3| What is the LIFE Act?
The Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act (Pub. L. 106-553 and -554) is legislation that advanced the filing deadline to April 30, 2001, and required that applicants be present in the U.S. when the act went into effect (December 21, 2000).
The initial 1994 law structured Section 245(i) as a temporary and time-limited process. Only individuals with an immigrant petition submitted and approved by October 1, 1997, were eligible to adjust under the law. Congress subsequently acted multiple times to temporarily extend the filing deadlines.
In 1998, Congress made the law permanent and set new filing deadlines for individuals with an immigrant visa petition or labor certification application filed on their behalf before January 14, 1998. Congress also lifted the deadlines for petitions to be adjudicated; so long as an individual had a visa petition filed before the filing deadline, they were eligible.
The passage of the LIFE Act in 2000 advanced this filing deadline again to April 30, 2001, and expanded access to many other categories of immigrants previously excluded, but added the requirement that the individual be physically present in the U.S. on December 21, 2000. Congress has not advanced the date since.