The following is not legal advice. Please contact a qualified immigration lawyer to discuss the specifics of your situation.
Under Section 245(i) of the INA, certain aliens who are unlawfully in the US can pay a $1000 fine to the government and be forgiven for having: (1) entered without inspection, (2) worked without authorization, and/or (3) overstayed their non-immigrant status.
The following conditions must be satisfied to qualify under this provision: (1) the applicant must have been physically present in the US on December 21, 2000; (2) the applicant must have been the beneficiary, spouse of the beneficiary or minor child of the beneficiary of a labor certification application or immigrant petition that was filed on or before April 30, 2001; (3) the applicant must not have left the US since December 21, 2000.
If the applicant has documentary evidence to establish that these conditions have been met, (s)he is eligible to either start a new process or continue the initial process. It does not matter whether the initially filed petition or labor certification application was later withdrawn, abandoned or denied, as long as it was not frivolous.
Doesn’t this sound a lot like the controversial plan that had the country in a frenzy earlier this year? It passed both Houses with little fanfare as President Clinton left office. Eligible aliens who meet the criteria discussed above are eligible to grandfather under the law that was passed at that time.