AILA Quicktake #298: Deadline for Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Applications Is Approaching

Filing deadline for the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) program is December 20, 2020. The program gives eligible Liberian nationals and certain family members in the U.S. a one-year window to apply for adjustment of status. AILA member Jonelle Ocloo explains the application process.

Video Transcript

The Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness program, LRIF for short some people say LRIF or L-RIF, is a program that was instituted last year. It actually became a law on December 20th of 2019. And it allows Liberians who have been residing in the United States since November 20th of 2014, or earlier, to be able to apply for permanent residence status, green cards.

Basically, to be able to regularize their status in the United States. And the really great thing about LRIF is that it allows them to be able to get green cards that are in effect backdated to their date of entry to the United States. So, when you consider that these are people who have been in the U.S. since 2014, at the latest most recently, they would become immediately eligible for citizenship after getting their green card. So, LIRF is really a fantastic program as I said for Liberian citizens as well as their relatives, this would be spouses and children.

In order to get a green card through LRIF a person has to file the form I-485, that's the application to adjust status. One very important thing is that the deadline is fast approaching, the I-485 application has to be received at USCIS by December 20th of 2020.

So of course, in addition to filing the I-485 that person must be able to prove that they are a Liberian citizen or national, have their copy of their Liberian passport as well as their birth certificate. If the individual is a spouse or child, you know, proof that they are a spouse or child of an eligible LIRF applicant, and then of course the person would also need to prove that they have been residing in the United States at least since November 20th of 2014. So that is proof of continuous residence in the United States for the last five years, well since November of 2014.

In addition, the really great thing about the LRIF program is that applicants are not subject to public charge rules. So that means that an I-864, I-944, you know tax returns, all of those things are not necessary in order to apply.

As I mentioned, the deadline is fast approaching! So, please, please keep in mind that date: December 20th of 2020. AILA along with a number of other organizations including the Association of Ghanaian Lawyers of America are putting on a pro bono legal clinic, free legal clinic, on we say 12 12 at 12.

So that's December 12th at 12 p.m., so Saturday December 12th at 12 p.m. there is going to be a virtual pro bono clinic. So, please spread the word.

As far as resources, AILA has a one-page flyer that has very detailed information about LRIF eligibility so please share that online, share it on social media, let people know because unfortunately the application rates for the LRIF program have been very low. Very few people have applied so we just want to make sure that people who are eligible know about the program.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 20121039.