My dad has been living here about 17 years already (illegally). How does the process work and about how long will it take. I've heard they have to go back to there country of origin in order to receive a pardon.
Assuming you are a US citizen, when you turn 21 you may sponsor your dad for resident status (not citizenship). The process and requirements will vary based upon your dad's facts and circumstances. You need to consult with immigration counsel in ordre for counsel to fully evaluate your dad's options and develop an immigration plan for him.
If you are a U. S. citizen you can file the FORM I – 130 on behalf of your parent. If your father did not lawfully enter the U. S. he will have to obtain a waiver from USCIS and eventually apply for the immigrant visa at the U. S. Consulate in the home country.
Once you turn 21 as a US citizen you may petition for father. Assuming your father did not enter with a visa he may and likely will be required to depart the US to obtain resident status. To determine the best way to proceed and to determine if fact your father will be able to obtain resident status contact an immigration attorney to assist you.
Attorney Robert Brown's (former INS Director, 1972-99) reply to your question is general in nature, and does not constitute legal advice as all facts are known to him. For specific advice or representation you should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law. Mr. Brown's reply on AVVO does not create an attorney/client relationship not constitute legal advice.
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