What happens to someone who came into the US legally but then became out of status leaves the country while in a removal proceeding - but then marries a US Citizen? Will he or she be able to come back to the USA after marrying the US citizen?
Yes that person will be able to come back after a lot of paper work is done. Family petition, consular processing, I 601 waiver and possibly other waivers, and even possible motions and appearances in court.
The person will need to do quite a bit of paperwork, including eventually filing an application for a waiver. Depending on the circumstances of the person's departure from the United States, if the person received an in absentia order of removal, the person might have some significant problems.
This Avvo site is really not the place to handle a case as complex as this one. The person needs to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to go over all of the details and to determine what, if anything, might be done.
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There are so many "ifs" and "buts" in any potential answer to this quesiton that it makes it meaningless to answer this quesiton. Look, one who is prudent, would not just take off and leave while in removal proceedings. If one leave, an order of removal would be issued in his or her absence which would render him or her inadmissible for five years. If one intends to marry it is much better to do that while in removal proceedings and way before the order of removal is issued. Talk to an immigration attorney. You are in NY, it is a blessed place where you can find many good people including experienced immigration lawyers to have consultation with.
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Quite a bit depends on how the removal proceedings ented. Administrative closure? Termination? Inabstentia removal order.
Get a copy of the file and talk to a lawyer.
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Consult with an experienced immigration attorney.
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It could be a very long shot. If the person has been unlawfully present in the United States for a year or more and then departs, that person is barred from reentry for ten years, unless he or she can show that the U.S. citizen spouse will suffer extreme hardship. That's a tough hurdle to overcome.
Even if the person has been undocumented in the U.S. for less than a year, leaves and tries to reenter, he or she might not succeed because unlawful presence is a negative factor that will be taken into consideration by a consular officer exercising discretion. As such, even if there is no 10-year bar, the person may still be denied reentry into the U.S.
However, someone in removal proceedings may apply for adjustment of status based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, although they have to provide clear and convincing evidence that the marriage is in good faith.
This is a very complex situation. I strongly recommend that the person in removal proceedings consult immediately with an immigration attorney. Being well informed is the only way to properly move forward on such a matter.
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