What happens when you marry an illegal immigrant? 5 Answers as of November 01, 2010

Will he automatically be a citizen?

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Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
The short answer is no. Your husband does not get eligibility to gain what we call "adjustment of status" to get permanent legal residency simply by marrying you. However, there is a possibility of obtaining that adjustment of status with you as a petitioner, if he entered the USA legally, and then overstayed his visa. If not, then there is also an opportunity to obtain legal status through a hardship petition. If you want to know more, and I can be of help, call or e-mail me at either the phone number or e-mail address given below.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/1/2010
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office | Jack C. Sung
No. You have to petition for the illegal immigrant.

If a person entered the country illegally, even if he marries a US citizen he cannot apply for legal status, UNLESS he had a petition filed for him on or before April 30, 2001.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/19/2010
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny | Svetlana Boukhny
No, first of all, nothing happens automatically. Secondly, it really depends on how the illegal entered the US. If he/she entered lawfully and overstayed, marriage to a US citizen CAN make him/her eligible for permanent residence (green card). If he/she entered unlawfully, under the current law, there is nothing he/she can do within the US to legalize his/her status. He/she would need to go to his/her country of nationality to get a visa but as soon as they leave the US, they would be barred for 3/10 years from the US unless they can have the bar waived on showing extreme hardship to a US citizen spouse, child, etc. It is rather difficult to get this done, generally.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions that more specifically relate to your situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/19/2010
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