Lawful Prospective Immigrant (LPI): Alternative to Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR- Green Card)

In response to Arizona’s strict anti-immigrant law, Senators Reid, Schumer, and Menendez introduced draft legislation which calls for illegal immigrants to receive interim “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” (LPI) status. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that there are approximately 10.8 million people currently in the United States with no legal status. Therefore, this draft legislation includes a two-phase process.

First- Phase Process

In Phase 1, eligible applicants, including individuals on Temporary Protected Status and other statuses, will be registered, fingerprinted, screened, and considered for an interim “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” (LPI) status that allows them to work and to travel outside of the United States.

Second- Phase Process

In Phase 2, which will take place in eight years after current visa backlogs have cleared, LPIs who have fulfilled all additional statutory requirements will be permitted to petition for adjustment to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status.

Specifically, to be eligible for initial registration for the legalization program and interim status as an LPI, each individual must:

  1. complete an application supplying basic biographic and biometric information;
  2. pass terrorism, criminal history, and other security checks;
  3. pay all applicable fees, civil penalties, and taxes; and
  4. have been continuously present in the United States since the date of enactment.

Such persons will not be eligible for registration if they:

  1. have been convicted of any felony offense under Federal or State law (all offenses punishable with a term of imprisonment greater than one year), or three or more misdemeanors;
  2. have participated in the persecution of others;
  3. are inadmissible under certain provisions of INA 212(a), particularly with regard to national security grounds and criminal grounds;
  4. are currently present in the U.S. in an authorized immigrant or nonimmigrant status; or
  5. have entered illegally after the date of introduction of the bill.

After eight (8) years, individuals who have been granted LPI status will be permitted to apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence (LPR- Green Card), provided that they can demonstrate that they meet criteria related to:

  1. basic citizenship skills;
  2. English language skills;
  3. continuous residence in the U.S.;
  4. updated terrorism, criminal history, and other checks;
  5. payment of all federal income taxes, fees, and civil penalties; and
  6. registration for Selective Service.

This draft legislation will allow all individuals without proper documentation that are currently present in the United States to apply for some type of immigrant status. Additionally, this draft legislation would eliminate congested immigration courts and provide family unity among the immigrant community.

For more information, please call our law office or visit our website at