Lawful Permanent Residents And the Registry Provision
United States immigration laws allow certain aliens who have been present in the U.S. since Jan. 1, 1972 to obtain lawful permanent resident (LPR) status if they have no other way of becoming LPRs.
Who is Eligible?
An alien must meet four basic requirements to qualify for permanent residence based on the registry provisions: date of entry, continuous residence, moral character, and eligibility and admissibility. First, the alien must have entered the U.S. before January 1, 1972, even if he or she entered illegally. Second, the alien’s residence must have been in the U.S. continuously since his or her entry. Third, the alien must have good moral character. Finally, the alien must not be ineligible for citizenship and must not be inadmissible.
Examples of circumstances that would render an alien inadmissible include participation in terrorist activities, alien smuggling, and genocide. Certain activities render an alien ineligible to register temporarily, such as failing to appear at a removal hearing and failing to leave after agreeing to voluntarily depart.
How Do I Apply?
An alien who wishes to obtain LPR status under the registry provisions must file a form with the office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that has jurisdiction over his or her place of residence. The alien is also required to establish his or her eligibility, including that he or she has resided continuously in the U.S. since his or her entry.
What are the Terms of My Stay?
Do I Need A Work Permit?
While the alien’s application is pending, he or she is eligible to apply for a work permit. After LPR status has been granted, however, no work permit is necessary.
Can I Travel Outside the U.S.?
Because an alien who has accrued 180 or more days in unlawful status is legally inadmissible to the U.S. for a period of years, he or she must obtain advance parole from the USCIS before traveling outside the U.S. Once the alien has been granted LPR status, however, no advance permission is needed for trips six months or shorter in duration. Longer trips require readmission at the port-of-entry at which the alien is returning.
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