Some Georgia residents who are from Liberia and who hold Deferred Enforced Departure status may be eligible to apply for a green card under the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting applications from Liberians who can show that they have been continually present in the country since Nov. 20, 2014. This opportunity only lasts until Dec. 20, 2020, and it can be a pathway to citizenship.

Liberians were granted DED status in 2007 after the country had been in a civil war for many years. The Trump administration had said it would end DED status on March 31, 2019, but this was deferred for a year, and Congress passed the Act in response. Around 4,000 Liberians have DED status, but the opportunity will extend to spouses and unmarried children. This could possibly signal that legislation could be successful to help other immigrants who are currently under Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

There are a few circumstances that will make applicants ineligible. They must be eligible to receive an immigrant visa and must not have been convicted of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude or an aggravated felony. However, they are exempt from some other ground for inadmissibility, such as public charge or the requirement to have a valid passport.

As this story demonstrates, immigration law can change quickly, and it can be important in some situations to stay on top of current events. An attorney may be able to help a person who is seeking a green card or citizenship understand what changes may be underway regarding immigration regulations. An attorney might also be able to assist with any paperwork. Immigration law can be complex, and it is important that documents are completed accurately.