Immigration through the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE) of 2000

The Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act of 2000 (LIFE Act), among other things, allowed certain people residing in the U.S. who (although they might be eligible for an immigrant visa) are currently barred from adjusting their status to become permanent residents without having to go to a U.S. consulate abroad to apply. This is particularly important because people who have been out of status (in certain circumstances) in the U.S. for more than 6 months would be barred from re-entering the U.S. for at least 3 years and as many 10 years. This provision assists those who are the beneficiary of a filed Labor Certification Application, or nearly any other application for permanent benefit.

In an employment context, employees, or potential employees, who were eligible for permanent residence based on a job offer, benefited the most from the LIFE Act. This applies especially to those aliens who overstayed their visa, acted in violation of the terms of their status, or who worked without authorization.

It is vital for both employers and immigrants to understand that the LIFE Act does not in and of itself authorize an immigrant to work. It merely allows people who have been illegally present in the U.S., or who do not otherwise qualify for adjustment, to apply for adjustment of status. The LIFE Act provides no other benefits in this context.

The Act allows individuals to utilize a new petition on the basis of the old. For example, a previously filed family petition may be used as the basis for a new work based petition. This “grandfathering” effect allows aliens to use petitions filed years earlier to permit current applications that would otherwise be barred.

If you have questions about these or any other immigration matters, please call the National Customer Service Center, toll free, at 800-375-5283 or contact WORLD Law Direct attorneys by clicking “Ask Our Lawyers” above.

See also…

Family-Sponsored Visas

Immigration Law