Can a citizen apply for immigration status for someone who came to the US illegally? 3 Answers as of April 01, 2011

I am a USA citizen, my wife came illegally to USA, can I apply for her?

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Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
Obtaining permanent residences (generally called a "Green Card") through a family member involves two steps. First, being petitioned by your family member. Second, applying for adjustment of status (if in the U.S. and eligible) or immigrant visa processing at the U.S. consulate in your home country. Not everyone is eligible to file for adjustment of status. Generally, a person must have legally entered the U.S., was admitted and inspected and is legal status to file adjustment. The two major exceptions are for spouses, parents and minor children of U.S. Citizen can be out of legal status and still adjust; and applicant's protected under INA Section 245(i) can also adjust.

If a person is not eligible to adjust they must then immigrant visa process. The problem is that anyone that had been in the U.S. unlawfully for more than 180 days after turning 18 and then leaves the U.S. in barred from returning for 3 years. The bar becomes 10 years if they were unlawful presence for 1 year or more before leaving. In order to return in less than 3 or 10 years, they must apply for and be granted a waiver by the USCIS. The waiver is filed after they are denied their immigrant visa. Waivers are difficult to get approved and in most cases require the assistance of an experience immigration attorney failure with the waiver process.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/1/2011
Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
Yes, but it could result in this illegal being taken into custody and placed in removal proceedings.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 4/1/2011
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
You can apply. She must go back home to attend interview. Can you do that? There could be some other strategies. Which one is suitable, you should talk to a lawyer about it.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/1/2011
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