Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act

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by | Jan 30, 2020 | Immigration Law

The attorneys at GillespieShields practice family, employment, civil, criminal, probate, appellate, and immigration law.

What is the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act? (LRIFA)

On December 20, 2019, a special law went into effect that allows all Liberians who have been living in the US continuously since 2014 to become a legal permanent resident and receive a Green Card.

Who is Eligible? 

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Servicesto be eligible for a Green Card under the LRIF, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are a national of Liberia;
  • You have been continuously physically present in the United States during the period beginning on November 20, 2014, and ending on the date you properly file your Form I-485;
  • You are otherwise eligible for an immigrant visa; and
  • You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief.

You are not eligible for adjustment of status under the LRIF if you have:

  • Been convicted of any aggravated felony;
  • Been convicted of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude (other than a purely political offense); or
  • Ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

What Do I Need to Do?

  • You need to properly file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  • You must submit proof that you are a national of Liberia
  • You must provide evidence that you have been physically present in the United States continuously since November 20, 2014
  • You must be able to qualify for a Green Card by being admissible to the United States.
  • Pay the filing and biometrics fee. This is currently $1225 for an adult, but these are subject to increase at any time. 
  • You must have your application submitted by Dec. 20, 2020

What if I Have a Final Order of Deportation or am in Detention?

The LRIFA states that even if you have an order of deportation, the Department of Homeland Security must put a stay on your order and you will be allowed to submit an application for a Green Card if you are otherwise eligible. This means that if you received an order of deportation due to overstaying your visa, your asylum application was denied, failure to renew your TPS or DED, or other reasons other than a criminal conviction, you should still be eligible to apply for a Green Card. 

If you have already been detained, you will want to:

  •  Inform your detention officer that you are planning on applying for LRIFA. 
  • Contact an immigration attorney to plan on filing the application as quickly as possible.
  • Make sure a trusted family member or friend knows where you are (they can utilize the ICE Online Detainee Locator using your full name and date or birth or A-number).

It seems unlikely that ICE will deport anyone who is eligible for LRIFA, but we encourage you to act quickly regardless.

What If I’m Not Admissible?

Even if you are not admissible for some reason, it may be possible to apply for a waiver that can allow you to overcome the issue of admissibility. If your waiver or request is approved and granted, then you will be able to receive a Green Card if you meet all the other eligibility requirements. 

If you have a criminal conviction or are concerned you are otherwise ineligible, we recommend speaking to an immigration attorney before filing anything. 


Contact an Immigration Attorney

While the LRIFA allows greater access to legal permanency in the US for Liberians, it is still important to make sure all of the paperwork is completed correctly and that you are getting accurate legal advice. An experienced immigration attorney can ensure you have everything you need to get your application approved. If you have any questions about your eligibility or if you have a criminal conviction, make sure you speak to an attorney before you file.

If you are interested in speaking to an immigration attorney in the greater Phoenix metro area, contact the Immigration Team at GillespieShields. The attorneys and paralegals have years of experience and are ready to help you with your case. Contact us or call us at 602-870-9700 today to set up your consultation.


The information contained on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for legal advice concerning your individual situation. We welcome you to contact us via phone, electronic mail, or through this website. However, contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send us confidential information until such time as an attorney-client relationship is established.



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