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Green Card Through Registry

Registry is a section of immigration law that enables certain individuals who have been present in the United States since January 1, 1972 the ability to apply for a green card (permanent residence), even if they are currently in the United States unlawfully.

Eligibility Criteria

You may be eligible to receive a green card (permanent residence) under the registry provisions if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • You entered the United States prior to January 1, 1972
  • You have resided in the United States continuously since January 1, 1972
  • You are a person of good moral character
  • You are not ineligible for naturalization (citizenship)
  • You are not removable (deportable) under Section 237(a)(4)(B) the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). You are not inadmissible under Section 212(a)(3)(E) of the INA or as a criminal, procurer, other immoral person, subversive, violator of the narcotics laws or alien smuggler

Application Process

To apply for a green card under the registry provisions, you need to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Supporting Evidence for Form I-485

You should submit the following evidence with your Form I-485:

  • Two passport-style photos
  •  Form G-325A, Biographic Information, if you are between 14 and 79 years of age
  • Copy of government issued photo identification
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of passport page with nonimmigrant visa (if applicable)
  • Copy of passport page with admission (entry) stamp (if applicable)
  • Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record (if applicable)
  • Evidence that you entered the United States prior to January 1, 1972
  • Evidence to establish continuous residence since entry

Note: An individual applying under the registry provisions is not required to undergo a medical exam.

Work & Travel Authorization

When you have a pending Form I-485, it is possible for you to apply for authorization to work in the United States and to seek advance parole (advance permission to travel and be admitted to the United States upon your return). For further information, see our Work Authorization and Travel Documents pages. 

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/23/2011