Can I establish residency as an 18 year old after I marry my high school sweetheart? 6 Answers as of February 02, 2011

I am an 18 year old male who has lived in the US since I was 2. I graduated high school and I am engaged to my high school sweet heart who coincidently is a US citizen. We want to do so much together but I know I need to be a legal resident to get anywhere in the US. I want to know where to start and just pretty much an overview of what you believe will happen in my particular case. I know it depends on the person but I have no record with police. I am a law abiding person with this ugly curse. I want to do this of course without risking my family getting deported in the process.

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Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
Contact an attorney ASAP. Even if you are here without documentation if you are still under 18 you will be able to get your residency without a waiver as you have not accumulated unlawful presence or returned home after your accumulated unlawful time in the U..S. Depending on the facts of your original entry (talk to your parents about it) if you entered illegally then you will need to process in your home country but all but the last stage can be done here so should be a quick trip BUT YOU MUST DEPART BEFORE YOU ARE 18.5 YEARS OLD. We would be happy to help and you may contact me to set up a consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/2/2011
Calderón Seguin PLC
Calderón Seguin PLC | Ofelia L. Calderon
This question really depends on how you entered the U.S. when you were two years old. If you entered legally, your high school sweetheart can file a petition for you after you get married and you can simultaneously apply for your permanent residence. If you entered illegally, it is much more complicated and may require a departure from the U.S. I can't tell from your post how long you have been 18 years old but that could play a vital role in your ability to return to the U.S. I really suggest that you speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible so that if you must go, you can come back.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 1/27/2011
Hugo Florido ESQ.
Hugo Florido ESQ. | Hugo Florido
Yes, you may obtain residency after marrying your fiance even at 18 years old.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/26/2011
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
Unless you were admitted and inspected (came in legally with a visa), were paroled in, or are protected under 245(i) you cannot apply for your Green Card (called adjusting status) in the U.S. Instead you would have to complete the process by going to a U.S. consulate in your home country and obtain an immigrant visa However, if you have been unlawfully present in the US for more than 180 days SINCE YOU TURNED 18 YEARS OLD you would be barred from returning for 3 years (the bar becomes 10 years if you stay for 1 year after turning 18). You should immediately speak to an attorney to see if you could avoid the bar by leaving before the 180th day or to see if you are eligible to adjust your status.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/26/2011
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law | Marie Michaud
If you came in with a visa, or have some stamp in your passport evidencing legal entry, you can probably file an adjustment of status (if otherwise admissible). THis means you do not have to leave the country. It will take you about 3-4 months to get a conditional residence.

If you came illegally, were not caught by the border patrol, never deported, never left the US, you might file your adjustment from here, without leaving the US provided you are protected under 245i. This is an old are protected if someone filed for a green card for your parents on or before 4/30/2001. For example, an employer filed a labor certification on behalf of your dad or your mother's brother (an American citizen) filed a family petition for your mom before / on 4/30/2001. If you have the protection, you can file simply by paying a bigger filing fee.

If you came in illegally,were not caught by the border patrol, never deported, never left the US, and is not protected under 245i, you could proceed thru your home country....But note the following important information: If you are 18 years old and more than 180 days have passed since the day you turned 18, there is complication because you are subject to a bar, and can not return to the US. If you turned 18 less than 1180 days ago, and you go outside the US before the 180 days kicks in, it might be still an easy process. It is too much to write here...You should speak to an attorney it your situation involves no 245i protection and no legal entry. Timing is crucial.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/26/2011
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
    Congratulations on finding your love. What you can do depends on how your family come to the country. If they came without inspection, there is no fix. If they come but overstayed the visa, along with yours, of course, you may have opportunity to adjust status here. Hire an attorney to help you because your case is very sensitive and yes, your family will be affected in some way. That's why you need professional assistance.

    You are more than welcome to contact us for help. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/26/2011
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