Skip to main content

Are all Green Card Beneficiaries Required to Pay the $1000 Penalty Fee?

An extended family enjoying a family night together on a couch

Are all green card beneficiaries who qualify for a green card pursuant to section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, required to pay the $1000 penalty fee?

It is always important to keep in mind that individuals who are living in the United States without status, are typically required to return to their country of origin for their final interview unless they qualify for an exception to the rule that will allow applying for their green card through the adjustment of status process. One such exception to the rule is the adjustment of status process pursuant to section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the “Act” which we discuss here. In most cases, noncitizens who qualify for 245(i) adjustment are required to pay a $1000 penalty fee in addition to the immigration processing fees.

Beneficiaries not required to pay the $1000 fee include children under the age of 17 or the spouses or unmarried children of an individual who obtained temporary or permanent resident status under one of the laws pertaining to legalization including:

Legalization under Section 210 of the Special Agricultural Worker Act:

Previously available to certain eligible noncitizens who performed agricultural work;

Legalization under Section 245A of the Act:

Previously available to certain eligible noncitizens who entered into the United States before January 1, 1982 and have resided continuously in an unlawful status up and through the date the application is filed;

Legalization under Section 202 of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986:

Previously available to certain eligible noncitizens nationals from Cuba or Haiti, who arrived in the United States before January 1, 1982.

Furthermore, the spouse or child must have entered the United States before May 5, 1988, and resided in the United States since May 5, 1988 and had applied for benefits under section 301(a) of the Immigration Act of 1990. Section 301(a) benefits provided renewable periods of protection from removal and employment authorization for the eligible spouses and children of legalized aliens.

Basically, other than currently being a minor under 17 years of age, if you were the spouse or unmarried child of a family member on May 5, 1988 that received temporary or permanent resident status pursuant to one of the above mentioned programs, and meet the entry and residence requirements, you will not have to pay the $1000 penalty fee assuming you qualify for adjustment of status pursuant to Section 245(i) of the Act.

FREE Visa Resources

Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free Visa Guide (E-1, E-2, TN, EB-5, H-1B, L-1, PERM, NIW, EB-1, O-1, E-3), sign up for our free Webinar, join our Facebook Group, or watch our videos.

Download FREE Visa Guide
Sign Up For Our Webinar
Join Our Facebook Group
Watch Our Videos

Set up a Visa or Green Card Consultation

For a dedicated one-on-one consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.

Schedule a consultation

This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Leave a Reply

Scott Legal, P.C. has Something For You
Thank you for connecting with us. We would be happy to assist you & send you free information on a number of topics including, Free Immigration Guides (E-1, E-2, L-1, H-1B, PERM, NIW, EB-1, O-1 & TN), Videos, Articles & Free Immigration Webinars.
We are happy to offer our family immigration guide that covers most options and requirements for family immigration in details.
For more info visit our Family Immigration service Page or schedule a consultation so we can handle your business plan.