Policy Update: Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF)
USCIS has expanded its guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual about Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) to clarify steps applicants must take if they cannot submit primary evidence of Liberian nationality to support an LRIF-based application for adjustment of status. The deadline to apply to adjust status under LRIF is Dec. 20, 2021.
At the time of this update, the Department of State’s Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country for Liberia webpage indicates that primary evidence is available. Examples of primary evidence include, but are not limited to, an unexpired Liberian passport or Liberian certificate of naturalization. However, if an applicant cannot provide primary evidence at the time of filing (for example, if they have applied for but have not yet received primary evidence), they must demonstrate this. The best way to do this is to submit a written and signed statement that explains their attempts to acquire primary evidence and includes accompanying records demonstrating these attempts (for example, proof of an application for a Liberian passport, proof of an application to renew an expired Liberian passport, proof of communication with the Liberian government authorities responsible for issuing primary evidence, or receipts of transactions to obtain primary evidence).
In addition to this statement (and any evidence supporting this statement), applicants must also provide secondary evidence of Liberian nationality. The policy manual guidance includes examples of secondary evidence that may support an applicant’s claim of Liberian nationality. These examples include, but are not limited to, expired Liberian passports, Liberian baptismal records or other religious documents, Liberian school records, and Liberian medical records.
USCIS strongly encourages applicants to submit any and all evidence available to them when applying for LRIF. USCIS will consider any and all evidence provided by the applicant, including the applicant’s testimony during an interview, when determining eligibility for adjustment of status.
Under Section 7611 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020, certain Liberian nationals are eligible for permanent resident status (a Green Card). The spouses, unmarried children under 21, and unmarried sons and daughters 21 or older of eligible Liberian nationals who are principal applicants also may be eligible for Green Cards.
Find the updated guidance at USCIS Policy Manual - Volume 7: Adjustment of Status, Part P, Other Adjustment Programs, Chapter 5, Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness. Visit the Policy Manual for Comment page to comment on this update.
Important Reminder of Upcoming Filing Deadline Dec. 20, 2021.
USCIS strongly encourages any applicant who may be eligible to permanently adjust status under LRIF to submit a properly filed Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, well before Dec. 20, 2021, the statutory deadline. USCIS must receive a properly filed application on or before Dec. 20, 2021. It should include, at minimum, the applicant’s signature and the correct fee. If USCIS does not receive an application by Dec. 20, then the application is outside of the statutory filing window, even if it is postmarked Dec. 20 or earlier. Applicants should allow plenty of time for mailing.
Upcoming LRIF Engagement
On Nov. 17, USCIS will host another LRIF national stakeholder engagement. You can find information about this engagement on our website at Upcoming National Engagements.