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The Nunc Pro Tunc Applications: How It Can Save Your Immigration Case

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Some exceptional circumstances could happen as you process your immigration papers before moving to another country. These can range from missing a deadline in submitting application papers due to something you can’t control to correcting an error in a submitted document. When left unchecked, these circumstances can jeopardize your chances of getting in the country of your choice.

This is where the nunc pro tunc application comes into the picture. Nunc pro tunc refers to the retroactive application of an earlier ruling. In American immigration law, nunc pro tunc can be used to restore lawful immigration status, among other things.

Key Takeaways:

  • The meaning and applications of nunc pro tunc in the immigration context
  • When and how to file a nunc pro tunc request
  • The limitations of nunc pro tunc

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Understanding Nunc Pro Tunc 

A Latin term that means “now for then,” nunc pro tunc order is the practice of changing back an order to an earlier date. The legal term came from Great Britain but is now commonly used worldwide.

In modern U.S. immigration law, nunc pro tunc corrects any clerical error in immigration documents. Upon court approval through a court order, it will have a retroactive effect on your legal documentation. This effect means the document is treated as if the correction was made on the same instance the error took place.

Nunc pro tunc work on these principles:

  • Correct a genuine mistake in legal documents.
  • Aim to mirror the original intent of the parties upon the document’s creation or taking of an action.
  • No substantial changes in the whole document.
  • The party seeking this request should show documentary evidence that the correction is necessary. They should also present legal requirements to show that the correction is consistent.
  • Courts may grant nunc pro tunc when the error has caused severe problems and inconveniences for the person.

When to Use Nunc Pro Tunc Applications

While nunc pro tunc can help in imposing a formal judgment that should have been made earlier, you can use it in immigration cases like:

1. Filing delays

Delays in filing immigration papers are inevitable. It can range from mistakes on the government office’s end to any situation beyond your control.

In this case, you can file for a nunc pro tunc request to extend your deadline and correct errors in your documents. Filing for such a request depends on the laws of the state where you live.

2. Visa overstays

A lot can happen between the time you get your visa and its expiration date. You need to renew your visa even before it expires. Events that are out of hand, such as security checks, can delay the visa renewal process. It might end up with you overstaying in the country.

Address your situation immediately upon visa expiration. You can go ahead and file for a nunc pro tunc if a visa extension or change of status is not applicable in your situation.

3. Administrative errors

Sometimes, in a hurry to submit the papers, you make unintentional errors in the document. You can submit a nunc pro tunc form to rectify what needs to be rectified.

The Process of Filing a Nunc Pro Tunc Application 

If you’ve made up your mind to file a nunc pro tunc request, you have to follow this process:

1. Compile all paperwork and supporting documents.

Gather all the documents and papers you need to support your application. These could be copies of previously submitted forms, government notices, or any other paper. All the evidence you have can help the trial court arrive at a decision.

2. Write a letter.

Explain the uncontrollable circumstances that led to the nunc pro tunc request filing. Go into extensive detail about how a specific error in your forms is unintentional but has caused you problems. Specify which part of the form needs to be corrected and the supposed date of effectivity.

3. Fill out the form.

After making your letter error-free, obtain a nunc pro tunc form and fill it out with the correct information. Note that these kinds of forms may vary from state to state.

Here is an example of a nunc pro tunc form used in Los Angeles.

4. Hand in your request.

After completing the form and collecting your evidence, submit the papers to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office in your state.

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Challenges and Limitations

Filing for nunc pro tunc comes with its own challenges. This might be caused by several factors that are in and out of your control, including:

  • Inadequate explanation. Give correct and convincing details about the unwitting mistake you committed in the documents and how you want it corrected. A coherent and understandable explanation might boost your request to the court clerk.
  • Differences in rules and laws. Each state may have its regulations regarding nunc pro tunc applications. It’s best to know the laws regarding this kind of request in the state in which you’re residing.
  • Criteria. The court may have strict criteria in granting nunc pro tunc requests. Meet the criteria before you submit your application.
  • Minimal supporting evidence. When you have a few papers to back up your argument, the court may dismiss your application. Compile all the papers you can get as evidence for your application.

The Role of Legal Counsel

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Getting professional legal advice in filing nunc pro tunc requests guides you on the right things to do as you apply for it. The advice you get from an attorney saves you time throughout the process.

Immigration attorneys can make a difference in your nunc pro tunc application results through their legal expertise and knowledge. They study your case deeply and come up with sound advice. They can also help you compile the documents you need to present as evidence and give you the latest updates on immigration law.

If you need more information about nunc pro tunc, ask your lawyer these questions:

  • What is nunc pro tunc?
  • How does nunc pro tunc apply to my situation?
  • What evidence do I need to submit when requesting for nunc pro tunc?
  • How likely is it for my request to be approved?
  • How long does the approval process take?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Are there any alternatives to my situation if I can’t afford such a request?

You can also message us here at Hacking Immigration Law, LLC. Our competent, experienced, and knowledgeable lawyers will assist you with the ins and outs of nunc pro tunc requests. We will assess your case and provide the best service possible.

FAQs About Nunc Pro Tunc

Is nunc pro tunc applicable to any immigration document error?

This would depend on the kind of error that your document has and the explanation you state in your letter.

What are the conditions for USCIS to approve my nunc pro tunc request?

Your request gets higher chances of approval from USCIS if:

  • The late filing is due to circumstances beyond the applicant’s control.
  • The applicant hasn’t violated his nonimmigrant status.
  • The applicant is not subjected to any deportation proceedings.

Is there a uniform fee for nunc pro tunc requests?

The fee you’ll pay for a nunc pro tunc request depends on your situation. Refer to USCIS's official website to know the actual costs.

How do I get legal advice prior to filing a nunc pro tunc request?

Ask your friends for references on the best lawyers to help you with your case. You can also send inquiries to law firms regarding your situation.

What happens if I don’t get a nunc pro tunc approval?

If the court doesn’t approve your request, you may get a legal solution that fits better to your situation.


A nunc pro tunc application saves your immigration dreams from getting thrown out the window. It helps correct unintentional mistakes in your document that could otherwise affect or delay the processing of your papers. If you need to apply for a nunc pro tunc request, contact a lawyer and get legal advice before getting started.

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