Can illegal immigrants apply for citizenship? 3 Answers as of November 09, 2010

He wants to become a citizen. We do not want him to have to leave the country. Is there any way for him to apply for citizenship from here?

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Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
An illegal immigrant cannot become a citizen. He has to first obtain legal permanent residency (LPR) status with a suitable visa, obtained either through an I-130 alien relative petition with an adjustment of status or through consular process if he is outside the country. However, I would not have him leave, if he has not left and re-entered the USA. He would have to have either a spouse, adult son, parent or employer to petition for him. There are a number of means by which he may get that application granted. If you want to go with him to discuss it further, then e-mail or call to set up an in-person or telephone conference consultation. Best to you and your relative.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2010
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office | Jack C. Sung
Only if (1) he is married to a US citizen and (2) he has a prior petition filed for him before April 30, 2001.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/3/2010
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny | Svetlana Boukhny
No, a person who is in the US illegally cannot just apply for citizenship. He/she must first be a permanent resident (green card holder) and it is not guaranteed that he/she can even apply for that benefit if they are in the US illegally. It needs to be determined whether he/she is eligible and you would need to provide more information about the specific situation of how this person entered the US and when, etc. in order to get a more complete answer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/3/2010
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