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Hardworking undocumented immigrant, widow of and mother to US citizens. Can she apply for legal status without leaving the US?

Arlington, VA |

Undocumented immigrant woman followed her mother to US via illegal border crossing at age 15. Mother then abandoned her. She was unable to enroll in school. She married older man who was US citizen. Husband looked into getting her legal status, but did not pursue it because leaving country was necessary and he was concerned she would not be able to return. Child was born 2 years later, and shortly afterward husband was found to have cancer. Husband has been dead 4 years. Child is now 8yo, and receives father's social security benefits. This young woman is alone, the sole caretaker of her child, and will not take the child out of the country to apply for legal re-entry. If there is reason to hope, then I will help her follow up on any advice you can offer. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 4


Not on the facts you give.

You should retain an experienced immigration lawyer, whether myself or one of my colleagues, to review all the facts, advise you, and handle the case.

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.


The lady should be able to apply for DACA, if she is under 31, finished high school or enrolled into GED program. As to her principal case, there is no petitioner for her, so until her child turns 21 or she remarries, there is nothing she can do overseas, and there is no waiver if her child petitions for her. Now, it seems she has enough years in the US to qualify for COR - cancellation of removal, and her case maybe winnable if she shows her removal will result in extreme and unusual hardship to her child. I would do DACA and consider COR next. She has to weigh her chances when she sits down with an experienced immigration attorney.


unfortunately, it appears not. you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney to see if you can become eligible for DACA, because right now you do not qualify.


I strongly recommend that she consult with an experienced immigration attorney. The facts provided here are not sufficient to determine whether or not she is eligible to apply for legal status. She might be eligible for cancellation of removal, but more information is needed to determine that. My office regularly handles these type of cases, so feel free to give me a call.

The statement above does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is intended as general information only and it is not a substitute for legal advice. You should consult with a licensed attorney to discuss the specific facts and circumstances of your case.