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Section 245(i) Explained: A Way to Obtain your Green Card!
Edwin M. Hernández García, Esq.
Christophe Law Group, P.C.

Becoming a permanent resident of the United States or a Green Card holder is every immigrant’s dream.  This is because being a permanent resident provides immigrants with the right to live and work in the United States permanently.  It also allows immigrants to enter the country legally each time they travel overseas. 

Unfortunately, many immigrants living in the United States do not know about their options to become permanent residents.  Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act can potentially benefit thousands of immigrants who are currently without immigration status in the United States. 

Getting assistance from a qualified immigration attorney is crucial to obtain your green card through Section 245(i). 


What is Section 245(i) and what can it do for you?

Section 245(i) allows an individual who entered the country without inspection (which means that he was not allowed into the United States by immigration officers, or who overstayed his visa, or worked illegally) to become a permanent resident if he meets the following requirements:

  1. An immigrant petition was submitted on the individual’s behalf on or before April 30, 2001; and
  2. The beneficiary of the petition was physically present in the United States on December 21, 2000.

The individual does not have to show that he was physically present in the United States on December 21, 2000 if his immigrant petition was filed on or before January 14, 1998 or if the individual is a derivative beneficiary, not the principal immigrant in the petition.  

We have successfully assisted clients who have been undocumented in the United States for decades to obtain their green cards based on Section 245(i).

Mr. Perez becomes a Permanent Resident after 24 years in the U.S. [i]

Mr. Perez’s case is in point to illustrate the benefits of Section 245(i) for immigrants in the United States.

Mr. Perez has been without lawful immigration status in the United States for twenty four years.  He entered the U.S. without inspection.  He was petitioned by his former wife in 1997, who also petitioned one of Mr. Perez’s children who lived overseas.  Mr. Perez’s son immigrated to the United States and eventually became a U.S. citizen.  Unfortunately, Mr. Perez could not become a permanent resident at the time. 

However, Mr. Perez continued working in the United States and paying his federal and state income taxes.  He never lost hope of becoming a permanent resident and retained us to explore his immigration options in 2014. 

Mr. Perez became a permanent resident a few weeks ago when his green card application was approved.  With our assistance, Mr. Perez’s son—a U.S. citizen—submitted a family petition on his behalf and Mr. Perez submitted his application to become a permanent resident based on his son’s petition and the previous petition submitted by his former wife. 

Under Section 245(i), Mr. Perez was able to become a permanent resident because of the immigrant petition submitted by his son and the immigrant petition submitted by his former wife in 1997.  Because the petition submitted by his former wife was submitted before January 14, 1998, Mr. Perez did not have to prove his physical presence in the U.S. on December 21, 2000. 

Mr. Perez’s success in obtaining his green card using Section 245(i) is just one example of how many immigrants can take advantage of this Section 245(i).  However, given the complexities involved in applying for permanent residence using Section 245(i), getting assistance from a qualified immigration attorney is crucial.

This article is intended to provide general information and not legal advice. If you think that you or someone you know could benefit from Section 245(i), then you may want to contact an attorney for further information. Our office, located at 2 Wall Street in New York, New York has many qualified attorneys eager to assist in every type of immigration matter.

Please feel free to contact our office in New York, NY at (212) 344-3800 if you are interested in scheduling a consultation. We are here to help.