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Applying For Residency As A Defense To Deportation

Facing deportation in a removal proceeding can cause overwhelming stress and anxiety. At Wilson Law Group, our immigration lawyers and deportation defense attorneys understand. Founded in 2003, our firm has been advising noncitizens in removal proceedings for decades. Our experienced attorneys can confidently defend your rights and prepare a strategy on your behalf. If you are eligible for permanent residency status, the outcome may even conclude with a green card.

What Is An Adjustment Of Status?

An adjustment of status is the process of applying for permanent resident status from within the United States. The counterpart to adjustment of status is consular processing, which involves applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad.

There are several requirements for adjustment of status, including an approved visa petition from a category in which visas are currently available.

Removal Proceedings And Petitions For An Adjustment Of Status

Persons in removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), or immigration court, are eligible to seek adjustment of status if they are otherwise eligible. This often requires requesting that the immigration court terminate removal proceedings to allow the individual to pursue an adjustment of status application before U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS).

When The Court Lacks Jurisdiction Over Adjustment Of Status Cases

There are limited situations where the Immigration Court does not have jurisdiction to decide adjustment of status applications for persons in removal proceedings. In those situations, only U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) can make a decision on the application.

The immigration court does not have jurisdiction to decide adjustment of status applications for “arriving aliens.” The term “arriving alien” is complicated. Arriving aliens are generally persons who attempt to enter the U.S. at a designated port of entry but are not granted “admission” to the country. Arriving aliens are often paroled into the U.S. or allowed to enter without being formally admitted.

There is a limited exception to this rule. The immigration court can decide adjustment of status applications for arriving aliens who applied for adjustment of status, left and returned to the U.S. under advance parole, and whose application for adjustment was later denied by USCIS.

Adjustment Of Status Applications With Waivers

Applicants for adjustment of status often have grounds of inadmissibility which need to be waived before their applications can be approved. The immigration courts have jurisdiction to adjudicate various waivers of inadmissibility. There are several different types of waivers that may apply.

Refugee Waivers

Refugee waivers are available to waive various grounds of inadmissibility for persons who entered the U.S. as refugees or who were granted asylum status after arriving in the U.S. Refugees and asylees must generally wait to apply for permanent residency in the U.S. until they have been physically present in the United States in asylee or refugee status for one year.

Refugee waivers are available under section 209(c) of the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA). Generally, this provision can waive almost any ground of inadmissibility except drug trafficking, security issues, terrorism, foreign policy concerns, and Nazi party membership. Refugees or asylees seeking adjustment of status can file a 209 (c) waiver at the time they file their adjustment application. The waiver can also be used by refugees or asylees who obtained permanent resident status, but who are subsequently placed in removal proceedings because of the commission of a removable offense.

Waivers For Fraud Or Misrepresentation

An applicant for adjustment of status may need a waiver for fraud or misrepresentation in certain situations. This is often referred to as a “212(i)” waiver. Fraud or misrepresentation of a material fact can cause someone to be inadmissible to the United States if the misrepresentation or fraud was made in the procurement of a visa, other documentation, or entry to the U.S. Similar to a 212(h) waiver, there are various requirements to establish eligibility for a 212(i) waiver. The waiver is also similarly discretionary.

Free Consultations With An Immigration Attorney

Our firm offers a free initial case consultation and evaluation. Please contact our immigration attorneys at Wilson Law Group for a thorough evaluation of your particular situation to determine if you or a loved one qualifies for adjustment of status or waiver as a defense. To schedule your free appointment, call us at 612-430-8022 or send us an email through our website.