If I was brought at age 4 into the US by my mother and have stayed ever since, is there anything we could do so that I can become legal and get my papers?

UPDATED: May 20, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: May 20, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I was brought at age 4 into the US by my mother and have stayed ever since, is there anything we could do so that I can become legal and get my papers?

If I as a child was brought into the US and have stayed for over 10 years.

Asked on May 20, 2012 under Immigration Law, Georgia


Meghan Abigail / Abigail Law Firm, PLLC

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Is there someone available to petition for you (ex: spouse, parent)?

Did you enter with or without a visa?

Did anyone ever file a petition for you before?

Have you or a family member ever been the victim of a crime in the U.S.?

Harun Kazmi / Kazmi and Sakata Attorneys at Law

Answered 10 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 10 years ago | Contributor

If you were brought into the US unlawfully and are now over the age of 18, there is nothing you can do within the US to legalize your status AND if you go abroad to try to get a valid visa to reenter the US, you will be barred from reentry for a period of 10 years unless you can get a waiver by showing extreme hardship to a US citizen spouse, which is very difficult to do in most cases.

If you are still under the age of 18, you can have a chance of getting a visa at the US Embassy abroad if you leave the US before you turn 18 and you have a sponsor who petitions for you and gets the petition approved.  This is because until you turn 18 you are not accruing unlawful presence time in the US and are not subject to the bar to reentry once you depart the US.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption