An immigrant typically qualifies for a green card when he becomes the spouse of a US citizen, but if the immigrant has been in the US undocumented, there will usually be additional hurdles in obtaining a green card .
The main concern for immigration authorities is how long a non-citizen spends in the United States undocumented, especially if that person has crossed the border without inspection.
If you were in the United States without an inspection, and applying for a green card, you will likely need to visit a consulate outside of the United States for your green card interview.
What can happen if you were undocumented in the United States?
During this interview, if you spent 180 days or more in the United States undocumented, you could be penalized for your illegal entry and stay in the United States.
The consequence of an illegal stay of 180 to 365 days is that you have to spend three more years outside the United States before you can return. If you have been in the United States illegally for more than a year, you will need to spend ten years outside the United States before you can return.
Can you get a waiver for an illegal stay?
During your interview at the consulate, you may be allowed to obtain an exemption (i.e. a legal pardon) for any illegal stay, but these are difficult to obtain. Couples in this situation will need to do the following – with the help of a Nevada Immigration Lawyer – to obtain a waiver:
- Submit form i131 (“Petition for Foreign Relative and for travelling reason”) to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Be sure to indicate that your spouse will be applying for a green card from outside the United States.
- If the I-130 petition is approved (it usually takes six to eight months), you will receive a notice from the National Visa Center asking you to submit the immigrant visa application and pay the visa fee. immigrant.
- You will need a receipt for your immigrant visa application in order to file the waiver request. If the waiver is approved (this usually takes about six months), a visa interview with your spouse at a U.S. consulate overseas will be scheduled.
When can a person be banned for life from the United States?
However, if your spouse entered the United States undocumented more than once, re-entered illegally following a deportation, or re-entered the United States illegally after staying in the United States without legal status for more than a year, your spouse may be excluded life from entering the United States
Each case is different and there are a number of reasons for which waivers and exceptions may be granted. If your spouse has been in the United States undocumented at any time and for any reason, before you and your spouse applied for a green card, consult a good immigration attorney.
In most cases, if your spouse is an immigrant who entered the United States legally and with the appropriate papers, your spouse will not have to leave the United States or apply for a waiver to obtain their green card.
What is marital fraud?
However, if your spouse obtained a visa for a stated purpose – a job, for example – but then used the visa for another purpose, such as marriage, your marriage may be considered fraudulent and your green card application may be considered. spouse can be refused.
citizen, your spouse must also meet other eligibility criteria. The marriage should be a legally recognized and “good faith” marriage, for example, and not just an arrangement to help your spouse get a green card. If a non-citizen marries a U.S. citizen only to get a green card, and the two do not intend to be a married couple, getting married and applying for a green card is marriage fraud.
A federal conviction for marriage fraud can be punished with up to five years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000. But even if your marriage is in good faith, your spouse still has more to prove to be approved for a green card. A Las Vegas Immigration Lawyer can help.