How does someone apply for a citizenship if they were brought here as kids but have now been in the US for over 17 years and are in college?

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How does someone apply for a citizenship if they were brought here as kids but have now been in the US for over 17 years and are in college?

Asked on March 24, 2012 under Immigration Law, California

Answers:

Harun Kazmi / Kazmi and Sakata Attorneys at Law

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

 

 

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to correct your status. If you were brought here illegally, you cannot obtain any status (unless the laws change). There is an existing exception that permits the filing of a penalty ($1,000), if you have had a previous family or employment based case filed by 04/30/2001. Has anyone in your family filed such a case? Otherwise, you must go through a consulate process and be subject to a 10 year bar.

 

 

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is no method to simply apply for permanent residence just because they have been in the US for so long and are now in college, especially if they were brought to the US illegally.  Under the current laws, there is no provision to legalize status within the US.  It has to be done at the US Embassy in the home country but leaving the US causes them to trigger an automatic 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.


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