How does an illegal immigrant become legal after marrying an American citizen?

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How does an illegal immigrant become legal after marrying an American citizen?

Asked on December 1, 2012 under Immigration Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Please go and speak with an Immigration Attorney as soon as you can.  I am assuming here that you entered the country illegally or undocumented rather than with documents that happen to expire. If that is the case then you do not have a green card, correct?  Generally speaking your spouse has to file a form known as a Form I-130 with USCIS. Once approved, it will be forwarded to the consulate located in or near your home country, where you will need to go for further processing. But understand that once an undocumented alien enters the U.S., stays for more than six months and then leaves, he or she triggers a three- or ten-year bar on reentry. So you could get stuck outside the US and the only way to get a green card then is to request a waiver of the bar to reentry (which is another form).  Seek help.  Good luck.


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