Can I get a green card if I am currently ouf of status? 6 Answers as of July 21, 2011

My wife is an American citizen, and we are thinking in applying for the green card for me. The thing is that I am currently out of status. I've been living here for more than 10 years. When I first came to United States I used my Tourist Visa so it was a legal entry. But I do not have the I-94 anymore, I probably lost it. I still have my old passport with my expired tourist visa and a stamp that the US immigration has placed in my old passport. In 2008 I had a business that unfortunately had a couple of problems with the IRS. I do not have the Business anymore. Will the Immigration request to see my tax returns or my wife's only? I never had any problems with the Law; there is no criminal record on me. Is there a chance of having problems applying for the Green Card in these circumstances? Can I apply for the green card myself? How much will I spend in the whole green card process? Also would it be possible to get the Green Card if you left the country and came back by illegal means? Thanks!

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Baughman & Wang
Baughman & Wang | Justin X. Wang
Based on your story, you should be able to get green card petitioned by your USC wife. If you left the US and entered the US illegally, you will have serious problem. You can always file your own petition without legal representation if you know how to do it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2011
Fong & Associates
Fong & Associates | William D. Fong
You should be able to get your permanent residence here in the US, without any significant problems. Your lawful entry followed by a long-term overstay and unauthorized employment will be forgiven under Section 245(a). If you do not have your I-94 or a copy of it, you can file for a lost I-94 replacement and the Service will provide it to you as it should be in their computer system. You should not owe any money to the IRS. I would advise hiring an attorney to assist in your case.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/20/2011
World Esquire Law Firm
World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
There are possibilities for you that can be tapped into, but please do yourself a favor and hire an attorney to keep your family together. To your question, yes you can but there are some issues that need to be ironed out by someone who knows and can protect your interests. Get a lawyer. I cannot see you spending more than $4500 on the whole process including applications and attorney fees. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/20/2011
The Law Offices Jonathan D Montag
The Law Offices Jonathan D Montag | Jonathan D Montag
I can respond to your question in general terms. Do not construe this response as legal advice as I would have to meet with you and learn a lot more facts about your case to see if the general principles in my answer apply to your specific case or if facts in your case make the general principle inapplicable. Generally speaking: A person who entered with inspection can adjust status even if he or she is out of status except there is confusion about someone who entered under the visa waiver program, i.e., legally without a visa (and not a Canadian). Proof of admission can be shown from a passport stamp. If a person is in the U.S.for more than a year after the expiration of a period of authorized stay (like the date on an I-94) and departs, the person is barred from returning for 10 years, though a waiver is sometimes available. If a person leaves after a year of this unlawful presence and then returns illegally, or tries to, the person is barred from coming to the United States or adjusting status here for ten years and there is no waiver the person must wait outside the U.S. for ten years.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/20/2011
Christian Schmidt, Attorney at Law
Christian Schmidt, Attorney at Law | Christian Schmidt
You can apply for a green card through your marriage based on the facts you describe. Your failed business does not matter. You cannot apply if you left and came back illegally. In any event, you want an immigration lawyer look at your entire immigration history before applying to make sure you do not have hidden issues that you have not realized yet.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/20/2011
    Clifford Togo Sakata
    Clifford Togo Sakata | Clifford Togo Sakata
    Hi, If you entered lawfully and was inspected, you should still be eligible to adjust your status regardless of whether you lost your I-94. Please contact an immigration attorney to get more information.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
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