Amnesty and NACARA

The US government provides relief for nationals from Cuba and Nicaragua who have resided in the U.S continuously since December 1, 1995 or earlier, and who face deportation, now known as "removal".

Under NACARA, the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act, nationals who have lived no more than 180 total days outside the U.S. since 12/1/95 may be eligible for permanent residence.

Please Note: Before leaving office, President Clinton signed into law the LIFE Act, or the Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act Amendments. This law will benefit many immigrants who were previously ineligible to adjust their status to permanent U.S. resident.

The LIFE Act benefits those who have entered the U.S. illegally, worked in the U.S. illegally, or overstayed their temporary visas illegally but are otherwise eligible to apply for a green card, through family, employment, investment in a US business, etc.

As long as these immigrants can prove they were in the U.S. on the date of the bill's signing (December 21, 2000), they may submit a petition to adjust their status to permanent resident until April 30, 2001. Previously the law, called Section 245(i), applied only to those who had submitted their petitions on or before January 14, 1998.

The law requires these new applicants to pay a $1,000 filing penalty with their application.

NACARA also allows certain nationals from Guatemala, El Salvador and the former Soviet Bloc countries to apply for a stay of removal if they have been continuously present in the U.S. for at least seven years and applied for asylum by specific deadline dates in 1990 and 1991.


  • Czechoslovakia
  • East Germany
  • Estonia
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • The Soviet Union
  • Yugoslavia



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