top of page

Cuban Adjustment Green Cards

Once a relatively simple immigration category, the Cuban Adjustment Act has become a highly litigated area of the law.  We're on top of the latest developments so that we can be the best advocates possible for your case. Let us use our experience to review your parole and entry documents, determine if further actions to obtain parole are necessary, and to represent you before USCIS, ICE, or EOIR immigration court (or sometimes all of the above).

The Cuban Adjustment Act and the Parole Problem

The I-220A, Order of Release on Recognizance 

The Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 was initially created to facilitate immigration from Cuba to the United States. For decades, Cuban nationals who could reach U.S. soil were generally allowed to remain and apply for permanent residency after one year—a policy informally known as "wet foot, dry foot." However, in January 2017, the wet foot/dry foot policy ended. Cuban entrants now follow the same rules as other nationalities, making the path to legal status more challenging.

Despite these changes, the Cuban Adjustment Act still provides an avenue for eligible Cuban nationals to become U.S. permanent residents. After being inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States, they must be physically present for at least a year, be admissible as immigrants, and meet a few other requirements to obtain LPR status.


However, obtaining legal parole has become increasingly difficult. Many Cuban migrants apprehended at the border receive a document called an I-220A rather than parole. There have been numerous lawsuits, and there are even more pending, about whether an I-220A should be an adequate replacement for parole and/or whether Cuban nationals with I-220As should be granted a parole document. These developments are continuous and move quickly. Sometimes, ICE will grant parole to Cuban nationals under certain fact-sensitive circumstances. Submitting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for your file are also important, as sometimes there is evidence in your file of parole or information that supports a legal argument for parole.


Our team has extensive experience guiding Cuban clients through this evolving landscape to pursue all available options for adjusting their status through the provisions of the Cuban Adjustment Act.

Your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

Adjusting Through USCIS or Immigration Court

For Cuban nationals eligible to pursue permanent residency under the Cuban Adjustment Act, the process centers around filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This involves submitting the appropriate fees, photographs, and supporting documentation to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Unlike many other immigrants, the submission of an I-130 or I-140 first is unnecessary. 


Depending on your specific situation, you may be able to adjust your status directly through USCIS, or your I-485 may need to be submitted defensively with the immigration court during removal proceedings. Those inspected and admitted or paroled into the U.S. can generally adjust their status before USCIS after meeting the one-year physical presence requirement.


However, if you were placed into removal proceedings, you would need to apply with the immigration judge to terminate or administratively close your case in order to pursue adjustment through USCIS. Unfortunately, we see many clients who have a pending court case but who have also paid unscrupulous notaries to submit an I-485 to USCIS, not realizing that USCIS does not have jurisdiction in these cases. When their application is denied, it's a waste of both time and money.


Our legal team has extensive experience guiding clients through both of these pathways to take advantage of the Cuban Adjustment Act's provisions.

Your Peace of Mind

We're Your Advocate, Always

Navigating the Cuban Adjustment Act can be complex, especially in light of the changing policies around parole and admission in recent years.


We'll evaluate your unique situation to determine the ideal pathway forward—whether adjusting through USCIS or defensively in immigration court proceedings. Having an expert advocate on your side provides confidence that no stone was left unturned and your adjustment case has the best chance of approval on your first submission. With proper legal guidance, you can move through this process towards U.S. permanent residency with assurance your rights are protected.


Let's Talk

bottom of page