He is from Honduras and entered the country illegally in 2011. He was never detained and has a clean criminal history. Should we get married first? How do we start the process? And what is the time frame we would be looking at?
Yes, you can get married and start the two-year process (at least) for his green card. This assumes he only has one entry without inspection. There are several steps required including an I-130 petition to prove the relationship is valid, a waiver of the ten-year bar, and consular processing with the National Visa Center and US consulate in Honduras.
A US citizen may sponsor a spouse not lawfully admitted by filing form I-130. The unlawful spouse will need a I-601A waiver of inadmissibility and to consulate process for an immigrant visa.
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You can begin by filing a Form I-130 immigrant petition on his behalf. He will then need to proceed to file a Form I-601A provisional inadmissibility waiver once he obligatorily travels out of the country and applies for his immigrant visa at his home country US consulate which is in Tegucigalpa.
Of course, that's assuming that he only has one ground of inadmissibility to "waive" - US consulates abroad a masters at "discovering" other(s) ground(s) of inadmissibility when the applicant is in front of them and thus deny him the immigrant visa.
If my answer is the "BEST ANSWER" and/or "HELPFUL" please mark it accordingly. Fluent in 7 languages. Certified Specialist in U.S. Immigration & Nationality Law, The State Bar of California, Board Of Legal Specialization. 25 years of successful immigration law experience. The answer above is only general in nature and 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.
I suggest that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney about your case.
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