If you are currently living in the United States as an illegal immigrant.  Chances are you won’t be able to get a green card or ever become a legal resident.  The most common illegal immigrants entered the country either overstaying their visa, violated visa terms, entered without inspection, or via fraud (most commonly marriage fraud).  But there is some hope, albeit an outside shot.

Receive Green Card through Immigration “Registry”

Green Card through registry is almost like receiving legal status by default.  It allows certain individual staying in the U.S. since before January 1st, 1972 to apply for a green card, even if they’ve been staying illegally.  To quality, the individual must have been in the U.S. continuously since Jan. 1st, 1972.  The applicant will be judged on their public records to make sure there’s no involvement in any unlawful activities.  The individual also should not be eligible for citizenship or deportation.  If all the qualifications applies, then the individual should go ahead and apply via the I-485 form to apply for a green card.

Section 245(i)

Currently, there aren’t any amnesty programs that will allow undocumented foreign nationals to become legal residents.  But if your work or family filed a petition for the individual while residing in the U.S. illegally between 1994 and 2001, the individual (or the spouse and/or children) maybe eligible to come out of the shadows and apply for a legal permanent resident status and green card.

This loophole qualifies for people who entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas.  And till this day, there are still people that are eligible to apply for green card who are grandfathered and qualify through this loophole.   For more details, contact your lawyer for more accurate assessment of your qualifications.