A section of the immigration law enables certain individuals who have been present in the U.S. since January 1, 1972 the ability to apply for Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR or Green Card). They may do so even if they are currently in the U.S. unlawfully.
Eligibility: You may be eligible to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) under the registry provisions if you meet the following criteria:
- You entered the United States prior to January 1, 1972
- You have resided in the United States continuously since January 1, 1972
- You are a person of good moral character
- You are not ineligible for naturalization (citizenship)
- You are not removable (deportable) under for certain terrorist activities (as set forth in Section 237(a)(4)(B) the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)) and are not inadmissible due to participation in certain Nazi persecutions or genocide (as set forth in Section 212(a)(3)(E) of the INA) or as a criminal, procurer, other immoral person, subversive, violator of the narcotics laws or alien smuggler
- Any person who has failed to appear at a removal hearing, or who fails to depart after agreeing to voluntary departure is ineligible for registry for a period of ten years