Is it legal to marrysomeone who is not a legal resident?

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Is it legal to marrysomeone who is not a legal resident?

My fiance is from Romania. He entered the country legally and had a work permit and green card, which have since expired. He says he has applied for a new green card. He does have a SSN as well. Also, is he legal to work and reside in the U.S?

Asked on September 27, 2011 under Immigration Law, Washington

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your fiance had a work permit. If he had a work permit, he did not have a green card. If he had a green card, he did not need a work permit. A green card means he is a legal resident of the United States but just not a citizen. After so many years of residency, he can apply for his citizenship. He doesn't reapply for a green card. So your fiance is incorrect in what he had. If you are in love with him and he is not using your relationship to simply get married and obtain his citizenship through marriage, then consider that an option is marriage. You may be subject to review by the Immigration but ultimately if all is well, he will not need the green card or work permit. As a side note, if he does not have a work permit or visa or green card, he is not legally in the U.S.


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