INA § 245

How Do I Benefit From Section 245(i)?


Our immigration laws allow qualified individuals to enter the United States as Lawful Permanent Residents (“green card” holders). after they obtain immigrant visas from a consulate or embassy outside the United States or, for many immigrants already lawfully in the United States, through a process called Adjustment of Status. If you entered the United States unlawfully, if you entered with permission but did not stay in lawful status, or if you worked without permission, you normally would have to leave the United States in order to apply for an immigrant visa. Special rules under section 245(i) may allow you to apply to adjust status without leaving the United States.

You might need section 245(i) if you:

– Entered the U.S. without being inspected by an USCIS official.

– Stayed in the U.S. longer than allowed by USCIS.

– Entered the U.S. as a worker on an aircraft or ship (crewman).

– Entered the U.S. as a “Transit Without Visa.”

– Failed to continuously maintain a lawful status since your entry into the US.

– Worked in the U.S. without USCIS permission.

-Entered as an “S” nonimmigrant (relates to witnesses about criminal or terrorism matters).

– Are seeking a work-related visa and are out of status at the time of filing the application to adjust status (Form I-485).

Worked in the U.S. while being an “unauthorized alien.” NOTE: There are some groups that may not need to use section 245(i).

The spouse or unmarried minor child of a U.S. citizen or the parent of a U.S. citizen child at least 21 years of age if he/she was inspected and lawfully admitted to the United States, but subsequently overstayed his/her authorized admission or worked without permission, may apply for adjustment of status under section 245(a) and does not need to use section 245(i). Certain persons who are eligible for certain employment-based immigrant visas and who were inspected and lawfully admitted to the United States, but have not violated their status or worked without permission for more than 180 days, do not have to apply for adjustment of status under section 245(i). They may be able to use section 245(k).

What Does the Law Say?

The Immigration and Nationality Act is a law that governs the admission of immigrants to the United States. For the part of the law concerning adjustment of status and the 245(i) provision, please see INA § 245. The specific eligibility requirements and procedures for applying to adjust status and the penalty provision are included in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR § 245.1, 245.2 and 245.10.

Who is Eligible?

You are eligible if one of the reasons above prevent you from using the regular section 245 provision AND your visa petition or application for labor certification that would qualify you to become an immigrant was filed on or before April 30, 2001.

If your petition or application was filed after January 1, 1998, then you must also prove that you were in the U.S. on December 21, 2000.

You must pay the penalty fee of $1,000 to the USCIS.

How Do I File a Section 245(i)Petition?

The Law Office of Paul B. Christensen will be pleased to process your Section 245(i) Petition. Our law office will carefully analyze your case and make recommendations on the most appropriate process for you to pursue. We then assist with preparing documents and letters, continuing the case through the remainder of the Adjustment of Status stage, until the principal applicant receives his Green Card.

Will I Get a Work Permit?

Applicants who are inside the United States and have filed an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status are eligible to apply for a work permit while their case is pending. You should file an Application for Employment with the USCIS to obtain a work permit.

You do not need to apply for a work permit once you are granted an immigrant visa or adjust to permanent resident status. As a legal permanent resident, you should receive a permanent resident card that will provide evidence that you have a right to live and work in the United States permanently.

Can I Travel Outside the United States?

If you are applying for adjustment to permanent resident status, you must receive advance permission to return to the United States if you are traveling outside the United States. This advance permission is called Advance Parole.

Note: However, if you have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence and then travel abroad, you will be barred from adjustment of status for either three years or 10 years, even if you were granted “Advance Parole,” unless you are granted a hardship waiver. Generally, the three-year bar to admission applies to those who were unlawfully present in the United States for more than 180 days and leave the country, and the 10-year bar applies to those who were unlawfully present in the United States for one year or more and leave the country.

If you do not apply for Advance Parole before you leave the country, you will abandon your application with the USCIS and you may not be permitted to return to the United States.

How Can I Check the Status of My Application?

Click on the menu button to the left, labeled “Check Case Status” and enter your file number.