What forms need to be completed to get permanent residency for an illegal immigrant in the United States who is married to a US citizen with children?

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What forms need to be completed to get permanent residency for an illegal immigrant in the United States who is married to a US citizen with children?

Asked on March 16, 2013 under Immigration Law, Washington

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you entered the US unlawfully, under the current immigration laws, you are not eligible to legalize your status within the US even if you are married to a US citizen and have US citizen children.  You would have to be petitioned by your spouse for the visa but you would have to go back to your home country to consular process for the visa and as soon as you depart the US, you trigger an automatic 10 year bar to reentry which can only be waived by a showing of extreme hardship to a US citizen spouse and children, which is fairly difficult to do in most cases.  If you entered the US lawfully, however, and can prove a lawfully entry, even if you have since overstayed, you are eligible to adjust status within the US.


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