Little know to many immigrants, is the fact that there are also a number of special options available currently in the law to get a green card. They include: The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program; the Cuban Adjustment Act; dependent status based on the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA); the Lautenberg parole option; as an American Indian born in Canada; as a person born in the United States to a foreign diplomat and as a Section 13 diplomat.
1: The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program or Green Card Lottery as its commonly called is one option that Donald Trump wants eliminated through The RAISE Act (Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment). Currently, nationals from countries with low migration to the US, have an option to enter the lottery each year through the State Department run program for a chance at one of 50,000 green cards and legal residency in the US.
2: The Cuban Adjustment Act of 1996 (CAA) provides for a special procedure under which Cuban natives or citizens and their accompanying spouses and children may get a green card (permanent residence). The CAA gives the Attorney General the discretion to grant permanent residence to Cuban natives or citizens applying for a green card if: they have been present in the United States for at least 1 year; they have been admitted or parole and they are admissible as immigrants. Additionally, a Cuban native or citizen who arrives at a place other than an open port-of-entry may still be eligible for a green card if USCIS has paroled the individual into the United States.
3: Under the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA), enacted by Congress on October 21, 1998, certain nationals of Haiti who had been residing in the United States got permanent residency through 2000. Today, the spouse or children under the age of 21 of the beneficiary may continue to apply for a green card under the HRIFA provisions as long as they are a national of Haiti, are admissible to the United States or have been continuously present in the United States since December 31, 1995 and are physically present in the United States when the application is filed.
4: The Lautenberg Parolee option to obtain a green card applies to immigrants who are or were a national of the former Soviet Union; was inspected and paroled into the United States as a Lautenberg parolee; have been physically present in the United States for at least 1 year; is admissible to the US and is physically present in the United States at the time of filling the permanent residency application.
5: American Indians born in Canada (with at least 50 percent American Indian blood) cannot be denied admission to the United States. However, if you wish to reside permanently in the United States, you must have proof of this ancestry based on your familial blood relationship to parents, grandparents, and/or great-grand parents who are or were registered members of a recognized Canadian Indian Band or U.S. Indian tribe. You cannot apply for permanent residence if your tribal membership comes through marriage or adoption.
6: A person born in the United States to a foreign diplomatic officer accredited to the United States is not subject to the jurisdiction of United States law. Therefore, that person cannot be considered a U.S. citizen at birth under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution but may, however, be considered a permanent resident at birth and able to receive a green card through creation of record. To benefit you must prove you were born in the United States to a foreign diplomat; have had residence in this country continuously since birth and have not abandoned your residence in the United States. This applies to the US-born children of ambassadors, ministers of governments, Charges D’affaires, counselors, secretaries and attaches of embassies and legations and members of the delegation of the Commission of the European Communities.
7: Finally, the law allows for a diplomat who has compelling reasons why they or their immediate family member are unable to return to the country which accredited them as a diplomat and can prove their adjustment of status would be in the national interest of the US, to apply for a green card. It is ironically called Section 13 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and is an option for diplomats who entered the United States as an A-1, A-2, G-1, or G-2 nonimmigrant, is or a good moral character and would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the United States.
Look out for the final Option – #8 – next week, in the 8 Ways To Get A Green Card In Trump’s America series!