Humanitairian & Special Immigration Programs

Humanitarian & Special Immigration Programs

The last comprehensive legalization program had a filing deadline of sunsent on April 20, 2001.  In general, section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allowed an otherwise admissible alien who has an immediately available immigrant visa to apply for adjustment of status upon payment of a $1,000 surcharge, even though the alien entered the United States without inspection in violation of section 245(a) or is barred by section 245(c) of the Act.  While this program entered many years ago, many people may still be able to benefit throught the concept of gradfathering.  Grandfathering 245(i) is available to a person (and possibly his immediate family members) if an immigrant petition or labor certification was filed before the deadline of 245(i) for that foreign national and was "approvable when filed."  If this is the case, then the foreign national can adjust status, that is obtain permanent residency a.k.a. a greencard through a subsequent petition. For more about grandfathering click here .



The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.  USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States.  Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.

The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country:

  • Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
  • An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane)
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions

During a designated period, eligible individuals:

  • Are not removable from the United States
  • Cannot be detained by DHS
  • Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
  • May apply for travel authorization

LATE TPS (See 5/13/10) blog entry 

U Visa 

The U visa was created in the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, legislation intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other crimes while, at the same time, offering protection to victims of such crimes.

U nonimmigrant status is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse as a result of the criminal activity and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. Congress limited the amount of available U visas to 10,000 per fiscal year.



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