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How can my husband get a green card?

Bronx, NY |

my husband came to the usa 7 years ago with his family illeagally. he was only a child, now him and i are married and have a child together, i am a citizen, how can we go about making him leagal without him leaving the usa, he is the sole provider for our family and it would be a great hardship for him to be gone.

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Attorney answers 1


Unfortunately, your husband probably cannot apply for legal status without leaving the US. Generally, spouses of US citizens can apply for green cards in the US where they have entered the US on a visa or have been paroled into the US, even if they have since fallen out of status. However, this courtesy is not extended to spouses of U.S. citizens where they entered the U.S. without being inspected and legally admitted or paroled into the U.S.

There are some exceptions to this rule, such as the 245(i) "amnesty" which can forgive the fact that a foreign national is out of status where a labor certification or petition was filed for them by April 30, 2001 (the rule is a bit more complicated than this). If your husband does not qualify for the 245(i) "amnesty" then he probably cannot legalize his status without leaving the U.S. (please consult an immigration law attorney who can make a determination based upon the full facts of your situation).

Since your husband has been in the US while out of status for more than 6 months since he turned 18, eventually you will be required to file an I-601 waiver for him at the US consulate if he chooses to leave the US and apply for an immigrant visa at the Consulate once your petition is approved. It is recommended to hire an attorney to assist you with putting this application together to increase the chances of the waiver being granted.

Further, if your husband has left the US and reentered illegally more than once, then he may be permanently barred from legalizing his status.

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