Amnesty: Temporary to Permanent


If you are a lawful, temporary resident under the legalization program, this may be the time for you to apply for lawful permanent status.

If your temporary resident card Form I-688 says 210 on the front, you became a temporary resident because you qualified as a special agricultural worker and, in that case, your status will be automatically changed to permanent resident by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. However, you must go to the INS office and file a Form I-90 to obtain your green card.

The law governing SAW applications has been changed so that you may not have been convicted of any felony or three or more misdemeanors in the United States. The terms felony and misdemeanor are defined by immigration law rather than state law. It is very important that you consult with both a criminal attorney and an attorney knowledgeable about immigration issues before you plead to any criminal charge.

The following information applies to you only if you became a temporary resident because you were in the United States unlawfully prior to January 1, 1982, and your temporary resident card says 245A on the front.

There is a deadline for filing your application for permanent status. The deadline was extended with the enactment of the Immigration Act of 1990. The period during which you can apply for adjustment of status from lawful temporary resident to lawful permanent resident is the two year period beginning with the 19th month that begins after the date you are granted temporary resident status. An additional fee will be charged for filing an application for adjustment after the first year of this two year period. If you fail to apply during the two year period, you will lose the right to apply and will become subject to deportation proceedings.

Your application form I-698 must be mailed with the filing fee and photographs to the appropriate regional processing facility of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and not to the local district office of INS.

If the medical examination you had previously did not include a blood test for HIV or AIDS, then you must have another medical exam to test for AIDS.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service will schedule an appointment for you to go to a local legalization office for a personal interview. At that time, you will be required to establish that you have a minimal understanding of English and a knowledge and understanding of the government and history of the United States.

Remember, this is very general information and should not be used to plan your case. Please seek the advice of an attorney who specializes in this area of law.