SECTION 245(i) EXTENDED UNTIL OCTOBER 23, 1997
Hello everybody. This is Cyrus Mehta. Welcome to this week's edition of immigration matters. We are glad to have you on our fortnightly segment where we provide you with the latest developments on immigration and related issues.
You must have heard by now that Section 245(i) has been extended until October 23, 1997. The fate of 245(i), which allows undocumented aliens to apply for green card in the United States, will be determined in October when both the Houses of Congress discuss the appropriations bill.
Section 245(i) is not an amnesty. It only applies to those who are in the pipeline for the green card. Eligible individuals must have approved visa petitions through an employer, an immediate family member, or a lottery program, and the priority date must be current.
The fact that Section 245(i) has been extended for three weeks does not imply that the departure date has been extended for purposes of the 3 year and 10 year bars. Various press and media accounts have been misleading on this issue.
Individuals who have been unlawfully present in the United States and who have not left would still be barred from reentering for 3 years if they were to leave the country today. If an individual is unable to apply for adjustment of status by October 23, and Congress does not pass a further extension, then this individual would not be able to apply for a green card in the United States and would have to make the tough decision of leaving the United States and staying out of the country for 3 years. If this individual has been unlawfully present in the United States since April 1, 1997 and leaves next year after April 1, 1998 he or she will be barred for 10 years.
Therefore, those eligible to adjust by October 23, 1997 should do so right away. Recent lottery winners will also be able to benefit from this extension.
Opponents are working to derail efforts to extend 245(i). They argue that the best place for people to be screened for a criminal history is in their home country. On the other hand, the Clinton Administration strongly supports the extension of 245(i). The Administration has urged Congress to pass 245(i), because applicants under this section, who have already been found eligible for the green card, must undergo background checks, including a check conducted by the United States consulate in the home country. Therefore, any argument that a background check is not conducted in the applicant's home country when the individuals adjust status in the United States is simply not true.
It is crucial for you to contact your Senator or Congressperson to support the permanent extension of Section 245(i).
I hope you found this segment informative and helpful. If you have further questions please do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Cyrus D. Mehta at 212-686-1581. The number once again is 212-686-1581. T
his is Cyrus Mehta wishing you a wonderful weekend