What is the 7-Year Rule For Immigration?

Your Options After Living in the United States For Seven Years

The United States has many options for non-permanent immigrants to become permanent residents. Another new option was recently (the time of writing) introduced to the House of Representatives – H.R. 1511: Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act of 1929. The popular nickname for this act is the 7-Year Rule. If passed, this bill will expand the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to grant lawful permanent resident status to people in the United States.

For those unfamiliar with the new 7-Year Rule, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty, LLC will break it down. This potential law is something all immigrants should be aware of and stay up to date on because it can have significant positive effects on their immigration status. For more information about updating or defending your immigration status, contact the immigration law attorneys at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty, LLC today.

What Does the 7-Year Rule Do?

If passed, the 7-Year Rule would allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to upgrade the immigration status for more people in the United States. Currently, the department can do this for some immigrants but in a smaller number of circumstances. This program is called the Registry Program.

The program is used for eligible non-U.S. citizens – or aliens under federal law. Aliens have to have entered the United States before January 1st, 1972. This bill would remove that restriction to include aliens who entered the country after January 1st, 1972.

More importantly, aliens who have been residents in the United States for seven years have greater eligibility for obtaining an upgrade to their immigration status.

Who is a Qualified Alien?

In immigration law, non-citizens can commonly be referred to as “aliens.” To be a qualified alien, an immigrant must meet one of several criteria, as set by the DHS, and reported by the Social Security Administration (SSA):

  • “Lawfully admitted for permanent residence (LAPR) in the U.S.”
  • “Granted conditional entry pursuant to section 203(a)(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as in effect prior to 4/1/80 (SI 00502.100B).”
  • “Paroled into the U.S. under section 212(d)(5) of the INA for a period of at least 1 year (SI 00502.100B).”
  • “A refugee admitted to the U.S. under section 207 of the INA (SI 00502.100B.).”
  • “Granted asylum under section 208 of the INA (SI 00502.100B.)”
  • “An alien whose deportation is being withheld under section 243(h) of the INA as in effect prior to 4/1/97, or whose removal has been withheld under section 241(b)(3) of the INA (SI 00502.100B).”
  • “An alien who is a “Cuban/Haitian entrant” under 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 or in a status that is to be treated as a “Cuban/Haitian entrant” for SSI purposes (SI 00502.100B and SI 00502.108B).”

Who is a Deemed Qualified Alien?

If your parent is considered a qualified alien, and you immigrated with them when you were a minor, you would be considered a “deemed qualified alien.” The distinction is that you did not have the agency to make an immigration decision, which can be beneficial should your immigration status come into question.

How Will the 7-Year Rule Affect Your Immigration Status?

If this bill passes and you have been a resident in the United States for over seven years, there will potentially be a new path to permanent residency in the U.S. This could relieve the stress and worry of having to get your green card renewed and proving to the court that you deserve to live here.

The DHS will not grant permanent residency status to every immigrant who is eligible under the 7-Year Rule, but having more opportunities can only help immigrants across the country.

Contact the Attorneys at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty, LLC for Help With Your Immigration Status

Not everyone has the time to wait for the 7-Year Rule to be passed. If you require legal help updating your immigration status, you should contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty, LLC for assistance. We have the experience you need to help you protect your residency in the U.S. or that of a family member. Don’t hesitate to reach out today.

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