A. Purpose and Background

Since the advent of the Cold War, the United States has sought to provide international broadcasting services to countries where the free flow of information is suppressed, undeveloped, or nonexistent. United States-funded radio and other media programs have since expanded to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

On November 22, 2000, Congress amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to create a special immigrant category for certain international broadcasters. [1] See Pub. L. 106-536, 114 Stat. 2560 (November 22, 2000). The law provides for up to 100 employment-based fourth preference special immigrant visas per fiscal year [2] This annual visa limit applies only to principal special immigrant broadcasters and not to any spouses and children who apply as derivative applicants. See Section 1(b)(1) of Pub. L. 106-536, 114 Stat. 2560, 2560 (November 22, 2000). See INA 203(b)(4). See 8 CFR 204.13(b)(2). for principal immigrants entering the United States to work for the International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) or a grantee of the BBG. [3] BBG grantee means Radio Free Asia, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc., and Middle East Broadcasting Networks. See 8 CFR 204.13. See Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2003, Pub. L. 108-11, 117 Stat. 559, 562 (April 16, 2003).

B. Legal Authorities

INA 101(a)(27)(M) – Broadcaster employees

INA 203(b)(4) – Certain special immigrants

INA 245; 8 CFR 245Adjustment of status of nonimmigrant to that of person admitted for permanent residence

8 CFR 204.13 – How can the International Broadcasting Bureau of the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors petition for a fourth preference special immigrant broadcaster?

C. Eligibility Requirements [4] See 8 CFR 204.13.

To adjust to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status as a special immigrant broadcaster, an applicant must meet the eligibility requirements shown in the table below. [5] See INA 245(a) and INA 245(c). See 8 CFR 245. See Instructions to Form I-485.

Special Immigrant Broadcaster

Adjustment of Status Eligibility Requirements

The applicant has been inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled into the United States.

The applicant is physically present in the United States at the time of filing and adjudication of an adjustment application.

The applicant is eligible to receive an immigrant visa because the applicant is the beneficiary of an approved Form I-360 classifying him or her as a special immigrant broadcaster.

The applicant had an immigrant visa immediately available when he or she filed the adjustment of status application [6] See Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 3, Filing Instructions, Section B, Definition of “Properly Filed” [7 USCIS-PM A.3(B)]. and at the time of final adjudication. [7] See Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 6, Adjudicative Review, Section C, Verify Visa Availability [7 USCIS-PM A.6(C)]. For information on Visa Availability and Priority Dates, see the DOS Visa Bulletin.

The applicant is not subject to any applicable bars to adjustment of status. [8] See INA 245(c). See Part B, 245(a) Adjustment [7 USCIS-PM B].

The applicant is admissible to the United States or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief. [9] For more information, see Volume 8, Admissibility [8 USCIS-PM] and Volume 9, Waivers [9 USCIS-PM].

The applicant merits the favorable exercise of discretion. [10] See INA 245(a). For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures [7 USCIS-PM A] and Part B, 245(a) Adjustment [7 USCIS-PM B].

1. Eligibility to Receive an Immigrant Visa [11] See Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 6, Adjudicative Review [7 USCIS-PM A.6] and Part B, 245(a) Adjustment, Chapter 2, Eligibility Requirements, Section C, Eligible to Receive an Immigrant Visa [7 USCIS-PM B.2(C)].

To be eligible to receive an immigrant visa to adjust status as a special immigrant broadcaster working for the BBG or a BBG grantee, the principal applicant must obtain such classification from USCIS by filing a Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Form I-360). [12] See Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Form I-360).

A broadcaster in this context means:

A reporter, writer, translator, editor, producer, or announcer for news broadcasts;

A host for news broadcasts, news analysis, editorial, and other broadcast features; or

A news analysis specialist. [13] See 8 CFR 204.13(a).

Foreign nationals performing purely technical or support services for the BBG or a BBG grantee do not meet the regulatory definition of a “broadcaster” for immigration purposes and therefore may not obtain classification as special immigrant broadcasters.

The approved petition contains signed and dated supplemental attestation from the BBG or a BBG grantee, describing the prospective broadcaster and the position, including the job title and a full description of the job to be performed. The attestation also includes:

The applicant’s broadcasting expertise, including how long he or she has been performing the duties that relate to the prospective position; or

A statement as to how the applicant possesses the necessary skills that make him or her qualified for the broadcasting-related position within the BBG or BBG grantee.

The foreign national may file an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) as an international broadcaster only after USCIS approves the special immigrant petition. [14] See 8 CFR 245.2(a)(2)(i)(B). Special immigrant broadcasters may not file the adjustment application concurrently with the petition.

Verifying the Underlying Basis to Adjust Status and Determining Ongoing Eligibility [15] For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 6, Adjudicative Review [7 USCIS-PM A.6].

The special immigrant broadcaster petition should already be adjudicated and approved when the officer adjudicates the adjustment application. USCIS does not re-adjudicate the special immigrant broadcaster petition at the time of the adjudication of the adjustment application. However, the officer should ensure that the applicant remains classified as a special immigrant broadcaster and thus is eligible to adjust as a special immigrant broadcaster. As a result, there may be instances when USCIS may require the applicant to provide additional evidence to show he or she continues to be classified as a special immigrant broadcaster. In other words, the officer must verify the status of any underlying immigrant petition that forms the basis for adjustment.

2. Bars to Adjustment

Special immigrant broadcasters and their dependents are ineligible for adjustment of status if any of the bars to adjustment of status apply. [16] See INA 245(c). For more information on the bars to adjustment, see Part B, 245(a) Adjustment [7 USCIS-PM B].

3. Admissibility and Waiver Requirements

In general, an applicant who is inadmissible to the United States may only obtain LPR status if he or she obtains a waiver or other form of relief, if available. [17] See INA 212(a) for the specific grounds of inadmissibility. In general, if a ground of inadmissibility applies, an applicant must apply for a waiver or other form of relief to overcome that inadmissibility. [18] See Volume 8, Admissibility [8 USCIS-PM] and Volume 9, Waivers [9 USCIS-PM]. See Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-601) and Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal (Form I-212). If a waiver or other form of relief is granted, USCIS may approve the application to adjust status if the applicant is otherwise eligible.

The following table specifies which grounds of inadmissibility apply and which do not apply to applicants seeking LPR status based on the special immigrant broadcaster classification.

Applicability of Grounds of Inadmissibility:

Special Immigrant Broadcasters

Ground of Inadmissibility

Applies

Exempt or

Not Applicable

INA 212(a)(1) – Health-Related

X

INA 212(a)(2) – Crime-Related

X

INA 212(a)(3) Security-Related

X

INA 212(a)(4)Public Charge

X

INA 212(a)(5) Labor Certification and Qualifications for Certain Immigrants

X

INA 212(a)(6) – Illegal Entrants and Immigration Violators

X

INA 212(a)(7)(A) Documentation Requirements for Immigrants

X

INA 212(a)(8) – Ineligibility for Citizenship

X

INA 212(a)(9) Foreign Nationals Previously Removed

X

INA 212(a)(10) Practicing Polygamists, Guardians Required to Accompany Helpless Persons, International Child Abductors, Unlawful Voters, and Former Citizens who Renounced Citizenship to Avoid Taxation

X

In general, applicants for this special immigrant category are able to overcome any public charge concerns by submitting a valid letter or attestation of intended employment from the BBG or BBG-grantee. A separate affidavit of support is not required. [19] See INA 213A.

4. Treatment of Family Members

The spouse or child (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of a special immigrant broadcaster may, if otherwise eligible, accompany or follow-to-join the principal applicant. [20] See INA 101(a)(27)(C) and INA 203(d). For the definition of child, see INA 101(b)(1). The spouse and child may, as derivative applicants, apply to adjust status under the same immigrant category and priority date as the principal applicant.

D. Documentation and Evidence

An applicant should submit the following documentation to adjust status as a special immigrant international broadcaster:

Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485), with the correct fee;

Copy of the Approval Notice or Receipt (Form I-797) for the principal applicant’s special immigrant petition; [21] See Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Form I-360).

Employment letter from the applicant’s Form I-360 employer-petitioner; [22] The letter should be on official business letterhead verifying the job offer, the job title or position, summary of duties, and wages or salary anticipated.

Two passport-style photographs;

Copy of government-issued identity document with photograph;

Copy of birth certificate;

Copy of passport page with nonimmigrant visa (if applicable);

Copy of passport page with admission or parole stamp (if applicable);

Copy of Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) or copy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) admission or parole stamp on the travel document (if applicable); [23] Foreign nationals admitted to the United States by CBP at an airport or seaport after April 30, 2013, may be issued an electronic Form I-94 by CBP instead of a paper Form I-94. Such foreign nationals may visit the CBP website to obtain a paper version of an electronic Form I-94. CBP does not charge a fee for this service.

Evidence of continuously maintaining a lawful status since arrival in the United States;

Any other evidence, as needed, to show that an adjustment bar does not apply; [24] Such as evidence that the INA 245(c)(2) adjustment bar does not apply because the applicant’s failure to maintain status was through no fault of his or her own or for technical reasons. See 8 CFR 245.1(d)(2). See Part B, 245(a) Adjustment, Chapter 4, Status and Nonimmigrant Visa Violations – INA 245(c)(2) and INA 245(c)(8), Section E, Exceptions [7 USCIS-PM B.4(E)].

Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693); [25] The applicant may submit Form I-693 together with Form I-485 or later at USCIS’ request. See the USCIS website for more information. For more information on when to submit Form I-693, see Volume 8, Admissibility, Part B, Health-Related Grounds of Inadmissibility, Chapter 4, Review of Medical Examination Documentation [8 USCIS-PM B.4].

Certified police and court records of criminal charges, arrests, or convictions (if applicable);

Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-601) or other form of relief (if applicable); and

Documentation of past or present J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status, including proof of compliance with or waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement under INA 212(e) (if applicable).

In addition, a spouse or child who is filing as a derivative applicant should submit the following:

A copy of documentation showing relationship to the principal applicant, such as a marriage certificate or adoption decree (if applicable); and

A copy of the approval or receipt notice (Form I-797) for the principal applicant’s Form I-485 or a copy of the principal applicant’s permanent resident card (Form I-551) (if applicable and not filing together with the principal applicant).

E. Adjudication [26] For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 6, Adjudicative Review [7 USCIS-PM A.6].

1. Filing

An applicant seeking adjustment of status as a special immigrant broadcaster may file his or her adjustment application with USCIS after USCIS approves the special immigrant petition [27] See Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Form I-360). (as long as the petition is still valid), provided:

USCIS has jurisdiction over the adjustment application; [28] For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 3, Filing Instructions, Section D, Jurisdictions [7 USCIS-PM A.3(D)]. and

The visa availability requirements are met. [29] The applicant must have an immigrant visa immediately available when he or she filed the adjustment of status application and at the time of final adjudication. See Section C, Eligibility Requirements [7 USCIS-PM F.7(C)].

These applicants may not file an adjustment application concurrently with Form I-360.

2. Interview

The officer must schedule the applicant for an in-person interview at the appropriate field office and transfer jurisdiction to that field office for final adjudication in cases where:

The officer cannot make a decision based on the evidence of record; or

The applicant does not meet the criteria for an interview waiver. [30] For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 5, Interview Guidelines [7 USCIS-PM A.5].

3. Decision

Approval

The officer must determine that the applicant meets all the eligibility requirements as well as merits the favorable exercise of discretion before approving the application to adjust status as a special immigrant broadcaster. [31] See INA 245(a). For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures [7 USCIS-PM A] and Part B, 245(a) Adjustment [7 USCIS-PM B]. If the adjustment application is approvable, the officer must determine if a visa is available at the time of final adjudication. [32] For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 6, Adjudicative Review, Section C, Verify Visa Availability [7 USCIS-PM A.6(C)].

If approved, USCIS assigns the following codes of admission to applicants under this category:

Classes of Applicants and Codes of Admission

Applicant

Code of

Admission

Special immigrant international broadcaster

BC6

Spouse of special immigrant international broadcaster (BC6)

BC7

Child of special immigrant international broadcaster (BC6)

BC8

The applicant becomes an LPR as of the date of approval of the adjustment application. [33] The date of approval is shown in the USCIS approval notice mailed to the applicant; that date is also shown on the actual Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) the applicant receives after adjustment approval.

Denial

If the officer determines that the applicant is ineligible for adjustment, the officer must deny the adjustment application. The officer must provide the applicant a written reason for the denial. [34] See 8 CFR 103.2(b)(19) and 8 CFR 103.3(a). Although there are no appeal rights for the denial of an adjustment application, the applicant may file a motion to reopen or reconsider. The denial notice should include instructions for filing a Notice of Appeal or Motion (Form I-290B).

Footnotes


1. [^]

See Pub. L. 106-536, 114 Stat. 2560 (November 22, 2000).

2. [^]

This annual visa limit applies only to principal special immigrant broadcasters and not to any spouses and children who apply as derivative applicants. See Section 1(b)(1) of Pub. L. 106-536, 114 Stat. 2560, 2560 (November 22, 2000). See INA 203(b)(4). See 8 CFR 204.13(b)(2).

3. [^]

BBG grantee means Radio Free Asia, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc., and Middle East Broadcasting Networks. See 8 CFR 204.13. See Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2003, Pub. L. 108-11, 117 Stat. 559, 562 (April 16, 2003).

4. [^]

See 8 CFR 204.13.

5. [^]

See INA 245(a) and INA 245(c). See 8 CFR 245. See Instructions to Form I-485.

6. [^]

See Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 3, Filing Instructions, Section B, Definition of “Properly Filed” [7 USCIS-PM A.3(B)].

7. [^]

See Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 6, Adjudicative Review, Section C, Verify Visa Availability [7 USCIS-PM A.6(C)]. For information on Visa Availability and Priority Dates, see the DOS Visa Bulletin.

8. [^]

See INA 245(c). See Part B, 245(a) Adjustment [7 USCIS-PM B].

9. [^]

For more information, see Volume 8, Admissibility [8 USCIS-PM] and Volume 9, Waivers [9 USCIS-PM].

10. [^]

See INA 245(a). For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures [7 USCIS-PM A] and Part B, 245(a) Adjustment [7 USCIS-PM B].

11. [^]

See Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 6, Adjudicative Review [7 USCIS-PM A.6] and Part B, 245(a) Adjustment, Chapter 2, Eligibility Requirements, Section C, Eligible to Receive an Immigrant Visa [7 USCIS-PM B.2(C)].

12. [^]

See Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Form I-360).

15. [^]

For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 6, Adjudicative Review [7 USCIS-PM A.6].

16. [^]

See INA 245(c). For more information on the bars to adjustment, see Part B, 245(a) Adjustment [7 USCIS-PM B].

17. [^]

See INA 212(a) for the specific grounds of inadmissibility.

18. [^]

See Volume 8, Admissibility [8 USCIS-PM] and Volume 9, Waivers [9 USCIS-PM]. See Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-601) and Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal (Form I-212).

19. [^]

See INA 213A.

20. [^]

See INA 101(a)(27)(C) and INA 203(d). For the definition of child, see INA 101(b)(1).

21. [^]

See Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Form I-360).

22. [^]

The letter should be on official business letterhead verifying the job offer, the job title or position, summary of duties, and wages or salary anticipated.

23. [^]

Foreign nationals admitted to the United States by CBP at an airport or seaport after April 30, 2013, may be issued an electronic Form I-94 by CBP instead of a paper Form I-94. Such foreign nationals may visit the CBP website to obtain a paper version of an electronic Form I-94. CBP does not charge a fee for this service.

24. [^]

Such as evidence that the INA 245(c)(2) adjustment bar does not apply because the applicant’s failure to maintain status was through no fault of his or her own or for technical reasons. See 8 CFR 245.1(d)(2). See Part B, 245(a) Adjustment, Chapter 4, Status and Nonimmigrant Visa Violations – INA 245(c)(2) and INA 245(c)(8), Section E, Exceptions [7 USCIS-PM B.4(E)].

25. [^]

The applicant may submit Form I-693 together with Form I-485 or later at USCIS’ request. See the USCIS website for more information. For more information on when to submit Form I-693, see Volume 8, Admissibility, Part B, Health-Related Grounds of Inadmissibility, Chapter 4, Review of Medical Examination Documentation [8 USCIS-PM B.4].

26. [^]

For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 6, Adjudicative Review [7 USCIS-PM A.6].

27. [^]

See Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Form I-360).

28. [^]

For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 3, Filing Instructions, Section D, Jurisdictions [7 USCIS-PM A.3(D)].

29. [^]

The applicant must have an immigrant visa immediately available when he or she filed the adjustment of status application and at the time of final adjudication. See Section C, Eligibility Requirements [7 USCIS-PM F.7(C)].

30. [^]

For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 5, Interview Guidelines [7 USCIS-PM A.5].

31. [^]

See INA 245(a). For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures [7 USCIS-PM A] and Part B, 245(a) Adjustment [7 USCIS-PM B].

32. [^]

For more information, see Part A, Adjustment of Status Policies and Procedures, Chapter 6, Adjudicative Review, Section C, Verify Visa Availability [7 USCIS-PM A.6(C)].

33. [^]

The date of approval is shown in the USCIS approval notice mailed to the applicant; that date is also shown on the actual Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) the applicant receives after adjustment approval.