On June 29, 2017 the BIA announced in an unpublished decision (In re: Alejandro GARNICA SILVA) that it recognizes the grant of U status is a form of “admission” and concludes that an alien granted U nonimmigrant status through stateside processing has been “admitted” to the United States as a lawful temporary resident, even if he never made an “entry” within the meaning of section 101(a)(13)(A) of the Act. Accordingly, U nonimmigrants are not subject to the deportability grounds found in section 237(a) of the Act.

Possible Expedited Green Card Option

Further, the effect of the BIA decision confirming what many have argued to be true under the INA provides clarity to those who are U nonimmigrants and are married to US citizens or have adult US citizen children. Individuals in this situation should contact Chapman Law Firm today to evaluate his or her current situation and consider the impact of In re: GARNICA SILVA. At best, it means that certain U nonimmigrants may apply for adjustment of status now based on an immigrant visa petition filed by the qualifying US citizen spouse or US citizen adult child, because the U nonimmigrant now is considered to have been legally admitted to the US.

Instead of waiting the required 3 year period to accrue continuous residence and file for the green card, U nonimmigrants who are married to US citizens or who have US citizen children who are 21 years old may be able to apply now.

For many U nonimmigrants who have spent time separated from their family members abroad, sometimes decades of separation, this is exciting news.

Please call Chapman Law Firm today at 336-334-0034 to discuss your eligibility for adjustment of status (i.e. lawful permanent residence obtained within the United States).