Who is eligible? On June 1, 2001 the BCIS (formerly INS) published interim regulations implementing the legalization and family unity provisions of the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act, also known as the LIFE Act.
Under the LIFE Act, if you are already a party to one of three class-action lawsuits (LULAC, Zambrano, or CSS) and have previously applied for a work permit, you have been granted another year to apply for legalization under the 1986 amnesty law.
Where can I apply? Class members may apply within the US or from abroad. However, the new rules suggest applicants from abroad will not be permitted to enter the US while their applications are pending.
What is the application period? The LIFE Act application period runs from June 1, 2001 thru May 31, 2002.
Can I work and travel if I apply within the US? While your legalization application is pending,if you are prima facie eligible for legalization, you may be entitled to work and travel authorization, as long as you file an application for such authorization along with the legalization application.
What are the requirements for legalization?
(1) You are eligible for legalization (you can demonstrate proof of having lived in the US between January 1, 1982 thru May 4, 1988, eg pay stubs, utility bills, postmarked letters,BCIS (formerly INS) legal documents under the class-action lawsuits)
(2) You have not been convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors
(3) You were continuously present in the US between November 6, 1988 and May 4, 1988 except for "brief, casual and innocent departures"
(4) You can demonstrate basic US citizenship skills (ie knowledge of English and US government skills) or are pursuing a nationally-recognized course to acquire these skills
(5) You filed papers with the BCIS (formerly INS) asking for a work permit and stay of deportation under CSS, LULAC or Zambrano. Whether or not you were denied a work permit is immaterial, but you must have filed papers requesting benefits under one of the three cases.
Filing fee: self-filing is $300 plus $25 for fingerprinting. If you require the services of an attorney, please contact our offices to inquire about additional fees.
INStructions for filing (INS website) : http://www.INS.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/i-485d.htm
Filing forms (INS website): http://www.INS.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/
Family Unity Program: Benefits for Spouses and Children
Under the LIFE Act, spouses and children of legalization applicants may remain in the US if they:
(1) are the spouse or unmarried child under 21 years of age of a person eligible for legalization
(2) entered the US before December 1, 1988 and have resided in the US since that time
(3) are now in the US
Please note: the rules governing legalization procedures under LIFE Act are subject to change. Please bookmark this page for updates or contact our offices.
N.B.: Much of the information on this page was obtained through the website of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law.