How can I legalize my fiance with a criminal record? 3 Answers as of June 06, 2011

My fiancé is illegal; he entered illegally into the United States approximately 7 years ago. When he first arrived, he created a criminal record for himself in theft when he was 18 years old. Since then he has learned his lesson and has only dealt with two more additions to his record which were a minor traffic violation for driving without a license and being held in contempt of court for not appearing before the trial due to fear of deportation. He has paid all the dues and charges against him and is now looking into expungment of his record. What do I do in this situation? I've heard that if he returns to Mexico, we can get a fiancé sort of visa in which he returns and marries within 90 days, but does this apply to him for having a criminal record? What can be done in this situation in order to legalize him at marriage or at least obtain a sort of residency that will eventually lead to citizenship? His name and fingerprints are already in the system. I have no record of any sort and am a born-here United States citizen.

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World Esquire Law Firm
World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
The first thing you need to do is to order his entire criminal history and see what is in it without having to guess at it. You would want to know if he was ever removed from the US before you met him or at any time during the time he has been here. Whether he qualifies for a waiver on those criminal offenses will depend on what they are. In terms of him qualifying for a visa, you most definitely should apply for him once you are married in Mexico (since I dont think he will be allowed back into the US on fiance visa) and he will be approved for an immigrant visa. Then you begin the process of strategizing for an I-212 waiver for him. Hopefully he falls within the INA 212(a)(B) and not 212(a)(C) because that could make all the difference in getting a waiver to be accepted. What you want to do is file form I-130 for him (www.uscis.gov ). You should be able to see what kind of documents you will need to file along with it on the form itself. When that form is approved, then USCIS will send it to the National Visa Center and they will hold it until the visa priority date (date USCIS received it) comes up and processing will begin. This process will take years, but you can check this link to see where he is on the waiting list: http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html. His category will be F1. No one knows how long this will take. It can get complicated and if you feel you need help, then hire competent counsel to do this for you. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/6/2011
Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
You need to speak with an immigration lawyer. You will not succeed in this by yourself. Depending on the severity of the conviction, he may be eligible for a waiver and still be able to obtain a visa. He is going to need a waiver of his unlawful presence in the U.S., as well. If he leaves the U.S. and does not obtain a waiver, he will not be able to return for 10 years. There are many risks and details that need to be addressed. Call me or a local immigration lawyer for a consultation.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 6/6/2011
Fong & Associates
Fong & Associates | William D. Fong
A K-1 visa is unlikely to be issued, a K-3 with a waiver is the better option. The approval of the waiver will depend on a hardship to a US citizen relative, you. As a fiance, you are not related and therefore there is no hardship to a qualifying relative.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/6/2011
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