Green Card for a Lautenberg Parolee

A provision of the Lautenberg Amendment to the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act previously allowed certain religious minorities from the former Soviet Union, Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania who were denied refugee status and subsequently paroled into the United States on a humanitarian basis to apply for lawful permanent resident status (Green Card) after acquiring one year of physical presence in the United States, without regard to visa availability.

This provision expired after Sept. 30, 2011 and USCIS announced in July 2011 that it had stopped authorizing parole for new applicants under the program to ensure that all individuals who were authorized parole under this program would be able to travel to the United States by the deadline. Though the Lautenberg program was later renewed by Congress, USCIS, as a matter of policy, has not re-started the parole program. Individuals who had been offered parole under this provision were required to arrive in the United States by Sept. 30, 2011, though this deadline to travel was later extended to September 30, 2012. 

Eligibility Criteria

You may be eligible to apply for a Green Card (permanent residence) as a Lautenberg parolee if:

  • You are or were a national of the former Soviet Union
  • You were inspected and paroled into the United States as a Lautenberg parolee
  • You have been physically present in the United States for at least 1 year
  • You must be physically present in the United States at the time of filling
  • You are admissible to the United States

Application Process

To apply for a Green Card, you will need to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Supporting Evidence for Form I-485

The following evidence should be submitted with Form I-485:

  • Two passport-style photos
  • Copy of government issued photo identification
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of passport page with parole stamp
  • Form I-693,  Report of Medical Exam and Vaccination Record
  • Copy of Form I-94, Entry/Exit Record
  • Evidence of former or current Soviet nationality
  • Evidence of denied refugee status (This may already be in your immigration file but you may submit copies of any document you have to establish your eligibility)
  • Applicable fees
  • Certified copies of court records (if you have ever been arrested)

Work and Travel Authorization

Generally, 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 Employment Authorization Document and Travel Documents pages.

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