Because the couple is from Mexico, the wait time for fourth preference processing was almost 20 years. Once the priority date became current, we filed the application for adjustment of status.
The couple had no prior deportations or criminal issues. Because the brother filed the petition prior to 1998, the couple was eligible to adjust status based on INA 245i. As a general rule, an alien must have entered the United States legally in order to adjust status to lawful permanent resident. Additionally, the alien must have maintained lawful status while in the US and not worked without authorization. However, INA 245i created an exception to the general rule if the alien is the beneficiary of a family based petition or employment based labor certification filed before April 30, 2001. The alien must pay an additional $1000 penalty to apply via INA 245i.
The interview went smoothly. Our clients were well-prepared and, of course, I was present to make sure they were treated fairly and felt comfortable. At the conclusion of the interview, they received their approval notices.
Now that they are permanent residents, they plan to file a petition for their non-US citizen son. His case will take several years to process, but he will benefit from 245i as well.