Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Program

Congress enacted the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Program (“LRIF”). The LRIF program provides a path for Liberian nationals in the U.S. to request adjustment of status, an application for permanent resident status. Congress extended the deadline for LRIF applicants to file their I-485 Forms until 20 December 2021. When filing the I-485 Form, a Liberian national must satisfy the criteria to apply for a green card:

  • An applicant must possess Liberian nationality,
  • The applicant can prove her or his continuous physical presence in America beginning 20 November 2014 through the date the applicant files the I-485 Form,
  • The applicant is admissible for permanent resident status, eligible for an inadmissibility waiver, or eligible for other relief. 

Can an LRIF applicant apply for work authorization?

Yes, an LRIF applicant may apply for employment authorization (I-765 Form).

Important Considerations Before Filing an LRIF I-485 Form

If an LRIF applicant stayed outside America for more than 180 days, USCIS will consider this absence as insufficient to satisfy the continuous physical presence requirement. 

USCIS will review applications for INA § 212(a) inadmissibility issues. However, USCIS will not apply the public charge, labor certification, presence without admission or parole, and immigrant documentation bars against an applicant. The agency may not grant permanent residency if an applicant’s criminal record includes an aggravated felony conviction or two or more moral turpitude crimes (other than political offenses). Similarly, USCIS may not issue an LRIF green card if the applicant participated in persecuting another person based upon race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.  

A Liberian principal applicant, a spouse, or child in exclusion, removal, or deportation proceedings may file an LRIF I-485 application for permanent resident status.

LRIF Eligibility for Family Members

In addition to the Liberian principal applicant who applies for an LRIF green card, the principal applicant’s spouse, unmarried child under age 21, and unmarried child (presumably over age 21) may also file separate I-485 applications for permanent resident status. The spouse and children may apply for LRIF adjustment even if they do not possess Liberian nationality. Family members must also file the I-485 application by the 20 December 2021 deadline. The continuous physical presence requirement does not apply to the spouse or children.