What is the easiest way for my fiancé to get an immigrant visa? 6 Answers as of February 18, 2011

I am 20 years old and my fiance is 16. I am an US citizen but the problem is that she entered illegally w/o inspection when she was 8. We have decided to return back to her country this June since there is no way she can fix her status in the US and because no petition before 2000 was filed for her. I have spoke to various attorneys and some say that as long as she returns before turning 18 1/2 she would not be banned since minors do not accrue unlawful time, but some have said that there is no way since she was here illegally for more than a year even though she would be 17 at her return. I am very confused and I need any extra info I can get. Also where would it be best to marry and if there is anything that can be done, would it be better to marry or get a fiance visa? Please any info will be greatly appreciated.

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Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
Even though the law says that your fiance cannot adjust status as an inadmissible person, entering without visa, she, because of her youth, she can be petitioned for by you, once you turn 21. She is also able to file for consular processing, with a K-1 fiance visa, because she did not accrue unlawful time as a minor. Those who have said she cannot file for a green card later because of her 1-year plus illegal stay are incorrect. What I would do is the following: 1) wait until you are 21; 2) get your fiance back to her country before you file anything; 3) after you turn 21, file for a K-1 fiance visa, which once you gain it, and your fiance obtains an appointment, and she is allowed to come into the USA (about 3-5 months), you can bring her back into the USA; then 4) marry within 90 days after arrival in the USA, then; 5) she can adjust status. She will need an attorney. If you want the help of a professional, by all means call or e-mail me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/18/2011
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
An alien does not begin to accrue unlawful presence until they turn 18 years. Therefore, if they depart the US before the 180th day after turning 18 years, old they will not trigger the 3 year bar to admissibility. If you fiance came here at age 8 and never left the U.S.before, and then leaves before the 180th day, she would not be subject to the bar.

As to marrying her, you have to check what the law in the state you intend to get married in regarding the minimum age to get married. You could not petition her for a fiance visa, if because of her age she could not legally get married.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/18/2011
Law Office of Christine Troy
Law Office of Christine Troy | Christine Troy
Based on the information you have below, your fiancee is not able to file for a green card in the US. That is because she entered without permission of the US government. If you are engaged or married, you are allowed to sponsor her for a fiancee visa OR immigrant visa at the US consulate in her home country. (You should also double check that the marriage is legal in whichever state or country, given her age.) Any time in the US under the age of 18 does not count towards unlawful presence, unless I am missing out on a court case or memorandum that has altered this rule-so if another attorney has stated that she IS still subject, then call them back and ask for a copy of the rule/memo so you can have that. If I am correct, that means she will not need to file for a waiver of the 3/10 year bar. If I am not correct, then you will need to file that and they are fairly difficult to obtain. In filing for her, you also want to make sure that you have fully analyzed her case for other issues that may cause issues such as unauthorized SS #, criminal issues, multiple entries, etc. I feel fairly strongly here that you need to hire a competent attorney that you trust and who only does immigration law, to handle your case. You have a lot at stake here and I don't know all the facts of your case. I hope this information is helpful for you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/18/2011
441 Legal Group, Inc.
441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
The information you received about her not accruing unlawful presence before she turns 18 is correct.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/18/2011
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
You need to 1) marry her, 2) apply for her 3) get a waiver for her. You need to work with a lawyer, as opposed to "collecting information".
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/17/2011
    Marie Michaud Attorney At Law
    Marie Michaud Attorney At Law | Marie Michaud
    You could get married here in the US, file the family petition (about 6 months +), the start the consular processing (2-5 months), then she gets an apt to the consulate in her home country. This should happen before she turns 18 1/2 (actually she can not stay more than 179 days after turning 18half a year is 182.5 days). Then she goes to the interview over there, During the process, she is physically with you here in the US. This works as long as there was only one entry into the US, without any contact or interception with the immigration border patrol, and without any fast trip outside the US. Example: if she got here when 8, then went out once when she was 12 to see her sick grandma in her country, then re-enter the US once more, this process will not work.

    if you get married outside the US, you will be apart during the process (unless you stay with her in her country).

    Must make sure to get parental consent because she is only 16. Much check other ground of inadmissibility, such as deportation, fraud, fake documents, etc...)
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/17/2011
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