Form I-881, what to know about it?

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The I-881 form is a viable way to avoid deportation temporarily. It can be used in particular cases to cancel or suspend the removal of an undocumented immigrant. Yet, you must know its conditions in detail to use it effectively. The Form I-881 can be the difference between deportation or becoming an aspiring American in some cases. 

Here we will tell you what you should know about it. 

When may you use the Form I-881? 

There are roughly three instances where you can use the form I-881 to avoid deportation. 

  1. You are Guatemalan, and one of the following applies: 
  • You entered the US before Oct 1, 1990, and: 
  • Registered for ABC benefits before Dec 31, 1991.  
  • Or you filed a Form I-589 between Dec 19, 1990, and Dec 31, 1991, and were not apprehended after Dec 19, 1990 
  • Or you filed for asylum before Apr 1, 1990. 
  1. That you are Salvadoran, and one of the following applies: 
  • And you entered the US before Sept 19, 1990, and: 
  • You registered for ABC benefits before Oct 31, 1991 
  • Or filed form I-589 between Dec 19, 1990, and Oct 31, 1991, and were not apprehended after Dec 19, 1990. 
  • Or you filed for asylum before Apr 1, 1990. 
  1. You entered the US before Dec 31, 1990, filed for asylum during the following year, and, at that time, were a national of one of the following: 
  • Albania 
  • Bulgaria 
  • Czechoslovakia 
  • East Germany 
  • Estonia 
  • Hungary 
  • Latvia 
  • Lithuania 
  • Poland 
  • Soviet Union or any republic of its republics 
  • Romania 
  • Russia 
  • Yugoslavia or any state of the former Yugoslavia 

You can also apply if (4): 

You are a spouse, underage child, or unmarried adult child of one of the above. 


The relationship existed when your family member was given NACARA 203. 

Who may be eligible to be granted Form I-881 relief? 

You can be eligible for relief under two possible instances: 

1. If one of the first three conditions above apply and you show that: 

  • That you have seven years of continuous presence in the US. 
  • OR you had good moral character during those seven years. 
  • You or your US citizen or LPR spouse, parent, or child will suffer extreme hardship from your removal.  

2. If the fourth condition applies and you show that: 

  • You have three years of continuous presence in the US. 
  • You had good moral character during those years. 

Who is not eligible? 

USCIS will not grant relief for a Form I-881 if you are deportable under one of the following: 

  1. Criminal grounds 
  1. Falsification of documents 
  1. Security-related grounds 

Yet, you can still be eligible for relief by an immigration judge if you meet higher eligibility grounds. For example, if you: i) have been a person of good moral character. ii) Lived in the US for a continuous period of 10 years. Iii) Your removal would result in an unusual and exceptional hardship to you or immediate relatives who are American citizens or LPRs. 

What evidence should you submit? 

If you fail to submit the evidence, USCIS will likely deny your application. You must submit the following: 

  • Two passport-style photos 
  • Documents that support continuous physical presence, such as: 
  • Leases 
  • Licenses 
  • Receipts 
  • Employment records 
  • Birth and church records 
  • Employment records 
  • Tax payments 
  • Documents that support your moral character: 
  • Affidavits or letters of at least two witnesses, better if they are US citizens 
  • Affidavits or letters of your employer 
  • Evidence of tax payments 
  • Evidence of extreme hardship: 
  • Your children’s school records 
  • Medical records 
  • Records of involvement in community organizations 
  • Records of volunteer work 
  • Documents of people you employ if you are self-employed 
  • Copies of green cards of relatives that may suffer extreme hardship from your removal 

You can find the Form I-881 here and its instructions here. This can help a family member to avoid deportation, but you need to act quickly. Do not attempt to file this form without professional help. Failure to get it right the first time can have disastrous consequences. Please fill out our contact form right now! 

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