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I got my DACA approved and I am engaged and we are planning. To get married through the court this Dec. What do I need to know?

El Paso, TX |

What steps would I need to do after that? How much does the process to get a green card cost?

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Attorney answers 3


Well is she a US Citizen? The green card application fees are $1490. BUT, you cannot just apply even though assuming she is a US citizen your soon to be spouse. There are other steps you would need to take, to be eligible to file here in the US and adjust your status. Its complicated but it can be done with some smart lawyering and utilizing legal available loop holes. I assume you entered the US illegally many years ago? I strongly suggest you hire competent immigration counsel to assist you with your case. We can help and so can other competent colleagues on this site. Let me know if you need assistance. regards.



Yes he is a citizen and I entered lawfully but had an overstay. What loopholes would be involved in this?? I understand that daca doesn't Qualify me for a green card but does it make the process faster since I have a social now and employment id.?

Haroen Calehr

Haroen Calehr


Well, if you entered the country lawfully, i.e. you were admitted by a USCBP Inspector at a lawful border crossing port of entry with a passport and visa OR you were simply waived through by a USCBP Inspector, you have legally entered the US and therefore are eligible for adjustment of status, i.e applying for a green card here in the US based on your spouses immigrant visa petition as an immediate relative (spouse of a US Citizen). If you entered lawfully with a US visa and passport and get married to your fiancee you can have her apply for your green card and the process takes approximately 4-5 months to get your green card interview. If your an overstay as long as your an "immediate relative" i.e. spouse of a US citizen, parent of a US citizen or child of a US citizen your ok. Now, even if you had illegally entered the US, then applied and qualified for DACA and been approved, although you cannot simply adjust your status based on your wife's application, BUT you are eligible to apply for a work permit (EAD which you already have it seems, AND you are eligible to apply for what is called "Advance Parole." Why is this significant? Well, Advance Parole takes about 90 days to apply for and once approved, you can travel outside the US, and upon your return now you are "paroled" into the US. Why is this significant? Well, "parole" is a legal fiction, meaning you are physically allowed to enter the US, even though legally you have no basis to enter, i.e. no visa, no green card, etc. What's so cool about being paroled in is that NOW, you do qualify to adjust your status in the US, if you have an underlying basis to apply for a green card/immigrant visa,i.e.through your wife. In the past, USCIS would still demand you also apply for an extreme hardship waiver concurrently at the time of filing your green card etc or after the interview for your green card issue you a document called an I-72 stating you need to apply for a waiver of extreme hardship based on your US citizen wife's hardship if you were not allowed the privilege to adjust status to that of lawful permanent resident (GC) since you had previously been living in the US unlawfully for more than 1 year, and then departed the US on your Advance Parole (and upon your departure triggered the 10 year bar to inadmissibility to returning to the US) UNLESS you have a waiver. However, recently the BIA-Board of Immigration Appeals, the highest administrative Court in the immigration process came out with a new case, on August 16, 2012, called Matter of Manohar/Matter of Sarala, 25 I&N Dec. 771 (BIA 2012) which essentially states that when an alien departs the US temporarily on a grant (permission) of Advance Parole, they are not "departing the US" and therefore you would not be triggering the 10 year bar and therefore you would not need a waiver. However, you don't need one anyway since you were "admitted" into the US. I would still hire counsel to help you and your wife with your green card application or at a minimum review the paperwork before you send it of to USCIS. Even without your DACA being married to a US citizen would have qualified you for adjustment of status BUT having DACA at least gives you some interim protection before you get married and she files her immigrant visa/green card petition for you. Congrats and good luck.


You need to consult with an immigration lawyer in the privacy of his/her office. The difference could be being able to apply for your green card here or having to leave the country and apply for consular processing in Ciudad Juarez after the approval of an "extreme hardship" waiver of your inadmissibility to him that your future husband would have to file on your behalf if you are unable to adjust status in the US.

Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.



Being approved for DACA does NOT qualify you to get a greencard based on marriage to a US citizen.

There are some very complicated steps, and possible waiver requirements, which must be considered.

Schedule an appointment with an immigration attorney before you do anything.

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.