Immigration amnesty is the process where persons living in the US are granted legal immigration status subject to meeting some requirements. If you entered the US illegally or you came to the US legally but overstayed your visa, you may qualify for immigration amnesty. But what is important to note is that not all illegals qualify for this amnesty program. It is mostly granted to a particular group of people and to those who have not committed any other illegal activity other than being in the country illegally.
The Congress has occasionally passed legislation that paved way for specific groups of persons to immigration amnesty. Though we cannot come to a conclusion about the exact number of illegals, it can be roughly estimated to be around twelve million. Immigration amnesty has always had opposing viewpoints. Supporters of this are of the view that blanket amnesty should be granted to all illegals if they have not have committed any other crime. Their conception is that if all the persons who are in the US illegally were removed, the United States will be in for some serious economic setbacks.
Coming to the other side of the coin, those who oppose the amnesty program strongly believe that persons who are in the country illegally have already broken the law and therefore should not be granted legal status. They also feel that granting immigration amnesty to illegals will also embarrass immigrants who follow the rules when applying for legal immigration status.
Immigration amnesty process:
Since the laws surrounding immigration amnesty keep changing often, it is highly recommended you check if you qualify before actually applying. Generally, if you have overstayed your visa beyond the time you are allowed to or entered the US without the appropriate visa, you may qualify for immigration amnesty. If you qualify, even your child/ren and spouse will qualify to apply for a change of status in the US.
Since the entire process is very sophisticated, consult a qualified immigration attorney to help you through the process because of the frequent changes in the the legislation regarding amnesty. Though at the outset, the process might look simple and you might get a feeling that you are competent enough to go ahead with the process yourself, consulting an immigration attorney will turn out to be a wise decision.
You have to complete and file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with the USCIS. You have to mail the completed form to the designated USCIS office. Along with this application, you will get detailed filing instructions. You will have information about the fees, the supporting documents that you have to include and also the mailing address.
You may apply for a work permit while your case is pending. Applying for a work permit allows you to remain and work legally in the US while you are yet to get a decision on your I-485 application filed. After reviewing your application, the USCIS will inform you about their decision. As you wait for the decision regarding your application, you cannot leave the US without completing certain documentation and forms. If you do not follow or do not give importance to such rules, it might even lead to your application getting rejected.