Green Card for a Haitian Refugee
Under the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA), enacted by Congress on October 21, 1998, certain nationals of Haiti who had been residing in the United States could become permanent residents (get a green card). Principal applicants wishing to apply for permanent residence under HRIFA had until March 31, 2000 to file for adjustment of status.
Although the filing period has closed for principal applicants, dependents of the principal filer may continue to apply for a green card under the HRIFA provisions.
You may be eligible to get a green card through the HRIFA provisions if you:
Eligibility as “Spouse” of HRIFA Principal Applicant
You may qualify as a dependent applicant if you meet the eligibility criteria above and you are the spouse of a principal applicant. Your relationship to the principal applicant must have been created prior to the date on which the principal applicant becomes or became a permanent resident.
Eligibility as “Child” of HRIFA Principal Applicant
You may qualify as a dependant applicant if you meet the eligibility criteria above and you are the “child” of a principal applicant. You must be unmarried and under the age of 21 in order to qualify as the principal applicant’s “child.” Your relationship to the principal applicant must have been created prior to the date on which the principal applicant becomes a permanent resident.
Please also be aware that you will become ineligible for permanent residence as the “child” of a principal applicant if your case is not decided before your 21st birthday. If you are approaching your 21st birthday, please file your Application for Adjustment of Status, Form I-485, as soon as possible and write “expedite” on your mailing envelope and application form.
Eligibility as “Unmarried Son or Daughter” of HRIFA Principal Applicant
You may qualify as a dependant applicant if you meet the eligibility criteria above and you are the unmarried son or daughter (over the age of 21) of a principal applicant. To apply as the unmarried son or daughter, you must have been physically present in the United States for a continuous period beginning not later than December 1, 1995, and continuing until your adjustment application is approved. Your relationship to the principal applicant must have been created prior to the date on which the principal applicant becomes or became a permanent resident.
To apply for a green card, you will need to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. You will need to use the HRIFA Supplement to Form I-485 Instructions, I-485 Supplement C, to help you complete the application.
Supporting Evidence for the Form I-485
The following evidence should be submitted with Form I-485:
NOTE: When completing your application for adjustment, you must check Block H in part 2 of the Form I-485 and write in whichever category is appropriate in the space provided: HRIFA Dependent – Spouse; HRIFA Dependent -Child under 21 years old; HRIFA Dependent – Unmarried son or daughter.
Work & Travel Authorization
You may request authorization to work in the United States if your Form I-485 application has been pending for more than 180 days. However, work authorization may be granted earlier if your application for adjustment of status is supported by evidence that is verified by USCIS from its records. To learn more about work authorization, including how to apply, see our Work Authorization.
You may also request travel authorization while your Form I-485 is pending. You must file a request for advance parole authorization with USCIS and have that request approved prior to travel or your Form I-485 will be considered abandoned at the time of your departure from the United States. To learn more about Travel Authorization please visit our Travel Documents page.
If you are a principal applicant filing a Request for Advance Parole, Form I-131, for a dependent child outside of the United States, please file as early as possible. The request for advance parole must be processed and the travel document issued in a sufficient amount of time to allow:
Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/22/2011