How do I seek citizenship for my husband?

My husband was single at the time and he signed a voluntary deportment. He left
the US and came back illegally, but is now legally married to a US Citizen. I
have been told by many lawyers, that he will have to leave the US for 10 years in
order for me to apply for his papers. We have 4 children and have been married
for over 7 years. How do I help him obtain his citizenship or can he no longer
obtain his citizenship?

Asked on October 6, 2017 under Immigration Law, Texas


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The information you obtained is correct in that if he entered the US unlawfully, even if he is now legally married to a US citizen, under the current immigration laws, he is not eligible to legalize his status within the US but would have to depart the US and apply for an immigrant visa at the US EMbassy abroad.  However, due to the unlawful entry and the long stay in that status in the US, as soon as he departs the US, he would trigger an automatic 10 year bar to reentry, which can only be waived by a showing of extreme hardship to a US citizen child or spouse.  If you have basis for filing such a waiver I would strongly suggest that you contact an immigration attorney to do that first and only if granted the waiver then it would be safe for him to leave the US to apply for an immigrant visa.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions or how I can be of further assistance to you in this matter.

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