Some possible ways, if any, that an illegal alien can obtain permanant residency/citizenship through marriage to a US citizen?

Asked over 4 years ago - Chicago, IL

My boyfriend is an illegal alien. He was brought here at the age of 12 by his parents. We have been together for 7 years now & plan on getting married and want to start life together which is hard bc of his status. He went back to Mexico in 2005 to visit family and came back to the US illegally again. He was detained at the border and spent a night in a border patrol jail. I am worried this is going to have a great affect on hopes of his becoming a citizen. I do not want him to have to leave the country for a long period of time. He owns 2 businesses (partnerships) & he was a victim of a crime by US citizens (nothing major, although his brother who is also illegal & in the same situation as my boyfriend and I with his fiancee, was injured more seriously) & files his taxes w/ tax ID.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Kevin Lawrence Dixler


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . More information is needed. The terms of his detention needed to be investigated. If he was "summarily removed," then he may be charged with a Federal crime known as "unlawful re-entry." An experienced immigration attorney will need to take the time to investigate the situation. This may require a Freedom of Information Act Request, which can take a while. He may not even be entitled to an permanent resident status and may have to prove he was out of the U.S. for at least ten years, before re-filing, but this is unclear.

    I strongly recommend that you both schedule an appointment with a candid and experienced immigration attorney. Our office is in Chicago. There may be hope.

    However, it may take quite a bit of time and planning. Sometimes, sudden decisions can result in lasting consequences. The U.S. Immigration laws can be very unforgiving.

    The above is general information and does not create an attorney client relationship.

  2. Scott D. Pollock

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . His departure and unlawful reentry in 2005 may mean he is subject to a permanent bar from immigrating under current law. On the other hand, this might be waived if he is eligible for U visa status that is available to certain crime victims. Our office does a fair number of U visa applications. It can be a godsend. Do both of yourselves a favor and invest in competent legal counsel.

    Scott D. Pollock
    Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C.
    105 W. Madison, Suite 2200
    Chicago, IL 60602
    (312) 444-1940
    fax: (312) 444-1950

    Please visit our newly renovated website with our immigration blog, updated information and client convenience features.

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