Today we tackle one of the most common questions an Immigration Lawyer receives:
I am a United States Citizen, my fiancé is illegal. What can I do?
If he has entered without any documentation and did not go through a border to be inspected, most likely his case will need to be completed in his country of birth (or citizenship). The only exception to this is if he is eligible for Section 245(i) – a type of amnesty which expired on April 30, 2001 allowing him to pay a penalty fee and process in the U.S. He will need to show that he or one of his parents was the beneficiary of a petition filed before April 30, 2001. If he will need to go to his home country (and I won’t know this until I get all the details from him of his entry to the U.S., any border stops prior to his successful entry, any criminal record, any trips home after his successful entry into the U.S., etc.), then I would recommend getting married here and filing the first two stages while he is still here and then his time in his home country will hopefully be minimized. Once your fiancé returns to his home country after accumulating illegal time in the U.S., he will trigger a 10-year bar before he can return. Because you are a U.S. citizen though this bar is waivable by showing extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent. One of the things we will do while he is still here is put together a strong waiver case. Most cases do not have a single factor which amounts to extreme hardship by itself, so it is important to put together a composite picture of your lives together as a family with a Psychosocial history, supporting letters, and other documentation which we will help you put together.
If you would like to consult with us on your options, contact one of our attorneys to schedule a consultation and once we have a strategy we can advise on procedures, documents, and fees We do charge for consultations but whatever you pay for the consultation would then be a credit toward the fees for your case if we are retained for work thereafter.