Section 245 (i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, notwithstanding the provisions of sections (a) and (c), grants certain immigrants the ability to apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence without leaving the United States regardless of having entered the U.S. unlawfully or overstaying their visa status.
By submitting Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, paying the appropriate filing fee, in addition to the $1,000 fine, an individual can apply for a green card without having to return to his or her country of origin.
However, there are certain groups that are ineligible under this section, including:
- Immigrant fiancé who entered on a K visa but failed to marry the petitioning U.S. citizen within 90 days after arrival
- Individuals subject to the J-1 two year home-residency requirement
- Individuals who failed to appear at a deportation hearing or asylum interview or failed to follow a deportation order
- Immigrants seeking to obtain adjustment of status by marrying a U.S. citizen after entering removal proceedings for immigration purposes
- Individuals placed in removal proceeding upon entry into the U.S.
- Individuals serving as informants with S visas who have not obtained approval from the Attorney General
- Nonimmigrant children seeking to adjust their status as orphans
- Individuals who engaged in terrorist activities while in the United States
The deadline for Section 245 (i) ended approximately ten years ago, however, the provision is still valid for immigrants, their children, and other dependents who wish to become legal permanent residents and are eligible for adjustment of status.