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. I am currently filing the DACA application with the help of an attorney. My husband and I also want to file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative at the same time with DACA, since Deferred Action is not a pathway to permanent residency. I hear that the I-130 is a simple first-step application. Do I really need the help of a lawyer to start it off? Or can I save myself some money and file it on my own?
No. One can always file an I-130 petition on their own, without the assistance of an attorney to do so.
Nothing in Immigration law is as "simple" as you are describing,however, and the smallest mistake, omission or misstatement on the Forms will have the unpleasant effect of delaying and otherwise hampering your husband's petition on your behalf. It has been my experience that individuals pay for the consequences of misstatements on the I-130 or the G-325 A years later, when finally all eligible to adjust..
In anything having to do with immigration law "cheap" always comes to be too costly..
I recommend that you contact an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your case is detail. A good attorney will ask about your background to determine whether you qualify to apply for legal residency inside the US. The facts you provided thusfar would indicate that you may need to depart the US and consular process your case. If that is your case, you would be held subject to a 10 year bar to returning to the US. A waiver may be available to you but waivers are difficult, expensive and time consuming. There is a new process that can help you but you really should have an attorney review your history in detail to determine what immigration process is best for you. The information you find online is just basic information and should not be used in place of a good attorney. While the immigration service permits you to apply for benefits without an attorney, it is never a good idea. It can end up costing you more in the end. I often works on cases where my clients filed without an attorney and then needed help to fix things. It is much easier and less costly to have your case set up properly in the first place. Good luck!
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