Why do I have to process my permanent residence from Mexico?

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Why do I have to process my permanent residence from Mexico?

I have an approved I-130 which got converted into an I-360. I already have an authorized employment card and social security card but it’s for work purposes only. I recently had my interview for my permanent residence (green card) during my interview I was info that since I entered US without inspection that I might have to process my case from Mexico unless I had a previous family member or employment based case filed by a date 3 months ago. But I did pay the penalty fee of $1,000. So I am wondering what do I do? If I do have to process my case from Mexico, would I be subject to the 10 year ban?

Asked on June 23, 2012 under Immigration Law, California

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You would have only had to pay the additional penalty fee of $1000 if you are eligible to adjust status on the basis of 245i.  You would only be eligible for 245i if a petition was filed on your behalf prior to April 30, 2001.  If that is not the case, you did not have to pay the additional $1000 penalty fee.  You are also not eligible to adjust status within the US if you are not 245i eligible.  Simply having paid the penalty fee, even if it was accepted by USCIS does not make you eligible for 245i adjustment.  If you believe that you should not have paid that fee, having reviewed your case, perhaps you can demand that this money be returned to you.  As for being subject to the 10 year bar, if you have been in the US unlawfully for more than 1 year, then yes, you will be subject to the 10 year bar unless you can get a waiver thereof.


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