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Undocumented and married to an US citizen

Orlando, FL |

I came to this country by the border (Illegal) 15 years ago from Costa Rica (that's my nationality) I got married 7 years ago to my wife who is Puerto Rican . We live together and have too many accounts and bills, apartment lease etc. Have I any possibility to become a permanent resident . Should my wife hire an experimented and recognized attorney or can a paralegal handle my case? Thank you in advance for the advice

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Attorney answers 7


It is against the law for a paralegal to 'handle' your case ... unless he/she is working under the direct supervision of an attorney:

Talk to an attorney, you might qualify for DACA.. Unfortunately, unless the law changes, marriage to a US citizen will require that you go home (after applying for a pre-departure waiver) to get your visa.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.


Good news! Your wife can sponsor you. I suggest you retain an experienced immigration attorney for reasons well stated by my colleague.


You may qualify for DACA. Your wife should file an I-130 on your behalf. However, you may or may not get a green card depending on whether or not you are successful on getting a waiver for you unlawful presence. There are two waivers for this, the I-1601 and the I-601A, which one applies to your case depends on the facts. Consult an Immigration ATTORNEY! Paralegals are not attorneys and are not allowed to practice law. A paralegal working for attorney is ok, but not an attorney doing it on his or her own.


Retain legal assistance. It is likely you will need to proceed using the visa waiver process. However, there may be an alternative process available to you


Yes, she can sponsor you, but you will need an unlawful presence waiver. And yes, your wife should hire an attorney. Good luck.

Please note, the above answer is for general informational purposes only.


Your wife may file for you, but you will need something called a Provisional Waiver. You should meet with an attorney, NOT a paralegal, to discuss your eligibility for a Provisional Waiver. In the state of Florida, it is a FELONY for a paralegal to independently handle your immigration case. A paralegal can only handle your case if he or she works for an attorney and receives direct supervision for the attorney.

Answers provided by Ksenia Maiorova, Esq. on are of a general nature and do not constitute legal advice.


Dear Sir, you are ineligible to adjust status in the U.S. since you entered without inspection. Thus, we would have to consider applying for your permanent residency via the provisional waiver process. Please have an immigration expert evaluate your case. These cases have a high legal standard and you cannot rely on a paralegal for this. Regards,

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