Can I get married to an illegal immigrant?

How can I marry my boyfriend/fiance without him having to go back to Mexico or get deported? I am 15, and turning 16 in 2 months. And he is 16. Both of our parents have agreed to do all the legal stuff to get us married. I need to know what would happen and what steps we would take and what we would have to do to get married and make him legal as well?

Asked on September 12, 2011 under Immigration Law, Michigan


SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If he is in the US unlawfully, under the current immigration laws, he cannot legalize his status within the US even if he is married to a US citizen.  He would need to depart the US and go back to his home country to consular process for his immigrant visa, after the petition you file on his behalf after you are married, is approved.  As long as he departs the US prior to his 18th birthday, he will not have any unlawful presence time accrued, which means that he will not be barred from reentry.  However, it is really important to make sure that if you do marry, you do so legally under the laws of the state where you marry (that you are of legal age for marriage) and that you file the petition on his behalf as soon as possible after marriage.  Also, you have to understand that he WILL have to go back to his home country for the consular interview at some point because without that, it is just not possible for him to get lawful status.

I would strongly suggest that before you proceed with anything you consult with a qualified immigration attorney.  Good luck.

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