Is it possible to change status after entering the U.S. illegally

Asked about 6 years ago - Kansas City, KS

I entered into this country illigally and now have a child and family that are legal US citizans. What, if anything, can I do to change my status? What does the future hold for my family? For my son? I have been a loyal, honest and law abiding resident since the time I set foot into this country. Have been a loyal employee and am willing to pay back taxes for the time I have been here. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance.

Additional information

Addition: I received a C-1D Seamans visa to work on (name withheld) cruise ship. I jumped ship 8 years ago. With the enforcement of immigration getting tighter and tighter, I would like opinions on what, you believe, is the best path for me. I can't imagine my son growing up without his father and would hate to return to my native country and have him leave his maternal grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins that he loves so much. I have met with several immigration attorneys and have not received optimistic feedback.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Philip C. Curtis

    Contributor Level 10

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . These types of cases are very tough under current immigration law and that's why you haven't received much optimistic news. As the law stands now, if you entered the country illegally and stayed for more than 180 days you are barred from obtaining legal status for 3 years. If you stayed illegally for more than 1 year you are barred from obtaining legal status for 10 years. If you are married to a U.S. citizen you would be considered an immediate relative of a U.S. Citizen and therefore would qualify for immediate lawful permanent residency. However, to obtain LPR status you would have to return to your country and the 3/10 year bar would apply. There are waivers available for this bar but they are difficult to obtain and there is no guarantee. We all hope that the law will change in the future to help people that are you in your situation, but right now it is very difficult.

  2. Thuong-Tri Nguyen

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . There is one option that leads to US citizenship. Under current statute and presidential order, persons who serve in the US Armed Forces in a combat zone qualify for US citizenship, even those who are in the US without legal status.

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