If an immigrant came here illegaly when they were a minor and got married to aUS citizen do they need a lawyer to apply for a greencard?

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If an immigrant came here illegaly when they were a minor and got married to aUS citizen do they need a lawyer to apply for a greencard?

My husband came here when he was 15 and has been here for almost 6 years now. We have been married for over a year and have a child togeather. I wantd to know if we had to use an immigration lawyer in order to apply for a greencard. We’re in Cumberland County, NJ.

Asked on September 29, 2011 under Immigration Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your husband entered the country (US) unlawfully, there is no way under the current immigration laws that he would be able to legalize his status within the US, regardless of whether you use an attorney or not.  You would need to petition for him but he would need to consular process his immigrant visa at the US Embassy/Consulate in his home country.  However, because of his unlawful entry and overstay, as soon as he departs the US, he would automatically trigger a 10 year bar to reentry, which can only be waived on the showing of extreme hardship to a US citizen spouse (you).  This is very difficult in most cases and you would certainly be well advised to consult with an immigration attorney to understand whether you have any chanced in succeeding with this type of waiver application based on your personal situation.  I would also suggest that you not even start the petition process unless you first consult with an immigration attorney as filing a petition gives the USCIS a way to "know" about your husband's whereabouts and could place him in removal proceedings.  Good luck.


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