New policies in the U.S. immigration system have now made it possible for qualifying Liberian immigrants to apply for a green card and begin their path to permanent U.S. residency. As North Carolina’s premier immigration lawyers, we’re uniquely qualified to assist with Liberian refugee immigration laws, regulations, and policies– and we have the resources to help your family make full use of the benefits of this new provision.


With the right guidance from a qualified team of immigration law experts, the path to citizenship and naturalization for current Liberian refugees can now be navigated swiftly and efficiently, giving your family the security and peace of mind it deserves after what may have been years of waiting in limbo. In order to understand just how this provision may affect you or someone you know, it’s important to understand just what it means.


Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness


While the United States did begin accepting applications for green cards from Liberian immigrants as early as November of 2014, the option of legal status as a permanent resident never truly presented itself then. While Liberians have been offered other designations like a temporary protected status during the height of unrest in their home nation, immigration policy never previously offered any simple way for Liberian refugees to shed their immigration status and become full-fledged citizens. This new provision allows Liberian immigrants that have been present in the United States since November 20, 2014– the day of the country’s Ebola outbreak– to now officially apply for permanent residence (Green Card status) without tricky terms like public charge, labor certification requirements, and document certification requirements. This provision is the first of its kind for a people that have been lobbying for immigration reform and refreshed immigration policies for decades. With an earlier large scale migration from the late 1980s to 2003 (the Deferred Enforced Departure Act) and another just a few years ago in the wake of the nation’s Ebola outbreak, several thousand Liberian immigrants and immigrant families have resided here in the United States for years, without any real clarity on what would become of them. While several groups lobbied for permanent asylum and residence here in America, President Trump’s threats to force Dreamers and immigrants in similar situations to return to their home countries or face deportation had left many unsure of what to expect from the future. This provision offers an actionable path and supplemental immigration services for Liberians that have remained lawful members of their American communities and seek to call this country home.


Fulfilling the requirements for the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Provision


As immigration lawyers, our team knows just how to help you and your family meet the complex requirements for this new provision. As of now, there are five distinct requirements for foreign nationals seeking a Green Card and adjustment of status through LRIF. Taken from the memo from the Department of Homeland Security, those requirements are as follows:


  • You properly file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status by Dec. 20, 2020;
  • You are a national of Liberia;
  • You have been continuously physically present in the United States during the period beginning on November 20, 2014, and ending on the date you properly file your Form I-485;
  • You are otherwise eligible for an immigrant visa; and
  • You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief.


It is important to note that the first requirement does have a timeline. In order to apply to become a lawful permanent resident, you must file the proper paperwork by December 20, 2020. Any legal immigrants that do not file Form I-85 by this date will not be eligible to apply to become lawful permanent residents, and as of now, there’s no clear idea as to when this opportunity may be extended again. The form can be filed at our office, under the watchful eye and guidance of attorneys skilled in both federal immigration law and immigration court proceedings. 


To get started with an application for permanent residency under this new provision, it’s important to turn to an immigration attorney you can trust. The Immigration Law Offices of Neelam Bhardwaj has provided quality legal services for the Greensboro, North Carolina area and its immigrant population for years, and all of our attorneys are uniquely qualified to help guide you through the entire process.


Living in the United States is an incredible experience, but living here as a legal, permanent resident is even better. Let an experienced immigration lawyer help you figure out how to take advantage of this recent provision before it’s too late!

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