Photo credit: Thanyalak
Eligible Liberians who have lived in the US since November 20, 2014, have a unique opportunity to adjust their status and get a green card thanks to the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) provision passed by Congress last year.
Even if it is hard to believe that anything good can be coming from the current administration, especially for African immigrants, this is an opportunity that every undocumented immigrant in the US has dreamed of.
Yes, it might also sound like a scam, but it is not. If you are a Liberian living in the US since November 20, 2014, you have until December 20, 2020 to apply.
Here are the eligibility criteria for adjustment of status as listed on the USCIS website:
In order to be eligible for lawful permanent residence under LRIF, you must meet the following requirements:
● You properly complete and file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, by Dec. 20, 2020, and USCIS receives your application by Dec. 20, 2020;
● You are a national of Liberia;
● You have been continuously physically present in the United States during the period beginning on Nov. 20, 2014, and ending on the date you properly file your Form I-485; and
● You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief.
You are not eligible for adjustment of status under LRIF if you have:
● Been convicted of any aggravated felony;
● Been convicted of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude (other than a purely political offense); or
● Ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
Liberian National Requirement
If you are applying as a national of Liberia, you must submit evidence of being a Liberian national. Examples of evidence that demonstrate Liberian nationality include but are not limited to:
● Unexpired Liberian passport; or
● Liberian certificate of naturalization.
Continuous Physical Presence Beginning on Nov. 20, 2014, through Filing of Form I-485
To be eligible for a Green Card based on LRIF, you must have been continuously physically present in the United States during the period beginning on Nov. 20, 2014 and ending on the date you properly file your Form I-485. See the Special Instructions for Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Applicants (PDF, 254.5 KB) for examples of evidence to demonstrate continuous physical presence.
Aliens will be considered to have maintained continuous physical presence if their absences from the United States amount to not more than 180 days in the aggregate (total).
Evidence of Arrivals and Departures
You must provide a list and evidence of all arrivals to and departures from the United States before Nov. 20, 2014, until the date you file Form I-485. Provide any evidence showing residence in the United States from the date(s) you arrived and established residence until the date you file this application. If USCIS approves your application, the date of lawful permanent residence will be recorded as either the earliest arrival date in the United States from which you can establish you have been a resident in the United States, or Nov. 20, 2014 (if you cannot establish an earlier arrival date).
Assistance is available through African Communities Together by calling (347) 767-4425 or by visiting the UndocuBlack Network website.
You can contact Staten Island Legal Services at 718-233-6480 between 9AM – 5PM, Monday through Friday, to seek legal help and ask about application fee assistance that may be available.
You can also call the ActionNYC hotline at 1-800-354-0365 between 9AM – 6PM, Monday through Friday, to access a range of City-funded immigration legal help.
You can also visit nyc.gov/ded-lrif for more information and the USCIS website to learn about the eligibility requirements and special instructions to apply.