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Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness

Enacted on Dec. 20, 2019, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 included a provision, Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF), which provides an opportunity for certain Liberian nationals and their spouses, unmarried children under 21 years old, and unmarried sons and daughters 21 years old or older living in the United States who meet the eligibility requirements to obtain lawful permanent resident status (receive Green Cards). For more information on LRIF, see the USCIS Policy Manual - Volume 7, Adjustment of Status, Part P, Other Adjustment Programs, Chapter 5, Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (PDF, 344.44 KB).

This page provides specific information for Liberian nationals in the United States who want to apply for a Green Card (adjust status) based on LRIF. Applicants should also read the Special Instructions for Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Applicants and the Instructions for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status before they apply.

Eligibility for Adjustment of Status

In order to be eligible for lawful permanent residence under LRIF, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You properly complete and file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, by Dec. 20, 2020, and we receive your application by Dec. 20, 2020;
  • You are a national of Liberia;
  • You have been continuously physically present in the United States during the period beginning on Nov. 20, 2014, and ending on the date you properly file your Form I-485; and
  • You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief.

You are not eligible for adjustment of status under LRIF if you have:

  • Been convicted of any aggravated felony;
  • Been convicted of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude (other than a purely political offense); or
  • Ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Liberian National Requirement

If you are applying as a national of Liberia, you must submit evidence of being a Liberian national. Examples of evidence that demonstrate Liberian nationality include but are not limited to:                  

  • Unexpired Liberian passport; or
  • Liberian certificate of naturalization.

Continuous Physical Presence Beginning on Nov. 20, 2014, through Filing of Form I-485

To be eligible for a Green Card based on LRIF, you must have been continuously physically present in the United States during the period beginning on Nov. 20, 2014, and ending on the date you properly file your Form I-485. See the Special Instructions for Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Applicants (PDF, 254.5 KB) for examples of evidence to demonstrate continuous physical presence.

Aliens will be considered to have maintained continuous physical presence if their absences from the United States amount to not more than 180 days in the aggregate (total).

Evidence of Arrivals and Departures

You must provide a list and evidence of all arrivals to and departures from the United States before Nov. 20, 2014, until the date you file Form I-485. Provide any evidence showing residence in the United States from the date(s) you arrived and established residence until the date you file this application. If USCIS approves your application, the date of lawful permanent residence will be recorded as either the earliest arrival date in the United States from which you can establish you have been a resident in the United States, or Nov. 20, 2014 (if you cannot establish an earlier arrival date). 

Grounds of Inadmissibility

To qualify for a Green Card, you must be admissible to the United States. Reasons why you may be inadmissible are listed in INA 212(a) and are called grounds of inadmissibility.

In general, USCIS can only approve your Green Card application if none of the relevant grounds of inadmissibility apply to you, or if you obtain a waiver of inadmissibility for any ground that applies to you. If you are applying for a Green Card based on LRIF, all of the grounds of inadmissibility apply to you except for:

If you are inadmissible, the law may allow you to apply for a waiver or other form of relief that can overcome the ground of inadmissibility. You may apply for a waiver or other form of relief by using Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, and Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal. If your waiver or request for another form of relief is granted, USCIS may approve your application for a Green Card if you are otherwise eligible.

Whether a waiver or other form of relief is available depends on the specific inadmissibility ground(s) that applies to you. Eligibility requirements for waivers and other forms of relief vary. For information on the grounds of inadmissibility and waivers, please see USCIS Policy Manual Volume 8, Admissibility, and Volume 9, Waivers.

How to Apply

In order to be eligible to adjust your status based on LRIF, you must be currently in the United States, have been continuously physically present during the period beginning on Nov. 20, 2014, and meet certain other requirements. If you meet these requirements, you may file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to apply for a Green Card based on LRIF. You may not apply for adjustment of status based on LRIF after Dec. 20, 2020. Applicants should read the Special Instructions for Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Applicants (PDF, 254.5 KB) and the Instructions for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (PDF, 539.23 KB) before they apply.

Note: On your Form I-485, in Part 2, you must choose “Other Eligibility” under Item Number 8.e. In the text box, write “LRIF” to indicate that you are applying to adjust as a Liberian national applicant. If you are applying as a family member of an LRIF-eligible Liberian national, write “LRIF family member” in the text box.

Family Members

Eligibility Criteria for Family Members

You are eligible to apply for a Green Card as a family member based on LRIF if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are currently the spouse, unmarried child under 21, or unmarried son or daughter 21 years old or older of a Liberian national who meets the requirements of LRIFand has applied for lawful permanent residence based on LRIF;
  • You properly file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, by Dec. 20, 2020, and we receive your application by Dec. 20, 2020; and
  • You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief.

The same bars to adjustment and inadmissibility grounds apply to family members as that apply to Liberian nationals applying for adjustment based on LRIF also apply to their family members.

What to Submit

You should read the Special Instructions for Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Applicants (PDF, 254.5 KB) and the Instructions for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (PDF, 539.23 KB) before you apply. In addition to the evidence listed in the main Form I-485 instructions, if you are applying as a family member based on LRIF, you must also submit evidence that establishes:

  • Your relationship to an LRIF-eligible Liberian national (for example, marriage certificate or birth certificate);
  • Termination of all your prior marriages, and all prior marriages of the LRIF-eligible Liberian national, if applicable; and
  • All your arrivals to and departures from the United States.

Evidence of Arrivals and Departures

You must provide evidence and a list of all arrivals to and departures from the United States before your last arrival. Provide any evidence showing residence from the date(s) of your arrival when residence was established until the date you filed this application. If USCIS approves your application, the date of lawful permanent residence will be recorded as either the earliest arrival date in the United States from which you can establish you have been a resident in the United States, or the receipt date of your Form I-485 (if you cannot establish an earlier arrival date). 

Employment Authorization

When you have a pending Form I-485 based on LRIF, you may apply for employment authorization by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

Note: If you are applying for adjustment of status based on LRIF, enter (c)(9) as your eligibility category when completing Part 2, Item 27 of Form I-765.

For further information, see our Employment Authorization page.

Legal Reference

For more information, see the following:

Sec. 7611. Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020  (PDF), pages 1112-1115.

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