Can we pay a fee instead of being forced out of the country? 5 Answers as of January 17, 2011

I was born in the US and am a citizen. My husband came illegally to the US in 1998. We were married in 2006. In 2009 we obtained his Mexican passport in Arkansas, filed an I-130 (alien relative form), filed an I-864 (affidavit of support). Now we are waiting to be sent to Mexico. What I would like to know is... Is there any way of paying a fee instead of having to go back to Mexico and wait for us to be allowed to return? We have heard from several people that is possible but would like to know if it's true. Thank you for your time.

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Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A.
Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A. | Carlos Sandoval
It depends how he entered the United States, and whether he was the beneficiary of a petition before. We would need to know more information with respect to your case.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/17/2011
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
If your husband has been here without papers it is urgent that he not return to Mexico before you and he speak with an attorney. If he returns to Mexico he will be subject to a 10 year bar that would prevent him from returning to the US unless he can get a waiver by showing extreme hardship to you. These waivers are difficult to get so you should at least consult with an attorney to be prepared for that. At the least the waiver process can take several months more than just the interview so you and your family need to prepare for that.

There are limited circumstances where he may be able to just pay a fine and not have to go through the process but that is rare.

Please call my office to set up a consultation and we can investigate whether he has any options and what should go into the packet if he does need to go to Mexico.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/12/2011
441 Legal Group, Inc.
441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
Only if he is 245(i) eligible. Meaning that he had a relative petition or Labor certification pending prior to April 30,2001 and was present in the country on 12/20/2000.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/12/2011
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law | Marie Michaud
What some people are talking about is something called section 245i. This law allows people to complete the process in the United States without leaving the US. They pay $1000 penalty, which is a lot better than going back to Mexico and having to submit a waiver for previous unlawful presence. However, to do this, you must have been present in the US on December 20, 2000 and have a relative or an employer who filed a family petition (I-130) / Labor certification before April 30, 2001.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/11/2011
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