The Road from NACARA to Legal Permanent Resident
Posted by: ScottMond Law Firm
December 20, 2011
Topic: Permanent Resident
The road from Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (“NACARA”) eligibility to becoming an actual U.S. Permanent Resident is riddled with legal challenges and complexities. This short article will focus on the last major hurdle of the process. That is…where a client is placed in Removal Proceedings, files an application for NACARA and is then left in a holding pattern still awaiting their Legal Permanent Resident Status card.
Generally, NACARA states that Nicaraguans, Cubans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, nationals of former Soviet bloc countries and their dependents are able to become legal permanent residents of the United States provided that they were registered asylums seekers who stayed in the United States for at least 5 years since December 1, 1995. Some conditions regulate this clause. (WikiPedia). Some individuals are only eligible for NACARA if they are placed in legal removal proceedings in front of a U.S. Immigration Judge. The determination of who can file NACARA and where is a complex immigration analysis which requires an experienced attorney.
The good news is that an Immigration judge has the power to grant NACARA once a foreign national is referred to proceedings. Once a foreign national applicant is granted NACARA, the question often arises, “when will my Permanent Resident card (Green Card) arrive and my status be official?”
If you or a loved one has this concern, it is important to know that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services-Texas Service Center (“TSC”) is the office that receipts these applications. Maintaining a copy of this receipt in your own personal records is essential. The file has to be moved from the Executive Office of Immigration Review (i.e. litigation) back to the Enforcement and Removal Office (“ERO”). Once the file is received back in ERO, then the government has thirty days to transfer it back to USCIS. USCIS will stamp the passport and issue the Permanent Resident Green Card. When this occurs, the case is finally closed and a NACARA applicant will finally be a Legal U.S. Permanent Resident. Following up with Infopasses may be helpful, but ensuring you or your attorney is staying in touch with the TSC will help the process move forward in a timely manner.
ScottMond Law Firm