NACARA

What is the EBSC NACARA Program?

EBSC began its NACARA Program in 1999. Since that time, EBSC has filed more than 200 NACARA applications and we have a 100% success rate! Immigrants granted status through the NACARA program are immediately admitted to the United States as Permanent Residents. 

If you are seeking legal assistance please come to EBSC’s office immediately to inquire about our programs. NACARA intakes are by appointment with Lydia Lopez. Lydia will describe the documentation the immigrant must bring for their intake appointment. All information you provide EBSC is confidential and attorney-client privileged. No person, aside from EBSC Staff, will ever hear any details about your case without your express permission.

Does EBSC Charge a Fee For NACARA Assistance?

Currently, EBSC charges a fee of $500 for NACARA assistance. This assistance includes filing the appropriate forms, preparing a declaration with a client, and representing the client before the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

We never deny our services because of an inability to pay. If a client cannot afford to pay the $500, then EBSC will evaluate the client’s financial situation and reduce or waiver our fee where appropriate.

In addition, all clients are required to obtain FBI RAP sheets, and all criminal records. This costs $40; however, EBSC will loan a client the fee to do so if necessary.

Note: The information provided below is not meant to be legal advice. Before seeking any immigration benefit and at all times while in Removal Proceedings contact an attorney or an organization licensed by the Board of Immigration Appeals. 

Who Does the EBSC NACARA Program Help?

To be eligible for NACARA benefits, you must be one of the following:

  • A national from El Salvador who (1) first entered the United States on or before September 19, 1990 and registered for benefits under the American Baptist Churches v. Thornburgh (ABC) settlement agreement on or before October 31, 1991 (either by applying for Temporary Protected Status or by submitting an ABC registration) unless apprehended at the time of entry after December 19, 1990 or (2) filed an application for asylum with USCIS on or before April 1, 1990.
  • A national from Guatemala who (1) first entered the United States on or before October 1, 1990 and registered forABC benefits (as described above) on or before December 31, 1991, unless apprehended at the time of entery after December 19, 1990, or (2) who filed an application for asylum with USCIS on or before April 1, 1990.
  • An individual who entered the United States on or before December 31, 1990, applied for asylum on or before December 31, 1991, and at the time of the filing of the application for asylum was a national from one of the former Soviet bloc countries.
  • A spouse, child, unmarried son, or unmarried daughter of a person who fits one of the three descriptions above.


In addition, all applicants must prove:

  • They have seven years of continuous physical presence in the United States
  • They have been of good moral character during those seven years.
  • That their deportation would result in extreme hardship to you or your spouse, child, or parent who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
  • That they deserve a favorable exercise of discretion

Does USCIS Charge a fee to apply for NACARA Benefits?

Currently, fees of $85.00 and $285.00 apply to all applicants. The applicant must submit a check or money order payable to USCIS. This fee may be waived if the applicant falls below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. To apply for a fee waiver, the immigrant must bring their latest tax return with them to their appointment at EBSC.

What is the Process to Seek NACARA Benefits?

The NACARA process is complex and lasts several months.  It begins when an immigrant completes an intake interview at EBSC. During this intake, EBSC asks minimal questions to determine NACARA eligibility: when the immigrant arrived in the United States, if the immigrant has been arrested in the United States, if the immigrant has ever been removed from the United States, and if the immigrant has registered for ABC benefits or submitted an asylum application in time.

One the case is accepted by EBSC, the immigrant is assigned to a law student who will work with the immigrant through the remainder of the process.  This includes filing the requisite forms required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), gathering appropriate evidence in support of the case, preparing the immigrant for an interview, and representing the immigrant at the interview.

During this process, DHS will set a formal interview with an asylum officer. Typically, this interview is set for one to two months after the NACARA forms have been filed. At the interview, the asylum officer will determine the immigrant’s eligibility for NACARA benefits and render a decision soon after.

Will Every Immigrant Be Granted NACARA Benefits?


No, unfortunately certain immigrants who are inadmissible into the United States under INA § 212 or removable under INA § 235 will be barred from receiving NACARA benefits. Always talk with a licensed attorney or a Board of Immigration Appeals Accredited Representative prior to filing for NACARA benefits.

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