If I marry my Costan Rican boyfriend in Costa Rica, will he be able to come to the US legally?

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If I marry my Costan Rican boyfriend in Costa Rica, will he be able to come to the US legally?

My boyfriend of almost 7 years lives in Costa Rica. I live in the USA. He formerly came to the USA illegally; he remained in the USA for 3 years and returned home to Costa Rica over 3 years ago. I travel to see him in Costa Rica on a regular basis. (He did get a duplicate passport from NYC from the Costan Rican Consulate prior to leaving the USA so his passport indicates his presence in the USA.) If I marry him in Costa Rica, I am not certain what the possibility is of his returning legally to the USA. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Asked on September 27, 2011 under Immigration Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Since your boyfriend was previously in the US unlawfully for 3 years, once he left the US, he automatically triggered a 10 year bar to reentry.  This bar can only be waived by a showing of extreme hardship to a US citizen spouse and in most cases it is very difficult to prove this type of extreme hardship.  You can certainly marry him in Costa Rica but please note that this does not mean that he will be eligible to come to the US anytime soon, especially if the waiver application has no chance of being approved.  I would strongly recommend that you consult with an immigration attorney to discuss your specific situation and understand what your chances for the waiver might be, based on the specifics of your case.


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