a Certificate if it is determined that the course provider is not complying with INS regulations. In the case of non-compliance, the district director will advise the course provider in writing of the specific deficiencies and give the provider thirty (30) days within which to correct such deficiencies.

(iv) District directors will accept Certificates from course providers once it is determined that the deficiencies have been satisfactorily corrected.

(v) Course providers which engage in fraudulent activities or fail to conform with INS regulations will be removed from the list of INS approved programs. INS will not accept Certificates from these providers.

(vi) Certificates may be accepted if a program is cited for deficiencies or decertified at a later date and no fraud was involved.

(vii) Certificates shall not be accepted from a course provider that has been decertified unless the alien enrolled in and had been issued a certificate prior to the decertification, provided that no fraud was involved.

(viii) The appropriate State agency responsible for SLIAG funding shall be notified of all decertifications by the district director.

(11) Designated official. (i) The designated official is the authorized person from each recognized course of study whose signature appears on all “Certificates of Satisfactory Pursuit” issued by that course;

(ii) The designated official must be a regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions for recruitment of foreign students;

(iii)(A) The head of the school system or school, the director of the Qualified Designated Entity, the head of a program approved by the Attorney General, or the president or owner of other institutions recognized by the Attorney General must specify a designated official. Such designated official may not delegate this designation to any other person. Each school or institution may have up to three (3) designated officials at any one time. In a multi-campus institution, each campus may have up to three (3) designated officials at any one time;

(B) Each designated official shall have read and otherwise be familiar with the “Requirements and Guidelines for Courses of Study Recognized by the Attorney General”. The signature of a designated official shall affirm the official's compliance with INS regulations;

(C) The name, title, and sample signature of each designated official for each recognized course of study shall be on file with the district director in whose jurisdiction the program is conducted.

(12) Monitoring by INS. (i) INS Outreach personnel in conjunction with the district director shall monitor the course providers in each district in order to:

(A) Assure that the program is a course of study recognized by the Attorney General under the provisions of §245a.3(b)(5).

(B) Verify the existence of curriculm as defined in §245a.1(u) on file for each level of instruction provided in English language and U.S. history and government classes.

(C) Assure that “Certificates of Satisfactory Pursuit” are being issued in accordance with §245a.3(b)(10).

(D) Assure that records are maintained on each temporary resident enrollee in accordance with §245a.3(b)(9).

(E) Assure that fees (if any) assessed by the course provider are in compliance in accordance with §245a.3(b)(7).

(ii) If INS has reason to believe that the service is not being provided to the applicant, INS will issue a 24-hour minimum notice to the service provider before any site visit is conducted.

(iii) If it is determined that a course provider is not performing according to the standards established in either §245a.3(b)(10) or (12) of this chapter, the district director shall institute decertification proceedings. Notice of Intent to Decertify shall be provided to the course provider. The course provider has 30 days within which to correct performance according to standards established. If after the 30 days, the district director is not satisfied that the basis for decertification has been overcome, the course provider will be decertified. The appropriate State agency shall be notified in accordance with §245a.3(b)(10)(viii) of this chapter. A copy of the notice of decertification shall be sent to the State agency.

(13) Courses of study recognized by the Attorney General as defined at §245a.3(b)(5) of this chapter shall provide certain standards for the selection of teachers. Since some programs may be in locations where selection of qualified staff is limited, or where budget constraints restrict options, the following list of qualities for teacher selection is provided as guidance. Teacher selections should include as many of the following qualities as possible:

(i) Specific training in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL);

(ii) Experience as a classroom teacher with adults;

(iii) Cultural sensitivity and openness;

(iv) Familiarity with compentency-based education;

(v) Knowledge of curriculum and materials adaptation;

(vi) Knowledge of a second language.

(c) Ineligible aliens. (1) An alien who has been convicted of a felony, or three or more misdemeanors in the United States.

(2) An alien who is inadmissible to the United States as an immigrant, except as provided in §245a.3(g)(1).

(3) An alien who was previously granted temporary resident status pursuant to section 245A(a) of the Act who has not filed an application for permanent resident status under section 245A(b)(1) of the Act by the end of 43 months from the date of actual approval of the temporary resident application.

(4) An alien who was not previously granted temporary resident status under section 245A(a) of the Act.

(5) An alien whose temporary resident status has been terminated under §245a.2(u) of this chapter

(d) Filing the application. The provisions of part 211 of this chapter relating to the documentary requirements for immigrants shall not apply to an applicant under this part.

(1) The application must be filed on Form I-698. Form I-698 must be accompanied by the correct fee and documents specified in the instructions. The application will be mailed to the director having jurisdiction over the applicant's place of residence.

(2) Certification of documents. The submission of original documents is not required at the time of filing Form I-698. A copy of a document submitted in support of Form I-698 filed pursuant to section 245A(b) of the Act and this part may be accepted, though unaccompanied by the original, if the copy is certified as true and complete by

(i) An attorney in the format prescribed in §204.2(j)(1) of this chapter; or

(ii) An alien's representative in the format prescribed in §204.2(j)(2) of this chapter; or

(iii) A qualified designated entity (QDE) in good standing as defined in §245a.1(r) of this chapter, if the copy bears a certification by the QDE in good-standing, typed or rubber-stamped in the following language:

I certify that I have compared this copy with its original and it is a true and complete copy.

Signed:
Date:
Name:

QDE in good-standing representative

Name of QDE in good-standing:
Address of QDE in good-standing:
INS-QDE Cooperative Agreement Number:

(iv) Authentication. Certification of documents must be authenticated by an original signature. A facsimile signature on a rubber stamp will not be acceptable.

(v) Original documents. Original documents must be presented when requested by the Service. 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 which are submitted in evidence must be certified as true and complete by such parties and must bear their seal or signature or the signature and title of persons authorized to act in their behalf. At the discretion of the district director and/or the Regional Processing Facility director, original documents may be kept for forensic examination.

(3) A separate application (I-698) must be filed by each eligible applicant. All fees required by §103.7(b)(1) of this chapter must be submitted in the exact amount in the form of a money order, cashier's check or certified bank check. No personal checks or currency will be accepted. Fees will not be waived or refunded under any circumstances.

(4) Applicants who filed for temporary resident status prior to December 1, 1987, are required to submit the results of a serologic test for HIV virus on Form I-693, “Medical Examination of Aliens Seeking Adjustment of Status”, completed by a designated civil surgeon, unless the serologic test for HIV was performed and the results were submitted on Form I-693 when the applicant filed for temporary resident status. Applicants who did submit an I-693 reflecting a serologic test for HIV was performed prior to December 1, 1987, must submit evidence of this fact when filing the I-698 application in order to be relieved from the requirement of submitting another I-693. If such evidence is not available, applicants may note on their I-698 application their prior submission of the results of the serologic test for HIV. This information shall then be verified at the Regional Processing Facility. Applicants having to submit an I-693 pursuant to this section are not required to have a complete medical examination. All HIV-positive applicants shall be advised that a waiver of the ground of excludability under section 212(a)(6) of the Act is available and shall be provided the opportunity to apply for the waiver. To be eligible for the waiver, the applicant must establish that:

(i) The danger to the public health of the United States created by the alien's admission to the United States is minimal,

(ii) The possibility of the spread of the infection created by the alien's admission to the United States is minimal, and

(iii) There will be no cost incurred by any government agency without prior consent of that agency. Provided these criteria are met, the waiver may be granted only for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when the granting of such a waiver is in the public interest in accordance with §245a.3(g)(2) of this chapter.

(5) If necessary, the validity of an alien's temporary resident card (I-688) will be extended in increments of one (1) year until such time as the decision on an alien's properly filed application for permanent residence becomes final.

(6) An application lacking the proper fee or incomplete in any way shall be returned to the applicant with request for the proper fee, correction, additional information, and/or documentation. Once an application has been accepted by the Service and additional information and/or documentation is required, the applicant shall be sent a notice to submit such information and/or documentation. In such case the application Form I-698 shall be retained at the RPF. If a response to this request is not received within 60 days, a second request for correction, additional information, and/or documentation shall be made. If the second request is not complied with by the end of 43 months from the date the application for temporary residence, Form I-687, was approved the application for permanent residence will be adjudicated on the basis of the existing record.

(e) Interview. Each applicant regardless of age, must appear at the appropriate Service office and must be fingerprinted for the purpose of issuance of Form I-551. Each applicant shall be interviewed by an immigration officer, except that the adjudicative interview may be waived for a child under 14, or when it is impractical because of the health or advanced age of the applicant. 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 held in abeyance until the end of 43 months from the date the application for temporary residence was approved and adjudicated on the basis of the existing record.

(f) Numerical limitations. The numerical limitations of sections 201 and 202 of the Act do not apply to the adjustment of aliens to lawful permanent resident status under section 245A(b) of the Act.

(g) Applicability of exclusion grounds—(1) Grounds of exclusion not to be applied. The following paragraphs of section 212(a) of the Act shall not apply to applicants for adjustment of status from temporary resident to permanent resident status: (14) workers entering without labor certification; (20) immigrants not in possession of valid entry documents; (21) visas issued without compliance of section 203; (25) illiterates; and (32) graduates of non-accredited medical schools.

(2) Waiver of grounds of excludability. Except as provided in paragraph (g)(3) 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 assure family unity, or when the granting of such a waiver is otherwise in the public interest. In any case where a provision of section 212(a) of the Act has been waived in connection with an alien's application for lawful temporary resident status under section 245A(a) of the Act, no additional waiver of the same ground of excludability will be required when the alien applies for permanent resident status under section 245A(b)(1) of the Act. In the event that the alien was excludable under any provision of section 212(a) of the Act at the time of temporary residency and failed to apply for a waiver in connection with the application for temporary resident status, or becomes excludable subsequent to the date temporary residence was granted, a waiver of the ground of excludability, if available, will be required before permanent resident status may be granted.

(3) Grounds of exclusion 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 (g)(2) of this section:

(i) Paragraphs (9) and (10) (criminals);

(ii) Paragraph (15) (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);

(iii) Paragraph (23) (narcotics), except for a single offense of simple possession of thirty grams or less of marijuana;

(iv) Paragraphs (27) (prejudicial to the public interest), (28) (communists), and (29) (subversives);

(v) Paragraph (33) (participated in Nazi persecution).

(4) Determination of Likely to become a public charge and Special Rule. Prior to use of the special rule for determination of public charge, paragraph (g)(4)(iii) of this section, an alien must first be determined to be excludable under section 212(a)(15) of the Act. If the applicant is determined to be likely to become a public charge, he or she may still be admissible under the terms of the Special Rule.

(i) 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 circumstances at the time of his or her application for legalization. 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, income, and vocation.

(ii) The Special Rule for determination of public charge, paragraph (g)(4)(iii) of this section, is to be applied only after an initial determination that the alien is inadmissible under the provisions of section 212(a)(15) of the act.

(iii) Special Rule. An alien who has a consistent employment history which 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 (g)(3)(ii) of this section. The alien's employment history need not be continuous in that it is uninterrupted. It should be continuous in the sense that the alien shall be regularly attached to the workforce, has an income over a substantial period of the applicable time, and has demonstrated the capacity to exist on his or her income without recourse to public cash assistance. The Special Rule is prospective in that the Service shall determine, based on the alien's history, whether he or she is likely to become a public charge. 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.

(5) Public cash assistance and criminal history verification. Declarations by an applicant 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 of facts by the Service. The applicant 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.

(h) Departure. An applicant for adjustment to lawful permanent resident status under section 245A(b)(1) of the Act who was granted lawful temporary resident status under section 245A(a) of the Act, shall be permitted to return to the United States after such brief and casual trips abroad, as long as the alien reflects a continuing intention to adjust to lawful permanent resident status. However, such absences from the United States must not exceed the periods of time specified in §245a.3(b)(2) of this chapter in order for the alien to maintain continuous residence as specified in the Act.

(i) Decision. The applicant shall be notified in writing of the decision, and, if the application is denied, of the reason therefor. Applications for permanent residence under this chapter will not be denied at local INS offices (districts, suboffices, and legalization offices) until the entire record of proceeding has been reviewed. An application will not be denied if the denial is based on adverse information not previously furnished to the Service by the alien without providing the alien an opportunity to rebut the adverse information and to present evidence in his or her behalf. If inconsistencies are found between information submitted with the adjustment application and information previously furnished to the Service, the applicant shall be afforded the opportunity to explain discrepancies or rebut any adverse information. A party affected under this part by an adverse decision is entitled to file an appeal on Form I-694. If an application is denied, work authorization will be granted until a final decision has been rendered on an appeal or until the end of the appeal period if no appeal is filed. An applicant whose appeal period has ended is no longer considered to be an Eligible Legalized Alien for the purposes of the administration of State Legalization Impact Assistance Grants (SLIAG) funding. An alien whose application is denied will not be required to surrender his or her temporary resident card (I-688) until such time as the appeal period has tolled, or until expiration date of the I-688, whichever date is later. After exhaustion of an appeal, an applicant who believes that the grounds for denial have been overcome may submit another application with fee, provided that the application is submitted within his or her eligibility period.

(j) Appeal process. An adverse decision under this part may be appealed to the Associate Commissioner, Examinations (Administrative Appeals Unit) the appellate authority designated in §103.1(f)(2). Any appeal shall be submitted to the Regional Processing Facility with the required fee within thirty (30) days after service of the Notice of Denial in accordance with the procedures of §103.3(a) of this chapter. An appeal received after the thirty (30) day period has tolled will not be accepted. The thirty (30) day period for submitting an appeal begins three days after the notice of denial 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 thirty (30) days will be allowed for this review from the time the Record of Proceeding is photocopied and mailed. A brief may be submitted with the appeal form or submitted up to thirty (30) calendar days from the date of receipt of the appeal form at the Regional Processing Facility. Briefs filed after submission of the appeal should be mailed directly to the Regional Processing Facility. For good cause shown, the time within which a brief supporting an appeal may be submitted may be extended by the Director of the Regional Processing Facility.

(k) Motions. The Regional Processing Facility director may reopen and reconsider any adverse decision sua sponte. When an appeal to the Associate Commissioner, Examinations (Administrative Appeals Unit) has been filed, the INS director of the Regional Processing Facility may issue a new decision that will grant the benefit which has been requested. The director's new decision must be served on the appealing party within forty-five (45) days of receipt of any briefs and/or new evidence, or upon expiration of the time allowed for the submission of any briefs.

(l) Certifications. The Regional Processing Facility director or district director may, in accordance with §103.4 of this chapter, certify a decision to the Associate Commissioner, Examinations (Administrative Appeals Unit) when the case involves an unusually complex or novel question of law or fact. The decision on an appealed case subsequently remanded back to either the Regional Processing Facility director or the district director will be certified to the Administrative Appeals Unit.

(m) Date of adjustment to permanent residence. The status of an alien whose application for permanent resident status is approved shall be adjusted to that of a lawful permanent resident as of the date of filing of the application for permanent residence or the eligibility date, whichever is later. For purposes of making application to petition for naturalization, the continuous residence requirements for naturalization shall begin as of the date the alien's status is adjusted to that of a person lawfully admitted for permanent residence under this part.

(n) Limitation on access to information and confidentiality. (1) No person other than a sworn officer or employee of the Department of Justice or bureau of 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 Legalization Program shall be considered an employee of the Department of Justice or bureau or agency thereof.

(2) No information furnished pursuant to an application for permanent resident status under this section shall be used for any purpose except: (i) To make a determination on the application; or (ii) for the enforcement of the provisions encompassed in section 245A(c)(6) of the Act, except as provided in paragraph (n)(3) of this section.

(3) 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 writing 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 writing or document for use in an application for adjustment of status under this part.

(4) Information contained in granted legalization files may be used by the Service at a later date to make a decision (i) On an immigrant visa petition or other status filed by the applicant under section 204(a) of the Act; (ii) On a naturalization application submitted by the applicant; (iii) For the preparation of reports to Congress under section 404 of IRCA, or; (iv) 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 section 8 of title 13, Unites States Code.

(o) Rescission. Rescission of adjustment of status under 245a shall occur under the guidelines established in section 246 of the Act.

[54 FR 29449, July 12, 1989; 54 FR 43384, Oct. 24, 1989, as amended at 56 FR 31061, July 9, 1991; 57 FR 3926, Feb. 3, 1992; 59 FR 33905, July 1, 1994]

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