How can my illegal fiancee get his green card?

I have been with an illegal for 6 years now. We have 2 kids together. He has never been in trouble with the police or immigration before. I want to marry him and try to fix his immigration problems. What process do we use? Get married in Mexico?The US? Also, I know he will have to have a pardon.

Asked on November 10, 2011 under Immigration Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether and how he will be able to legalize his status depends on how he entered the United States.  If he entered the US lawfully and you get married, assuming you are a US citizen, he will be eligible for adjustment of status to permanent residence within the US even if he is now unlawfully present.  If he entered the US unlawfully, under the current immigration laws, he is not eligible for adjustment of status within the US.  He would have to go back to his home country to consular process for a visa.  However, as soon as he departs the US, he will automatically trigger a 10 year bar to reentry, which can only be waived by a showing of extreme hardship to a US citizen spouse.  This is fairly difficult in most cases, so I would strongly advise that you consult with an immigration attorney before you proceed.  Good luck.


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