Lonnie Hank Robin Attorney at Law

Phone: (817) 870-1450
6211 Airport Freeway • Fort Worth, Texas 76117
lonnie@lonnierobin.com

Lonnie Hank Robin Attorney at Law

Family Frequently Asked Questions
 

QUESTION #1

Q.
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 this country?

A.
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.

In September 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 illegally.

QUESTION #2

Q.
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?

A.
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.