If my boyfriend is illegally in America from Mexico and he wants to become an American citizen, how do we go about doing so?

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If my boyfriend is illegally in America from Mexico and he wants to become an American citizen, how do we go about doing so?

Asked on March 24, 2012 under Immigration Law, California

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Before he can even think about American citizenship, he has to become a US permanent resident and hold that status for at least 3 years.  If he entered the US unlawfully, under the current laws, he is not eligible to adjust status to permanent residence within the US.  He would have to go back to Mexico and consular process but as soon as he leaves the US he triggers 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 to do in most cases.

 


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