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Current immigration law contains a provision called “registry” that allows certain non-citizens who are long-term residents of the United States, but who are either undocumented or present in the country under some sort of temporary immigration status, to “register” for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status. In order to qualify, individuals must have entered the country on or before a specified date (known as the “registry date”) and must demonstrate good moral character and continuous residence since their entry. After its creation in 1929, Congress advanced the registry date four times, most recently in 1986, when the date was set at January 1, 1972—meaning that only non-citizens who entered the United States by that date are eligible to apply for LPR status through registry. This date is now so far in the past that few individuals are eligible.

Current Eligibility Requirements for Registry

Registry applicants do not need a U.S. petitioner, medical exam, or financial affidavit of support. Under current law, an individual without a record of lawful admission for permanent residence qualifies for registry.  Apply for a Green Card through Registry if you meet the following requirements:

  • entered the United States prior to January 1, 1972
  • maintained continuous residence in the United States since his or her entry
  • is physically present in the United States at the time he or she files the application
  • is a person of good moral character
  • is not inadmissible to the United States under certain grounds (such as having been convicted of certain crimes) or is not eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief
  • is not ineligible for citizenship or deportable under terrorist-related grounds
  • merits the favorable exercise of discretion
  • submits an adjustment of status application (Form I-485), together with the appropriate fee, to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Supporting Evidence for Form I-485

To qualify for Green Card through Registry, you should submit the following evidence with your Form I-485:

  • Two passport-style photos
  • Copy of government issued photo identification
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of passport page with nonimmigrant visa (if applicable)
  • Copy of passport page with admission (entry) stamp (if applicable)
  • Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record (if applicable)
  • Evidence that you entered the United States prior to Jan. 1, 1972
  • Evidence to establish continuous residence since entry

Note: An individual applying under the registry provisions is not required to undergo a medical exam.

For more information on Green Card through Registry,

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