I'm a 25 year-old Mexican woman. I entered the U.S. without inspection when I was 3 years old. I've lived in Chicago since; have not left the country; no criminal record. Family members have never petitioned for me.
I obtained my Associates Degree in May2009. I got married in May2011.
I have been living with my spouse, who is a natural born U.S. Citizen, for over 2 years.
My husband and I want to begin applying for the Immediate Relative Petition this year, and hopefully get my papers 'fixed' with the aid of The Provisional Waiver Process. We are not interested in the DACA application because it is not a pathway to permanent residency. OUR DILEMMA: Is now the right time to start an immigration process OR is it best to just wait on this Immigration Reform?
Based on the facts you presented, it appears that you likely should file the I-130 Petition, then apply for an immigrant visa and the I-601A Provisional Waiver. It seems that whatever immigration reform, if any, that occurs will not create an alternative for you that would be better or quicker than the I-130 / I-601A procedure. Current proposals in the so-called immigration reform are for people to wait approximately 8-10 years before obtaining permanent resident status. In the I-130 / I-601A scenario, on the other hand, the time frame would be something closer to about 1 year. You should consult with an immigration attorney near you to have the best chance of success.
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Since you're not interested in DACA I would wait for some kind of reform unless you can meet the extreme hardship standard for a waiver. The extreme hardship means proving hardship to qualifying relatives beyond that which normally accompanies separation from family due to deportation. So it's a fairly high legal burden.
Even if you could prove it I'd wait just to see how the process is playing out.
Definitely use a lawyer, there are legal arguments that must be made for a waiver.
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I agree with both of my colleagues, in this situation. It comes down to which option do you think will be best for you at this time. I believe it will be worth the investment to talk with an experienced immigration attorney to assist you and your husband in arriving at a decision.
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I recommend consulting with a local attorney to discuss your case in greater detail. Based only on what you have written here, it is hard to say whether you should wait or not since we don't know if the reform will pass and/or, if it passes, exactly what it will say. An experienced immigration attorney would be able to ask you additional questions and look at more specific facts of your case to determine which may truly be the best option for you. It seems straightforward, but oftentimes minuute details can make all the difference in the best option for you. Many local immigration attorneys offer free consultations. Good luck!
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