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Form I-8812024-01-11T07:59:17+00:00

Form I-881: Your Essential Guide to NACARA Relief Applications

Form I-881, also known as the Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal, is a legal document used by certain non-citizens in the United States seeking to halt deportation proceedings and obtain lawful status. Provided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), this form is applicable to individuals who fall under the regulations of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA). Specifically, Section 203 of Public Law 105-100 outlines the requirements for eligibility, allowing certain immigrants from designated countries to apply for this form of relief.

The purpose of Form I-881 is to establish an eligible alien’s case for suspension of deportation or special rule cancellation of removal. The applicant must submit detailed information regarding their identity, address, legal status, family history, and basis for eligibility.

It is essential for individuals facing removal from the United States to understand the intricacies of this application, as it is a vital step in the process of potentially securing the right to remain in the country. Filing this form is a crucial part of the legal procedure to address immigration matters for those who are eligible under NACARA Section 203.

Eligibility Criteria

The Form I-881 is available to certain nationals who meet specific residency and admissibility requirements. These criteria allow for the application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal under specific U.S. immigration laws.

Qualifying Nationalities

Eligible individuals must be nationals from certain countries that have been affected by turmoil or natural disasters. The following nationalities qualify under specific programs:

  • Salvadorans who entered the United States on or before September 19, 1990, and registered under the ABC settlement agreement.
  • Guatemalans who have a similar entry date and registration as Salvadorans.
  • Nationals of countries designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) if they have resided continuously in the U.S. since the effective date of TPS.

Residency Requirements

Applicants must fulfill certain residency conditions to be eligible:

  • Continuously resided in the United States for a period specified by particular immigration relief programs.
  • Residency requirements vary, but generally involve being present in the U.S. from a designated date.

Admissibility Factors

In addition to nationality and residency, applicants for Form I-881 must also meet certain admissibility criteria:

  • Must not have been convicted of an aggravated felony.
  • Meet other requirements that demonstrate good moral character and do not pose a threat to public safety.

Application Process

The application process for Form I-881 involves specific steps, including preparing the form according to detailed instructions, gathering necessary evidence, understanding the associated fees and waiver options, and attending a biometric services appointment if required.

Form Instructions

Form I-881, Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal, must be completed thoroughly and accurately. Applicants should fill out the form electronically or by hand in black ink, ensuring all relevant sections are answered. It is crucial to review the form’s instructions carefully to avoid any errors that could delay the process.

Evidence Submission

Applicants must collect and submit all relevant documents and supporting evidence as required by the form’s instructions. This typically includes proof of identity, residency, and any other information pertinent to the individual case. The evidence should support the applicant’s eligibility for suspension of deportation or special rule cancellation of removal.

Filing Fees and Waivers

The filing fee for Form I-881 must be paid unless the applicant is eligible for a fee waiver. Fee waivers are available for those who demonstrate an inability to pay, based on guidelines provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Applicants must submit Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, if seeking a waiver.

Biometric Services Appointment

Some applicants may be required to attend a biometric services appointment. Notifications for the appointment come after the form has been submitted, and it will include fingerprinting, photographing, and/or signing to confirm identity and conduct necessary background checks. The appointment letter will provide details on the time, date, and location.

Form I-881 Review and Adjudication

The adjudication process for Form I-881 involves a methodical review by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to determine an individual’s eligibility for suspension of deportation or special rule cancellation of removal under NACARA.

Initial Evaluation

USCIS first conducts an initial evaluation to verify the completeness of Form I-881 and the presence of the requisite supporting documents. During this phase, eligibility criteria are checked against the information provided, including the applicant’s background and basis for application. It is essential that all fields on the form be filled accurately and entirely in black ink to avoid processing delays.

Interview and Evidence Assessment

Applicants may be called for an interview where USCIS officers examine the credibility of the applicant’s claims and the authenticity of the submitted evidence. The interview is a critical point where officers assess:

  • Consistency of the applicant’s verbal and written statements
  • Corroborating documentation against the claims made in the application

Evidence that is reviewed may include but is not limited to, country conditions, personal affidavits, and proof of the applicant’s presence and physical residence in the United States for the required period.

Decision Notification

After the interview and evidence assessment, the decision on the Form I-881 application is made, and the applicant is notified formally by USCIS. Notifications typically articulate:

  • The decision: Approval or denial of the suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal.
  • Reasons for the decision: Explanation of factors leading to the decision, should the application be denied.

Applicants who receive approval are granted relief from deportation while those denied may be informed of the possibility of appeal or motions to reconsider the application in accordance with the law.

Post-Decision Procedures

After a decision is made on Form I-881, specific procedures must be followed, depending on the outcome. Proper documentation or timely appeals are essential steps in this phase.

Approval and Documentation

If Form I-881 is approved, the applicant receives documentation confirming their status adjustment. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues a notice of approval, along with instructions for obtaining a new immigration status.

  • Notice of Approval: An official letter confirming approval and next steps.
  • Adjustment of Status: Information on how to update their status with the USCIS.

Denials and Appeals

In case of denial, the applicant is informed through an official notice which includes the reasons for the denial and the rights to appeal the decision.

  • Notice of Denial: An official letter outlining the reasons for denial and any available remedies.
  • Right to Appeal: Clear instructions and deadlines for filing an appeal or a motion to reopen or reconsider the decision.

Special Considerations

When applying for Form I-881, individuals should be aware of specific provisions if they hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or are under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). These statuses carry unique eligibility and filing requirements.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Individuals who are currently designated under TPS may be eligible to apply for suspension of deportation or special rule cancellation of removal using Form I-881. They must, however, ensure compliance with the specific conditions of their TPS, including continued renewals and abiding by any employment authorization requirements.

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)

Similarly, those granted DED should carefully assess whether applying for relief through Form I-881 interferes with their current protection. They should maintain their DED status according to stipulated guidelines while their I-881 application is processed to avoid any potential issues with their authorization to remain in the United States.

Legal Resources and Assistance

When an individual is seeking to file Form I-881, Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal, accessing the right legal resources and assistance is crucial.

Legal Aid Organizations: Non-profit organizations often offer free or low-cost legal aid to those who qualify. Individuals may search for local legal aid offices that have experience with immigration cases.

Immigration Attorneys: Specialists in immigration law can provide counsel specific to an individual’s case. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) offers a tool to locate immigration attorneys.

USCIS Resources: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website provides guidelines and instructions for filing Form I-881. The USCIS Contact Center can also be a helpful point of contact for procedural inquiries.

Community-Based Organizations: Many community groups and NGOs offer assistance with immigration forms and can help navigate the complexities of the application process.

Resource Type Description Contact Method
Legal Aid Organizations Offers free or low-cost legal services Local directories
Immigration Attorneys Provides legal advice and representation AILA’s online tool
USCIS Resources Offers instructions for form filing and procedural information USCIS website/Contact Center
Community Organizations Assists with form preparation and support Local community centers

An individual should gather all relevant documentation and evidence before seeking assistance. This includes personal identification, immigration documents, and any other information that supports their case for suspension of deportation or special rule cancellation of removal. It is important to always ensure that any advisor or attorney consulted is accredited or licensed to practice law and experienced in immigration matters.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Form I-881?2024-01-04T06:18:14+00:00

Form I-881 is an application used for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal as provided under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA).

Who is eligible to file Form I-881?2024-01-04T06:18:42+00:00

Eligibility is generally extended to those who first entered the United States on or before October 1, 1990, registered for ABC benefits by December 31, 1991, and have not been apprehended at the time of entry after December 19, 1990.

What documents are required when submitting Form I-881?2024-01-04T06:19:56+00:00
  • A valid passport or other government-issued photo identification
  • A recent copy of the tax return
  • Evidence of any dependents, such as birth certificates or adoption papers
  • Evidence of other income, such as Social Security benefits or disability payments
When does Form I-881 expire?2024-01-04T06:20:24+00:00

The current edition of Form I-881 provided by USCIS expires on December 31, 2023.

How can an attorney or representative assist with Form I-881?2024-01-04T06:24:24+00:00

An attorney or accredited representative can complete the form if they provide their Attorney State Bar Number (if applicable) and attach Form G-28. An USCIS Online Account Number is also to be provided if available.

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