There are millions who live in the United States without status. While it is true that there are harsh inadmissibility bars triggered by spending time in the United States without any legal status, there are certain immigration options which are available to those who are in the US without status. If, however, none of the following saving provisions apply to you, then you may be deemed inadmissible and would have to apply for an inadmissibility waiver before you can obtain legal status.
INA 245(i) Relief for Aliens Entering US Without Inspection
Those who entered the United States without inspection have very limited opportunities, one of which is to adjust status under 245(i). A person with a labor certification or visa petition filed on their behalf before January 14, 1998 may be able to apply for a green card under 245(i). As for those who have had a labor certification or visa petition filed on their behalf after January 14, 1998 to April 30, 2001, these people are still covered by 245(i), but they must prove that they were physically present in the US as of December 21, 2000.
Other possible options for those who entered without inspection (EWI) include all humanitarian based immigration applications, including Asylees, VAWA (domestic violence victims), and U Visa (criminal victims) applicants.
Under INA 245(a), you may adjust status if i) an immigrant visa is immediately available to you at the time the application is filed, and ii) you are not otherwise inadmissible. This rule covers those who have a bona fide marriage to a US Citizen, parents of US Citizens, and children of US Citizens, and allows them to apply for a green card even if they have overstayed their status.
Also, humanitarian based immigration applications, including Asylees, VAWA (domestic violence victims), and U Visa (criminal victims) applicants who have overstayed their visa (ie. visitor visa), may obtain lawful status in the US.
If you do not possess a lawful status in the US and would like to discuss options with an experienced immigration lawyer from the Shah Peerally Law Group, feel free to contact us by email or call us at 510-742-5887.