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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT IMMIGRATION OPTIONS FOR THOSE WHO ENTERED THE U.S. ILLEGALLY OR WHO NO LONGER ARE IN VALID STATUS

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Q: My husband came here to the U.S illegally in 2002. He has remained in the U.S. since then. I am a U.S. Citizen. We got married last year and we wish to know what options are available for him to lawfully live here in the U.S? My husband does not have any convictions and has never been arrested. We now have one U.S. citizen child, aged 7 months.
A: You should file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative for him. Once the petition has been approved and prior to him going for his Immigrant Visa interview at the U.S. Consulate in his home country, he will need to file the I-601A Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver to waive his unlawful presence here in the United States. For the I-601A, he will need to demonstrate extreme hardship to his qualifying relative(s) if denied admission to the U.S. Qualifying relatives includes the U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident spouse and or U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident parent(s), if applicable. If the unlawful presence waiver is approved, he will then submit his Immigrant Visa application and finally attend the interview at the Consulate. Provided that there are no other grounds of inadmissibility present, he should be able to receive his Immigrant Visa at the Consulate in quite a short time and return back to the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident.
Q: My brother came to the U.S illegally in 2001. He was ordered removed and deported in 2007. He returned to the U.S. illegally again two months later. He is married to a U.S. Citizen and prior to his deportation, his wife had filed an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative for him and it was approved. What options does he have to immigrate here legally?
A: Because your brother was deported, he was required to remain outside the U.S. for at least 10 years before re-entering. Since he returned illegally within the 10 year period, he will technically be subject to 20 years bar from re-entry. For his case, if he wishes to lawfully return to the U.S., he must depart the U.S., remain outside of the country for at least 10 years and upon having achieved the 10 year wait time, he can apply for consent to reapply for admission using Form I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission Into the United States After Deportation or Removal. If the I-212 application is granted, he will then apply for his Immigrant Visa. He may still be required to submit an I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility to waive the further 10 year period which he need to complete because of his unlawful presence in the United States.
Q: I am a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient. My parents came here legally on a tourist visa many years ago and they are currently out of status. They have a U.S Citizen child who is 17 years of age. Are there any options for them right now?
A: The only option for them is to wait until their 17 years old U.S. Citizen child turns 21 years of age to petition for them and at that time they should be able to file for their adjustment of status to Lawful Permanent Resident. Other options, only if applicable may be to file for asylum based on changed country condition for example.
Q: My father came here illegally in 2003 and he was given voluntary departure (not deported) in 2006 and returned home. He came back illegally again in 2006 and has not returned back since then. He has six U.S Citizen minor children and he feels he cannot return home because of his children. He has not criminal convictions. What can he do if he is picked up by ICE?
A: He can seek the relief of Cancellation of Removal under INA Section 240A(b) if he has been physically present in the U.S for continuous period of not less than 10 years immediately preceeding the date of the application; been a person of good moral character during such period and has not been convicted of certain qualifying offences; and can demonstrate exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to his qualifying relatives. For this relief, the qualifying relatives must be a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident parent, spouse or child under the age of 21 years. If the application is granted, he will become a permanent resident.
Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.
My Bio
Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at srichardslaw@aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.


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