If I am engaged to someone that entered the country illegally he was caught once, can I still petition for him to become a legal resident?

My fiance entered illegally twice. First time he was caught using someone else’s green card. Re entered again without being caught. Has been here for approximately 10 years. Can he still become a legal resident once we are married? Should we marry here or in his home country and petition for him there?

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Immigration Law, California


SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

He would not be eligible for adjustment of status within the US.  He would need to go back to his home country and consular process.  However, as soon as he departs the US he automatically triggers a 10 year bar to reentry which can only be waived by a showing of extreme hardship to a US citizen spouse, which is fairly difficult in most cases.  I would strongly suggest that you consult with an immigration attorney prior to starting anything to see what your particular chances might be at getting this type of waiver.

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