U.S. Code, Title 8, Aliens and Nationality

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Author: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel"

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§ 1154. Procedure for Granting Immigrant Status

(a) Petitioning procedure

     (1)(A)(i) Any citizen of the United States claiming that an alien is entitled to classification by reason of a relationship described in paragraph (1), (3), or (4) of section 1153(a) of this title or to an immediate relative status under section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title may file a petition with the Attorney General for such classification.

     (ii) An alien spouse described in the second sentence of section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title also may file a petition with the Attorney General under this subparagraph for classification of the alien (and the alien’s children) under such section.

     (iii)(I) An alien who is described in subclause (II) may file a petition with the Attorney General under this clause for classification of the alien (and any child of the alien) if the alien demonstrates to the Attorney General that—

     (aa) the marriage or the intent to marry the United States citizen was entered into in good faith by the alien; and

     (bb) during the marriage or relationship intended by the alien to be legally a marriage, the alien or a child of the alien has been battered or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by the alien’s spouse or intended spouse.

     (II) For purposes of subclause (I), an alien described in this subclause is an alien—

     (aa)(AA) who is the spouse of a citizen of the United States;

     (BB) who believed that he or she had married a citizen of the United States and with whom a marriage ceremony was actually performed and who otherwise meets any applicable requirements under this chapter to establish the existence of and bona fides of a marriage, but whose marriage is not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of such citizen of the United States; or

     (CC) who was a bona fide spouse of a United States citizen within the past 2 years and—

     (aaa) whose spouse died within the past 2 years;

     (bbb) whose spouse lost or renounced citizenship status within the past 2 years related to an incident of domestic violence; or

     (ccc) who demonstrates a connection between the legal termination of the marriage within the past 2 years and battering or extreme cruelty by the United States citizen spouse;

     (bb) who is a person of good moral character;

     (cc) who is eligible to be classified as an immediate relative under section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title or who would have been so classified but for the bigamy of the citizen of the United States that the alien intended to marry; and

     (dd) who has resided with the alien’s spouse or intended spouse.

     (iv) An alien who is the child of a citizen of the United States, or who was a child of a United States citizen parent who within the past 2 years lost or renounced citizenship status related to an incident of domestic violence, and who is a person of good moral character, who is eligible to be classified as an immediate relative under section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title, and who resides, or has resided in the past, with the citizen parent may file a petition with the Attorney General under this subparagraph for classification of the alien (and any child of the alien) under such section if the alien demonstrates to the Attorney General that the alien has been battered by or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by the alien’s citizen parent. For purposes of this clause, residence includes any period of visitation.

     (v) An alien who—

     (I) is the spouse, intended spouse, or child living abroad of a citizen who—

     (aa) is an employee of the United States Government;

     (bb) is a member of the uniformed services (as defined in section 101(a) of title 10); or

     (cc) has subjected the alien or the alien’s child to battery or extreme cruelty in the United States; and

     (II) is eligible to file a petition under clause (iii) or (iv),

shall file such petition with the Attorney General under the procedures that apply to self-petitioners under clause (iii) or (iv), as applicable.

     (vi) For the purposes of any petition filed under clause (iii) or (iv), the denaturalization, loss or renunciation of citizenship, death of the abuser, divorce, or changes to the abuser’s citizenship status after filing of the petition shall not adversely affect the approval of the petition, and for approved petitions shall not preclude the classification of the eligible self-petitioning spouse or child as an immediate relative or affect the alien’s ability to adjust status under subsections (a) and (c) of section 1255 of this title or obtain status as a lawful permanent resident based on the approved self-petition under such clauses.

     (B)(i) Any alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence claiming that an alien is entitled to a classification by reason of the relationship described in section 1153(a)(2) of this title may file a petition with the Attorney General for such classification.

     (ii)(I) An alien who is described in subclause (II) may file a petition with the Attorney General under this clause for classification of the alien (and any child of the alien) if such a child has not been classified under clause (iii) of section 1153(a)(2)(A) of this title and if the alien demonstrates to the Attorney General that—

     (aa) the marriage or the intent to marry the lawful permanent resident was entered into in good faith by the alien; and

     (bb) during the marriage or relationship intended by the alien to be legally a marriage, the alien or a child of the alien has been battered or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by the alien’s spouse or intended spouse.

     (II) For purposes of subclause (I), an alien described in this paragraph is an alien—

     (aa)(AA) who is the spouse of a lawful permanent resident of the United States; or

     (BB) who believed that he or she had married a lawful permanent resident of the United States and with whom a marriage ceremony was actually performed and who otherwise meets any applicable requirements under this chapter to establish the existence of and bona fides of a marriage, but whose marriage is not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of such lawful permanent resident of the United States; or

     (CC) who was a bona fide spouse of a lawful permanent resident within the past 2 years and—

     (aaa) whose spouse lost status within the past 2 years due to an incident of domestic violence; or

     (bbb) who demonstrates a connection between the legal termination of the marriage within the past 2 years and battering or extreme cruelty by the lawful permanent resident spouse;

     (bb) who is a person of good moral character;

     (cc) who is eligible to be classified as a spouse of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence under section 1153(a)(2)(A) of this title or who would have been so classified but for the bigamy of the lawful permanent resident of the United States that the alien intended to marry; and

     (dd) who has resided with the alien’s spouse or intended spouse.

     (iii) An alien who is the child of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or who was the child of a lawful permanent resident who within the past 2 years lost lawful permanent resident status due to an incident of domestic violence, and who is a person of good moral character, who is eligible for classification under section 1153(a)(2)(A) of this title, and who resides, or has resided in the past, with the alien’s permanent resident alien parent may file a petition with the Attorney General under this subparagraph for classification of the alien (and any child of the alien) under such section if the alien demonstrates to the Attorney General that the alien has been battered by or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by the alien’s permanent resident parent.

     (iv) An alien who—

     (I) is the spouse, intended spouse, or child living abroad of a lawful permanent resident who—

     (aa) is an employee of the United States Government;

     (bb) is a member of the uniformed services (as defined in section 101(a) of title 10); or

     (cc) has subjected the alien or the alien’s child to battery or extreme cruelty in the United States; and

     (II) is eligible to file a petition under clause (ii) or (iii),

shall file such petition with the Attorney General under the procedures that apply to self-petitioners under clause (ii) or (iii), as applicable.

     (v)(I) For the purposes of any petition filed or approved under clause (ii) or (iii), divorce, or the loss of lawful permanent resident status by a spouse or parent after the filing of a petition under that clause shall not adversely affect approval of the petition, and, for an approved petition, shall not affect the alien’s ability to adjust status under subsections (a) and (c) of section 1255 of this title or obtain status as a lawful permanent resident based on an approved self-petition under clause (ii) or (iii).

     (II) Upon the lawful permanent resident spouse or parent becoming or establishing the existence of United States citizenship through naturalization, acquisition of citizenship, or other means, any petition filed with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and pending or approved under clause (ii) or (iii) on behalf of an alien who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty shall be deemed reclassified as a petition filed under subparagraph (A) even if the acquisition of citizenship occurs after divorce or termination of parental rights.

     (C) Notwithstanding section 1101(f) of this title, an act or conviction that is waivable with respect to the petitioner for purposes of a determination of the petitioner’s admissibility under section 1182(a) of this title or deportability under section 1227(a) of this title shall not bar the Attorney General from finding the petitioner to be of good moral character under subparagraph (A)(iii), (A)(iv), (B)(ii), or (B)(iii) if the Attorney General finds that the act or conviction was connected to the alien’s having been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty.

     (D)(i)(I) Any child who attains 21 years of age who has filed a petition under clause (iv) of subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section that was filed or approved before the date on which the child attained 21 years of age shall be considered (if the child has not been admitted or approved for lawful permanent residence by the date the child attained 21 years of age) a petitioner for preference status under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of section 1153(a) of this title, whichever paragraph is applicable, with the same priority date assigned to the self-petition filed under clause (iv) of subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section. No new petition shall be required to be filed.

     (II) Any individual described in subclause (I) is eligible for deferred action and work authorization.

     (III) Any derivative child who attains 21 years of age who is included in a petition described in clause (ii) that was filed or approved before the date on which the child attained 21 years of age shall be considered (if the child has not been admitted or approved for lawful permanent residence by the date the child attained 21 years of age) a petitioner for preference status under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of section 1153(a) of this title, whichever paragraph is applicable, with the same priority date as that assigned to the petitioner in any petition described in clause (ii). No new petition shall be required to be filed.

     (IV) Any individual described in subclause (III) and any derivative child of a petition described in clause (ii) is eligible for deferred action and work authorization.

     (ii) The petition referred to in clause (i)(III) is a petition filed by an alien under subparagraph (A)(iii), (A)(iv), (B)(ii) or (B)(iii) in which the child is included as a derivative beneficiary.

     (E) Any alien desiring to be classified under section 1153(b)(1)(A) of this title, or any person on behalf of such an alien, may file a petition with the Attorney General for such classification.

     (F) Any employer desiring and intending to employ within the United States an alien entitled to classification under section 1153(b)(1)(B), 1153(b)(1)(C), 1153(b)(2), or 1153(b)(3) of this title may file a petition with the Attorney General for such classification.

     (G)(i) Any alien (other than a special immigrant under section 1101(a)(27)(D) of this title) desiring to be classified under section 1153(b)(4) of this title, or any person on behalf of such an alien, may file a petition with the Attorney General for such classification.

     (ii) Aliens claiming status as a special immigrant under section 1101(a)(27)(D) of this title may file a petition only with the Secretary of State and only after notification by the Secretary that such status has been recommended and approved pursuant to such section.

     (H) Any alien desiring to be classified under section 1153(b)(5) of this title may file a petition with the Attorney General for such classification.

     (I)(i) Any alien desiring to be provided an immigrant visa under section 1153(c) of this title may file a petition at the place and time determined by the Secretary of State by regulation. Only one such petition may be filed by an alien with respect to any petitioning period established. If more than one petition is submitted all such petitions submitted for such period by the alien shall be voided.

     (ii)(I) The Secretary of State shall designate a period for the filing of petitions with respect to visas which may be issued under section 1153(c) of this title for the fiscal year beginning after the end of the period.

     (II) Aliens who qualify, through random selection, for a visa under section 1153(c) of this title shall remain eligible to receive such visa only through the end of the specific fiscal year for which they were selected.

     (III) The Secretary of State shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this clause.

     (iii) A petition under this subparagraph shall be in such form as the Secretary of State may by regulation prescribe and shall contain such information and be supported by such documentary evidence as the Secretary of State may require.

     (J) In acting on petitions filed under clause (iii) or (iv) of subparagraph (A) or clause (ii) or (iii) of subparagraph (B), or in making determinations under subparagraphs (C) and (D), the Attorney General shall consider any credible evidence relevant to the petition. The determination of what evidence is credible and the weight to be given that evidence shall be within the sole discretion of the Attorney General.

     (2)(A) The Attorney General may not approve a spousal second preference petition for the classification of the spouse of an alien if the alien, by virtue of a prior marriage, has been accorded the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence as the spouse of a citizen of the United States or as the spouse of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, unless—

     (i) a period of 5 years has elapsed after the date the alien acquired the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or

     (ii) the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General by clear and convincing evidence that the prior marriage (on the basis of which the alien obtained the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence) was not entered into for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws.

In this subparagraph, the term "spousal second preference petition" refers to a petition, seeking preference status under section 1153(a)(2) of this title, for an alien as a spouse of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

     (B) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to a petition filed for the classification of the spouse of an alien if the prior marriage of the alien was terminated by the death of his or her spouse.

(b) Investigation; consultation; approval; authorization to grant preference status

     After an investigation of the facts in each case, and after consultation with the Secretary of Labor with respect to petitions to accord a status under section 1153(b)(2) or 1153(b)(3) of this title, the Attorney General shall, if he determines that the facts stated in the petition are true and that the alien in behalf of whom the petition is made is an immediate relative specified in section 1151(b) of this title, or is eligible for preference under subsection (a) or (b) of section 1153 of this title, approve the petition and forward one copy thereof to the Department of State. The Secretary of State shall then authorize the consular officer concerned to grant the preference status.

(c) Limitation on orphan petitions approved for a single petitioner; prohibition against approval in cases of marriages entered into in order to evade immigration laws; restriction on future entry of aliens involved with marriage fraud

     Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section no petition shall be approved if (1) the alien has previously been accorded, or has sought to be accorded, an immediate relative or preference status as the spouse of a citizen of the United States or the spouse of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, by reason of a marriage determined by the Attorney General to have been entered into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws, or (2) the Attorney General has determined that the alien has attempted or conspired to enter into a marriage for the purpose of evading the immigration laws.

(d) Recommendation of valid home-study

     Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section no petition may be approved on behalf of a child defined in section 1101(b)(1)(F) of this title unless a valid home-study has been favorably recommended by an agency of the State of the child’s proposed residence, or by an agency authorized by that State to conduct such a study, or, in the case of a child adopted abroad, by an appropriate public or private adoption agency which is licensed in the United States.

(e) Subsequent finding of non-entitlement to preference classification

     Nothing in this section shall be construed to entitle an immigrant, in behalf of whom a petition under this section is approved, to be admitted 1 the United States as an immigrant under subsection (a), (b), or (c) of section 1153 of this title or as an immediate relative under section 1151(b) of this title if upon his arrival at a port of entry in the United States he is found not to be entitled to such classification.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by "to".

(f) Preferential treatment for children fathered by United States citizens and born in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand after 1950 and before October 22, 1982

     (1) Any alien claiming to be an alien described in paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection (or any person on behalf of such an alien) may file a petition with the Attorney General for classification under section 1151(b), 1153(a)(1), or 1153(a)(3) of this title, as appropriate. After an investigation of the facts of each case the Attorney General shall, if the conditions described in paragraph (2) are met, approve the petition and forward one copy to the Secretary of State.

     (2) The Attorney General may approve a petition for an alien under paragraph (1) if—

     (A) he has reason to believe that the alien (i) was born in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand after 1950 and before October 22, 1982, and (ii) was fathered by a United States citizen;

     (B) he has received an acceptable guarantee of legal custody and financial responsibility described in paragraph (4); and

     (C) in the case of an alien under eighteen years of age, (i) the alien’s placement with a sponsor in the United States has been arranged by an appropriate public, private, or State child welfare agency licensed in the United States and actively involved in the intercountry placement of children and (ii) the alien’s mother or guardian has in writing irrevocably released the alien for emigration.

     (3) In considering petitions filed under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall—

     (A) consult with appropriate governmental officials and officials of private voluntary organizations in the country of the alien’s birth in order to make the determinations described in subparagraphs (A) and (C)(ii) of paragraph (2); and

     (B) consider the physical appearance of the alien and any evidence provided by the petitioner, including birth and baptismal certificates, local civil records, photographs of, and letters or proof of financial support from, a putative father who is a citizen of the United States, and the testimony of witnesses, to the extent it is relevant or probative.

     (4)(A) A guarantee of legal custody and financial responsibility for an alien described in paragraph (2) must—

     (i) be signed in the presence of an immigration officer or consular officer by an individual (hereinafter in this paragraph referred to as the "sponsor") who is twenty-one years of age or older, is of good moral character, and is a citizen of the United States or alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, and

     (ii) provide that the sponsor agrees (I) in the case of an alien under eighteen years of age, to assume legal custody for the alien after the alien’s departure to the United States and until the alien becomes eighteen years of age, in accordance with the laws of the State where the alien and the sponsor will reside, and (II) to furnish, during the five-year period beginning on the date of the alien’s acquiring the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or during the period beginning on the date of the alien’s acquiring the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence and ending on the date on which the alien becomes twenty-one years of age, whichever period is longer, such financial support as is necessary to maintain the family in the United States of which the alien is a member at a level equal to at least 125 per centum of the current official poverty line (as established by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, under section 9902(2) of title 42 and as revised by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under the second and third sentences of such section) for a family of the same size as the size of the alien’s family.

     (B) A guarantee of legal custody and financial responsibility described in subparagraph (A) may be enforced with respect to an alien against his sponsor in a civil suit brought by the Attorney General in the United States district court for the district in which the sponsor resides, except that a sponsor or his estate shall not be liable under such a guarantee if the sponsor dies or is adjudicated a bankrupt under title 11.

(g) Restriction on petitions based on marriages entered while in exclusion or deportation proceedings

     Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, except as provided in section 1255(e)(3) of this title, a petition may not be approved to grant an alien immediate relative status or preference status by reason of a marriage which was entered into during the period described in section 1255(e)(2) of this title, until the alien has resided outside the United States for a 2-year period beginning after the date of the marriage.

(h) Survival of rights to petition

     The legal termination of a marriage may not be the sole basis for revocation under section 1155 of this title of a petition filed under subsection (a)(1)(A)(iii) of this section or a petition filed under subsection (a)(1)(B)(ii) of this section pursuant to conditions described in subsection (a)(1)(A)(iii)(I) of this section. Remarriage of an alien whose petition was approved under subsection (a)(1)(B)(ii) or (a)(1)(A)(iii) of this section or marriage of an alien described in clause (iv) or (vi) of subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section or in subsection (a)(1)(B)(iii) of this section shall not be the basis for revocation of a petition approval under section 1155 of this title.

(i) Professional athletes

(1) In general

     A petition under subsection (a)(4)(D) 2 of this section for classification of a professional athlete shall remain valid for the athlete after the athlete changes employers, if the new employer is a team in the same sport as the team which was the employer who filed the petition.

2 So in original. Probably should be subsection "(a)(1)(D)".

(2) "Professional athlete" defined

     For purposes of paragraph (1), the term "professional athlete" means an individual who is employed as an athlete by—

     (A) a team that is a member of an association of 6 or more professional sports teams whose total combined revenues exceed $10,000,000 per year, if the association governs the conduct of its members and regulates the contests and exhibitions in which its member teams regularly engage; or

     (B) any minor league team that is affiliated with such an association.

(j) Job flexibility for long delayed applicants for adjustment of status to permanent residence

     A petition under subsection (a)(1)(D) of this section for an individual whose application for adjustment of status pursuant to section 1255 of this title has been filed and remained unadjudicated for 180 days or more shall remain valid with respect to a new job if the individual changes jobs or employers if the new job is in the same or a similar occupational classification as the job for which the petition was filed.

(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 1, § 204, 66 Stat. 179; Pub. L. 87–885, § 3, Oct. 24, 1962, 76 Stat. 1247; Pub. L. 89–236, § 4, Oct. 3, 1965, 79 Stat. 915; Pub. L. 94–571, § 7(b), Oct. 20, 1976, 90 Stat. 2706; Pub. L. 95–417, §§ 2, 3, Oct. 5, 1978, 92 Stat. 917; Pub. L. 96–470, title II, § 207, Oct. 19, 1980, 94 Stat. 2245; Pub. L. 97–116, §§ 3, 18(d), Dec. 29, 1981, 95 Stat. 1611, 1620; Pub. L. 97–359, Oct. 22, 1982, 96 Stat. 1716; Pub. L. 99–639, §§ 2(c), 4(a), 5(b), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3541, 3543; Pub. L. 100–525, § 9(g), Oct. 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 2620; Pub. L. 101–649, title I, § 162(b), title VII, § 702(b), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 5010, 5086; Pub. L. 102–232, title III, §§ 302(e)(4), (5), 308(b), 309(b)(5), Dec. 12, 1991, 105 Stat. 1745, 1746, 1757, 1758; Pub. L. 103–322, title IV, § 40701(a), (b)(1), (c), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1953, 1954; Pub. L. 103–416, title II, § 219(b)(2), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4316; Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title III, § 308(e)(1)(A), (f)(2)(A), title VI, § 624(b), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–619, 3009–621, 3009–699; Pub. L. 106–279, title III, § 302(b), Oct. 6, 2000, 114 Stat. 839; Pub. L. 106–313, title I, § 106(c)(1), Oct. 17, 2000, 114 Stat. 1254; Pub. L. 106–386, div. B, title V, §§ 1503(b)–(d), 1507(a)(1), (2), (b), Oct. 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 1518–1521, 1529, 1530.)

Amendment of Subsection (d)

Pub. L. 106–279, title III, §§ 302(b), 505(a)(2), (b), Oct. 6, 2000, 114 Stat. 839, 844, provided that, effective upon entry into force for the United States of the Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, pursuant to Article 46(2)(a) of the Convention, with transition rule, subsection (d) of this section is amended by striking "(d)" and inserting "(d)(1)", by striking "section 1101(b)(1)(F)" and inserting "subparagraph (F) or (G) of section 1101(b)(1)", and by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

     (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, no petition may be approved on behalf of a child defined in section 1101(b)(1)(G) of this title unless the Secretary of State has certified that the central authority of the child’s country of origin has notified the United States central authority under the convention referred to in such section 1101(b)(1)(G) of this title that a United States citizen habitually resident in the United States has effected final adoption of the child, or has been granted custody of the child for the purpose of emigration and adoption, in accordance with such convention and the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 [42 U.S.C. 14901 et seq.].

Amendments

     2000—Subsec. (a)(1)(A)(iii). Pub. L. 106–386, § 1503(b)(1)(A), amended cl. (iii) generally. Prior to amendment, cl. (iii) read as follows: "An alien who is the spouse of a citizen of the United States, who is a person of good moral character, who is eligible to be classified as an immediate relative under section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title, and who has resided in the United States with the alien’s spouse may file a petition with the Attorney General under this subparagraph for classification of the alien (and any child of the alien if such a child has not been classified under clause (iv)) under such section if the alien demonstrates to the Attorney General that—

"(I) the alien is residing in the United States, the marriage between the alien and the spouse was entered into in good faith by the alien, and during the marriage the alien or a child of the alien has been battered by or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by the alien’s spouse; and

"(II) the alien is a person whose removal, in the opinion of the Attorney General, would result in extreme hardship to the alien or a child of the alien."

     Subsec. (a)(1)(A)(iv). Pub. L. 106–386, § 1503(b)(2), amended cl. (iv) generally. Prior to amendment, cl. (iv) read as follows: "An alien who is the child of a citizen of the United States, who is a person of good moral character, who is eligible to be classified as an immediate relative under section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title, and who has resided in the United States with the citizen parent may file a petition with the Attorney General under this subparagraph for classification of the alien under such section if the alien demonstrates to the Attorney General that—

"(I) the alien is residing in the United States and during the period of residence with the citizen parent the alien has been battered by or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by the alien’s citizen parent; and

"(II) the alien is a person whose removal, in the opinion of the Attorney General, would result in extreme hardship to the alien."

     Subsec. (a)(1)(A)(v). Pub. L. 106–386, § 1503(b)(3), added cl. (v).

     Subsec. (a)(1)(A)(vi). Pub. L. 106–386, § 1507(a)(1), added cl. (vi).

     Subsec. (a)(1)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 106–386, § 1503(c)(1), amended cl. (ii) generally. Prior to amendment, cl. (ii) read as follows: "An alien who is the spouse of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, who is a person of good moral character, who is eligible for classification under section 1153(a)(2)(A) of this title, and who has resided in the United States with the alien’s legal permanent resident spouse may file a petition with the Attorney General under this subparagraph for classification of the alien (and any child of the alien if such a child has not been classified under clause (iii)) under such section if the alien demonstrates to the Attorney General that the conditions described in subclauses (I) and (II) of subparagraph (A)(iii) are met with respect to the alien."

     Subsec. (a)(1)(B)(iii). Pub. L. 106–386, § 1503(c)(2), amended cl. (iii) generally. Prior to amendment, cl. (iii) read as follows: "An alien who is the child of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, who is a person of good moral character, who is eligible for classification under section 1153(a)(2)(A) of this title, and who has resided in the United States with the alien’s permanent resident alien parent may file a petition with the Attorney General under this subparagraph for classification of the alien under such section if the alien demonstrates to the Attorney General that—

"(I) the alien is residing in the United States and during the period of residence with the permanent resident parent the alien has been battered by or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by the alien’s permanent resident parent; and

"(II) the alien is a person whose removal, in the opinion of the Attorney General, would result in extreme hardship to the alien."

     Subsec. (a)(1)(B)(iv). Pub. L. 106–386, § 1503(c)(3), added cl. (iv).

     Subsec. (a)(1)(B)(v). Pub. L. 106–386, § 1507(a)(2), added cl. (v).

     Subsec. (a)(1)(C) to (I). Pub. L. 106–386, § 1503(d)(1), (2), added subpars. (C) and (D) and redesignated former subpars. (C) to (G) as (E) to (I), respectively. Former subpar. (H) redesignated (J).

     Subsec. (a)(1)(J). Pub. L. 106–386, § 1503(d)(1), (3), redesignated subpar. (H) as (J) and inserted "or in making determinations under subparagraphs (C) and (D)," after "subparagraph (B),".

     Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 106–386, § 1507(b), inserted at end "Remarriage of an alien whose petition was approved under subsection (a)(1)(B)(ii) or (a)(1)(A)(iii) of this section or marriage of an alien described in clause (iv) or (vi) of subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section or in subsection (a)(1)(B)(iii) of this section shall not be the basis for revocation of a petition approval under section 1155 of this title."

     Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 106–313 added subsec. (j).

     1996—Subsec. (a)(1)(A)(iii)(II), (iv)(II), (B)(iii)(II). Pub. L. 104–208, § 308(e)(1)(A), substituted "removal" for "deportation".

     Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 104–208, § 308(f)(2)(A), substituted "be admitted" for "enter".

     Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 104–208, § 624(b), added subsec. (i).

     1994—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 103–322, § 40701(a), in subpar. (A), designated first sentence as cl. (i) and second sentence as cl. (ii) and added cls. (iii) and (iv), in subpar. (B), designated existing provisions as cl. (i) and added cls. (ii) and (iii), and added subpar. (H).

     Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 103–416 in second sentence inserted "spouse" after "alien" and "of the alien (and the alien’s children)" after "for classification".

     Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 103–322, § 40701(b)(1), in subpar. (A), substituted "for the classification of the spouse of an alien if the alien," for "filed by an alien who," in introductory provisions and in subpar. (B), substituted "for the classification of the spouse of an alien if the prior marriage of the alien" for "by an alien whose prior marriage".

     Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 103–322, § 40701(c), added subsec. (h).

     1991—Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 102–232, § 302(e)(4)(A), inserted sentence at end authorizing filing of petitions by aliens described in second sentence of section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title.

     Subsec. (a)(1)(F). Pub. L. 102–232, § 302(e)(4)(B), substituted "Attorney General" for "Secretary of State".

     Subsec. (a)(1)(G)(iii). Pub. L. 102–232, § 302(e)(4)(C), struck out "or registration" after "petition".

     Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 102–232, § 302(e)(5), substituted "as an immigrant" for "as a immigrant".

     Subsec. (f)(4)(A)(ii)(II). Pub. L. 102–232, § 309(b)(5), substituted "the second and third sentences of such section" for "section 9847 of title 42".

     Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 102–232, § 308(b), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 101–649, § 702(b). See 1990 Amendment note below.

     1990—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 101–649, § 162(b)(1), added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: "Any citizen of the United States claiming that an alien is entitled to a preference status by reason of a relationship described in paragraph (1), (4), or (5) of section 1153(a) of this title, or to an immediate relative status under section 1151(b) of this title, or any alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence claiming that an alien is entitled to a preference status by reason of the relationship described in section 1153(a)(2) of this title, or any alien desiring to be classified as a preference immigrant under section 1153(a)(3) of this title (or any person on behalf of such an alien), or any person desiring and intending to employ within the United States an alien entitled to classification as a preference immigrant under section 1153(a)(6) of this title, may file a petition with the Attorney General for such classification. The petition shall be in such form as the Attorney General may by regulations prescribe and shall contain such information and be supported by such documentary evidence as the Attorney General may require. The petition shall be made under oath administered by any individual having authority to administer oaths, if executed in the United States, but, if executed outside the United States, administered by a consular officer or an immigration officer."

     Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–649, § 162(b)(2), substituted reference to section 1153(b)(2) or 1153(b)(3) of this title for reference to section 1153(a)(3) or (6) of this title, and reference to preference under section 1153(a) or (b) of this title for reference to a preference status under section 1153(a) of this title.

     Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 101–649, § 162(b)(3), substituted "immigrant under subsection (a), (b), or (c) of section 1153 of this title" for "preference immigrant under section 1153(a) of this title".

     Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 101–649, § 162(b)(5), (6), redesignated subsec. (g) as (f) and struck out former subsec. (f) which related to applicability of provisions to qualified immigrants specified in section 1152(e) of this title.

     Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 101–649, § 162(b)(4), substituted reference to section 1153(a)(3) of this title for reference to section 1153(a)(4) of this title.

     Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 101–649, § 702(b), as amended by Pub. L. 102–232, § 308(b), inserted "except as provided in section 1255(e)(3) of this title," after "Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section,".

     Pub. L. 101–649, § 162(b)(6), redesignated subsec. (h) as (g). Former subsec. (g) redesignated as (f).

     Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 101–649, § 162(b)(6), redesignated subsec. (h) as (g).

     1988—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 100–525, § 9(g)(1), substituted "an immediate relative" for "a nonquota".

     Subsec. (g)(3)(A). Pub. L. 100–525, § 9(g)(2), substituted "(C)(ii) of paragraph (2)" for "(C)(i) of paragraph 2".

     1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–639, § 2(c), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

     Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–639, § 4(a), inserted "(1)" after "if" and ", or has sought to be accorded," and added cl. (2).

     Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 99–639, § 5(b), added subsec. (h).

     1982—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 97–359 added subsec. (g).

     1981—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–116, § 18(d), substituted "of a relationship described in paragraph" for "of the relationships described in paragraphs".

     Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–116, § 3, redesignated subsec. (e) as (d). Former subsec. (d), directing that the Attorney General forward to the Congress a Statistical summary of petitions for immigrant status approved by him under section 1153(a)(3) or 1153(a)(6) of this title and that the reports be submitted to Congress on the first and fifteenth day of each calendar month in which Congress was in session, was struck out.

     Subsecs. (e), (f). Pub. L. 97–116, § 3, redesignated as subsec. (e) the subsec. (f) relating to subsequent finding of non-entitlement. See 1978 Amendment note below. Former subsec. (e) redesignated (d).

     1980—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 96–470 substituted provision requiring the Attorney General to forward to Congress a statistical summary of approved petitions for professional or occupational preferences for provision requiring the Attorney General to forward to Congress a report on each petition approved for professional or occupational preference stating the basis for his approval and the facts pertinent in establishing qualifications for preferential status.

     1978—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 95–417, § 2, struck out "no more than two petitions may be approved for one petitioner on behalf of a child as defined in section 1101(b)(1)(E) or 1101(b)(1)(F) of this title unless necessary to prevent the separation of brothers and sisters and" after "subsection (b) of this section".

     Subsecs. (e), (f). Pub. L. 95–417, § 3, added subsec. (e) and redesignated former subsec. (e), relating to subsequent finding of non-entitlement, as subsec. (f) without regard to existing subsec. (f), relating to provisions applicable to qualified immigrants, added by Pub. L. 94–571.

     1976—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 94–571 added subsec. (f).

     1965—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–236 substituted provisions spelling out the statutory grounds for filing a petition for preference status and prescribing the authority of the Attorney General to require documentary evidence in support and the form of the petition, for provisions prohibiting consular officers from granting preference status before being authorized to do so in cases of applications based on membership in the ministry of a religious denomination or high education, technical training, or specialized experience which would be substantially beneficial to the United States.

     Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–236 substituted provisions authorizing investigation of petitions by the Attorney General, consultation with the Secretary of Labor, and authorization to consular officers, for provisions specifying the form of application for preference status on the basis of membership in the ministry of a religious denomination or high education, technical training, or specialized experience which would be substantially beneficial to the United States and the circumstances making an application appropriate.

     Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 89–236 substituted provisions limiting the number of orphan petitions which may be approved for one petitioner and prohibiting approval of any petition of an alien whose prior marriage was determined by the Attorney General to have been entered into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws, for provisions which related to investigation of facts by the Attorney General and submission of reports to Congress covering the granting of preferential status.

     Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89–236 substituted provisions requiring the Attorney General to submit reports to Congress on each approved petition for professional or occupational preference, for provisions prohibiting a statutory construction of the section which would entitle an immigrant to preferential classification if, upon arrival at the port of entry, he was found not to be entitled to such classification.

     Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 89–236 added subsec. (e).

     1962—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 87–885 provided for submission of reports to Congress.

Effective Date of 2000 Amendment

     Amendment by Pub. L. 106–279 effective upon entry into force for the United States of the Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, pursuant to Article 46(2)(a) of the Convention, with transition rule, see section 505(a)(2), (b) of Pub. L. 106–279, set out as an Effective Dates; Transition Rule note under section 14901 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

     Amendment by section 308(e)(1)(A), (f)(2)(A) of Pub. L. 104–208 effective, with certain transitional provisions, on the first day of the first month beginning more than 180 days after Sept. 30, 1996, see section 309 of Pub. L. 104–208, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendments

     Amendment by Pub. L. 103–416 effective as if included in the enactment of the Immigration Act of 1990, Pub. L. 101–649, see section 219(dd) of Pub. L. 103–416, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

     Amendment by Pub. L. 103–322 effective Jan. 1, 1995, see section 40701(d) of Pub. L. 103–322, set out as a note under section 1151 of this title.

Effective Date of 1991 Amendment

     Amendment by sections 302(e)(4), (5) and 308(b) of Pub. L. 102–232 effective as if included in the enactment of the Immigration Act of 1990, Pub. L. 101–649, see section 310(1) of Pub. L. 102–232, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

     Amendment by section 162(b) of Pub. L. 101–649 effective Nov. 29, 1990, but only insofar as section 162(b) relates to visas for fiscal years beginning with fiscal year 1992, with general transition provisions, see section 161(b), (c) of Pub. L. 101–649, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

     Section 702(c) of Pub. L. 101–649 provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending sections 1154 and 1255 of this title] shall apply to marriages entered into before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 29, 1990]."

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

     Section 4(b) of Pub. L. 99–639 provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to petitions filed on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 10, 1986]."

     Section 5(c) of Pub. L. 99–639 provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section and section 1255 of this title] shall apply to marriages entered into on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 10, 1986]."

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

     Amendment by Pub. L. 97–116 effective Dec. 29, 1981, see section 21(a) of Pub. L. 97–116, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

     Amendment by Pub. L. 94–571 effective on first day of first month which begins more than sixty days after Oct. 20, 1976, see section 10 of Pub. L. 94–571, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1965 Amendment

     For effective date of amendment by Pub. L. 89–236, see section 20 of Pub. L. 89–236, set out as a note under section 1151 of this title.

Alien Sheepherders

     Act Sept. 3, 1954, ch. 1254, §§ 1–3, 68 Stat. 1145, provided for the importation of skilled alien sheepherders upon approval by the Attorney General, certification to the Secretary of State by the Attorney General of names and addresses of sheepherders whose applications for importation were approved, and issuance of not more than 385 special nonquota immigrant visas. Provisions of said act expired on Sept. 3, 1955, by terms of section 1 thereof.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

     This section is referred to in sections 1101, 1151, 1153, 1155, 1182, 1183a, 1184, 1186a, 1227, 1229a, 1229b, 1255, 1255a, 1356, 1367, 1375, 1574, 1641 of this title.

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Chicago: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel", "§ 1154. Procedure for Granting Immigrant Status," U.S. Code, Title 8, Aliens and Nationality in U.S. Code, Title 8, Aliens and Nationality (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2002), Original Sources, accessed September 24, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CK6UW71DFZJNCA3.

MLA: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel". "§ 1154. Procedure for Granting Immigrant Status." U.S. Code, Title 8, Aliens and Nationality, in U.S. Code, Title 8, Aliens and Nationality, Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 2002, Original Sources. 24 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CK6UW71DFZJNCA3.

Harvard: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel", '§ 1154. Procedure for Granting Immigrant Status' in U.S. Code, Title 8, Aliens and Nationality. cited in 2002, U.S. Code, Title 8, Aliens and Nationality, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.. Original Sources, retrieved 24 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CK6UW71DFZJNCA3.