Am I eligible for RPI visa?

Under the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (popularly known as the Obama Amnesty), any undocumented immigrant without authorization to be in the USA and working without papers can now receive a “Registered Provision Immigrant” (RPI) legal status, which can then be used to apply for a green card, and eventually, US citizenship.  Here are the eligibility requirement to get the documents that will allow you to live without fear, travel overseas without restrictions, have a work permit that will let you work anywhere in the country, apply for driver's license, and pretty much live like any other legal resident (with minor limitations on receiving welfare):

  • Entry, legal or illegal, anywhere in the country prior to December 31,2011.  If you entered after being processed at a border check point by an immigration agent/Customs and Border Patrol or CBP officer, then you will have an I-94 or other forms attached in your passport.  You should also have a stamp in your passport showing your date of entry.  If you entered without inspection (EWI), meaning you crossed the border illegally, you will need other forms of solid evidence of being in the country on that date or a prior date.  
  • Continuous presence in the US after December 31, 2011.  If you left the country and never returned or were out of the country for too long, you are not eligible.  To demonstrate the so-called continuous presence, you will need evidence of being in school or having a job or renting an apartment and other such documents that can definitely prove that you were living continuously.

  • Payment of a $500 penalty fee + Taxes for all the income earned in the US since your arrival + Application fee.  Student DREAMers and minors do not have to pay the $500 penalty.  If you have paid your taxes even using a false Social Security number, you can use that as proof as long as it will not trigger an identity theft conviction (if you paid taxes with ITIN you are protected).  If you have not paid taxes on some or all of your income, the taxes will be calculated by the USCIS and you will be required to pay them over time.
  • Pass a security clearance and background check.  If you have committed a felony or aggravated felony, do not even fantasize about applying.  Also only up to 3 misdemeanors are allowed.  While registering to vote is a not a disqualification, but actually casting a vote will disqualify you.  Additionally, you may also be rejected for criminal, national security, public health, or other morality grounds, though, it is not clear what these are (but it is safe to assume that engaging in terrorism activities or polygamy and other such crimes will not be tolerated).  USCIS will have more information on this, but if you are a person with a doubtful background, consult with a competent immigration lawyer before applying because otherwise you will be arrested and deported.

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