Frequently Asked Questions
I am a U.S. citizen but I married a man
from another country. How can I insure that he will become legal in the United States and be allowed to reside and work in
It is important that I know if your husband entered the USA legally or illegally.
If your husband entered the USA legally, you may petition for him through the United States Citizenship and Immigration
Services (“USCIS”) and, in connection therewith, he may be able to concurrently apply for permanent residence
(“green card”), a temporary work card, and a temporary travel document.
If your husband entered the
USA illegally, he may none-the-less begin the process to obtain a green card if you file a petition for him with the appropriate
USCIS Service Centers. In that regard, however, unless you or another family member filed such a petition for him on or before
April 30, 2001, your husband may be required to complete his green card processing by attending a final interview at the United
States Embassy or Consulate General in his native country. If you or another family member filed a family petition for your
husband on or before April 30, 2001, your husband may be able to avoid consular processing outside of the USA and complete
his processing through the USCIS District Office without leaving the country.
It is likely that your husband will
encounter a significant problem if required to complete his immigrant visa processing in his home country. Immigration
laws provide that if your husband has been unlawfully present in the USA in excess of 180 days after April 1, 1997, he may
not reenter for 3 years after voluntarily departing. Similarly, if his unlawful presence exceeds 1 year, he may be excluded
for 10 years after his removal or departure. In that regard, your husband’s trip to his home country to complete his
immigrant visa processing will trigger the 3 year or 10 year exclusion and, although a waiver is available if his exclusion
would be an extreme hardship to you or another qualifying relative, a waiver could be difficult to obtain.
2001, the House and Senate passed compromise versions of legislation to extend Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Naturalization
Act. However, the extension did not become law because of the events of September 11th and, although extensions have since
been discussed, none have passed or were included in recently proposed and debated comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
If an extension becomes law and you have filed, or will file, a petition for your husband, he may be able to avoid consular
processing by filing an application to adjust status within the USA despite the fact that he originally entered the country
I am a U.S. citizen but my parents are citizens of and live in another
country. How do I ask the government to allow my parents to permanently live with me in the United States?
As a United States citizen, you may file petitions with the appropriate United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
(“USCIS”) Service Center to have your parents classified as your immediate relatives. If your parents are here
in the U.S. and entered legally, they may concurrently apply for permanent residence (“green card”), a temporary
work card, and a temporary travel document.
If your parents entered the USA illegally or if they are not in the
USA, they must complete their green card processing by attending a final interview at the United States Embassy or Consulate
General in their native country. Thereafter, they will be admitted into the U.S. as immigrants they will receive their green
cards via mail.