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Adjustment Of Status To Permanent Residency For Diplomats via Section 13 of the INA of 9/11/1957

Section 13 of INA of 9/11/1957 is a law passed by congress to allow Diplomats and their families stationed in the USA to change their status from Diplomat (A-1 Visa or G-1 Visa) to a Green Card. I refer to it as Asylum for Diplomats. The purpose of the law is to give refuge to Diplomats when the conditions in their home country makes it unsafe to return. Conditions must be dire, such as an overthrow of the government.

The amount of "Section 13" petitions that are denied are much greater then the those that are granted; you should ONLY hire an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law. In my exhaustive review of appellate cases that were denied it was clear that the main reason for denial was that the attorney did a poor job in making sure that all the elements for a successful petition were met.

The elements that must be met are:​​

  • You must have entered the country under an A-1 Visa or G-1 Visa

  • Your job responsibilities are "diplomatic or semi-diplomatic in nature." 

    • Job responsibilities that are of a "custodial, clerical, or menial nature" are not considered "diplomatic or semi-diplomatic​."

  • You must be "out of status," which means you can not apply before your tour is over.​ One of the required supporting documents is a "Notice Of Termination" of your A or G Visa from the U.S. Department of State.

  • The reason you are applying for "Section 13" is there are now severe conditions that make your return to your country unsafe.

    • USCIS must find that you have been "left homeless and stateless" as a consequence of "communist and other uprisings, aggression, or invasion" that have "in some cases wiped out" your government and other "compelling reasons​" that would be the functional equivalent.

    • The unsafe conditions did not exist before your tour in the USA began. 

    • You MUST show that the danger is specific to you and your family; general unrest in your country will not suffice.

    • Your mere statements on the record will not suffice, there must be supporting documents.

  • You must show you are of "good moral character" and granting you a Green Card would not be "contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security" of the USA.​

These elements are very difficult to prove. USCIS will approve only those petitions that contain certain buzz words and underlying facts. Only an experienced attorney will know to include these factors.

Even if you meet all the elements, "Section 13" only allots 50 Green Cards each year. Which means it is better to apply in January than in December.

Read the law here.

Contact us for a free consultation here.

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