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May 17, 2001

Syrian Adjustment Act (P.L. 106-378)

Background

Public Law (P.L.) 106-378, allows up to 2,000 eligible Syrian nationals who were previously granted asylum in the United States to obtain permanent residency independent of the annual statutory limit of 10,000 asylum-based adjustments. Certain spouses, children and unmarried sons and daughters of eligible Syrian asylees may also adjust status under the law. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) published regulations implementing P.L. 106-378 on May 17, 2001.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for adjustment of status under this law, the principal alien must:

  • Be a Jewish national of Syria;
  • Have arrived in the United States after December 31, 1991, after being permitted by the Syrian government to depart from Syria; and,
  • Be physically present in the United States at the time of filing the application to adjust status.
In addition, all applicants, including the spouse, child, or unmarried son or daughter of a principal alien described above, must:
  • Apply for adjustment of status under P.L. 106-378 no later than October 26, 2001, or have applied for adjustment of status under another provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act and request that the basis of that pending application be changed to P.L. 106-378;
  • Have been physically present in the United States for at least 1 year after being granted asylum;
  • Not be firmly resettled in any foreign country; and
  • Be admissible as an immigrant under the Act at the time of examination for adjustment of status.

Application Process

Individuals can submit a new application for adjustment of status under this law, or, if they already have a pending application for adjustment, they can request that the basis of that application be changed to P.L. 106-378.

New Applications for Adjustment of Status

Individuals eligible to apply for adjustment of status under P.L. 106-378 should file with INS Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status). When completing Form I-485, applicants must write "SYRIAN ASYLEE – P.L. 106-378" on Part 2, question "h", to indicate that they are applying based on this provision. The completed Form I-485 with the proper documentation and fees or a request for a fee waiver should be placed in an envelope clearly labeled "SYRIAN ASYLEE P.L. 106-378" and sent to the following address:

U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
Nebraska Service Center
P. O. Box 87485
Lincoln NE 68501-7485

Current fees for Form I-485 are $160 for applicants under 14, or $220 and $25 fingerprint fee for applicants 14 and over.

The application must be physically received by the Service Center prior to close of business on October 26, 2001. Mailing or having the application post-marked prior to October 26, 2001, is not sufficient proof of filing.

Aliens With Applications for Adjustment of Status Already Pending

Eligible individuals who have pending adjustment of status applications may request that the basis of their application be changed to P.L. 106-378. To do this, a signed, written request stating the applicant’s desire to change the basis of the pending adjustment application and the INS office where the application was filed must be submitted to:

U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
Nebraska Service Center
P. O. Box 87485
Lincoln NE 68501-7485

The applicant should clearly annotate "SYRIAN ASYLEE P. L. 106-378" on the envelope to identify the correspondence.

Eligible individuals who filed for adjustment under another provision of law before October 27, 2000, may request to change the basis of their application to P.L. 106-378 at any time provided the 2,000 limit has not been reached. Whereas requests for change from eligible individuals who filed for adjustment under another provision of law on or after October 27, 2000, are viewed under the statute like new applications and, as such, must be received by the October 26, 2001, statutory deadline.

Eligible individuals who have pending adjustment of status applications also have the option of filing a new adjustment of status application under P.L. 106-378 in addition to their already pending adjustment application. Anyone choosing to file a new application should follow the new application instructions listed above. Any new application is subject to the October 26, 2001 statutory deadline.

– INS –
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