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The 1980s were marked by political instability and violence in Central America, driving tens of thousands of Central Americans to seek asylum in the United States. Initially, the U.S. government categorized Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, and Salvadorans as economic migrants and rejected their claims. However, this denial sparked a human rights outrage, most notably, the American Baptist Churches vs Thornburg in 1991, which caused reconsideration of asylum petitions. NACARA was created, and allowed for suspension or cancellation of removal of eligible migrants from certain Central American countries as well as certain former Soviet countries entering the United States no later than fall of 1990.
On this page, we will review NACARA immigration and how a NACARA immigration lawyer can help you navigate this complicated subject.
What is NACARA?
NACARA is a law that allows Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, Cubans, Salvadorans, as well as former USSR countries to reach permanent residence if they applied for asylum in the United States and have remained in the country for at least 5 years, from December 1, 1995. However, in 2000, a portion of NACARA ended for Nicaraguans and Cubans, and no deadline has been set for citizens of Guatemala and El Salvador.
In the next section, we will outline who is eligible for NACARA.
Below we will break down who is eligible for NACARA
1. NACARA for Guatemalans
NACARA law benefits Guatemalans that:
- Entered into the United States prior to October, 1 1990 and requested to receive ABC benefits.
- Submitted an application for asylum on April 1, 1990 or before.
2. NACARA for Salvadorans
NACARA law benefits Salvadorans that:
- Entered the United States prior to September 19, 1990 and applied for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or ABC benefits before October 31, 1991.
3. NACARA for Former USSR
NACARA law benefits citizens of the former USSR who entered into the United States before December 31, 1990, applied for asylum before December 1991, and are members of one of the following countries:
- East Germany.
- Soviet Union or any of its republics.
- Yugoslavia or any of its former states.
4. NACARA for Immediate Family-Member
Finally, NACARA law benefits the immediate family-members (spouse, unmarried son or daughter) of any person from the above countries who meet the requirements of NACARA. NACARA can also be applied to children over 21 who entered into the United States before October 1, 1990.
NACARA Application Process
When applying for NACARA, it is always recommended that you go through an immigration lawyer with a record of winning for their clients. To apply for NACARA benefits, a series of requirements must be met including:
- Completing the correct USCIS forms.
- Providing evidence of having lived in the United States for 7 continuous years (not leaving the country for more than 90 days each departure, and total time less than 180 days outside the country) on the day you file your application.
- Good moral character during the 7+ continuous years of living in the United States.
- Proof that deportation or removal would result in extreme hardship to you or your spouse, children, or parent(s) who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Proof that you deserve the NACARA benefit on the government’s discretion.
- Attending the appointment to take fingerprints.
- Attend the interview with USCIS.
After you send your application, USCIS will send you a notification of receipt. You’ll also receive a date to get your fingerprints taken, which will then be sent to the FBI for a background check.
After this has been completed and you’ve passed background checks, you’ll receive notification of an interview date with the USCIS.
An experienced NACARA lawyer will help you navigate the complex process of application as well as helping you prepare for your interview with the USCIS and attend with you.
NACARA cases are complex, and it is more difficult to obtain the proper evidence from so long ago. To have the best chance of success, schedule a NACARA strategy session here: immigration strategy session here.
Hire a Top NACARA Lawyer in Miami, Florida
You need a partner who can help you succeed in your application for NACARA law benefits. We have a proven track record of helping individuals get visas via NACARA and have won more than 95% of our immigration cases in Florida. We are top immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida and can help you navigate the complicated process to win your case. Give Immigration Lawyers USA a call at 305-501-0783 or contact us here to schedule your consultation today!