The 3 Important Steps to Obtain a Green Card Through Marriage When There is an Undocumented Entry
If you are a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident, then your immediate family members may be able to obtain legal permanent resident status even if they have an undocumented entry and have acquired unlawful presence. Eligible immediate family members include spouse, children, and parents of the citizen or legal permanent resident.
If you haven’t read Part 1 of our series, take them time to do so now. Attorney Pablo Hurtado tackles some of the most common questions regarding eligibility to apply for a provisional waiver, the differences between consular processing and filing for adjustment of status, and what to expect during an initial consultation at our law firm. Read Part 1 on the Provisional Waiver Process Now
The process for applying for a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) for your spouse who has an undocumented entry involves three important steps, outlined below.
The Marriage Petition
Step 1) The Marriage Petition
Providing evidence of a bona fide marriage. It is common for many people to submit the spousal petition with a bare minimum of documents. Sometimes only the marriage certificate is provided to USCIS. However, that is likely not an effective strategy. The marriage petition should be much more than that. A good marriage petition provides proof of bona fide marriage and in many ways begins to lay the foundation for Step 2 of the process. Proof of a fully integrated marital life, including joint tax filings, bank accounts, bills, housing, business ownership, children, joint involvement in the community, letters from friends and families, and photos are some of things that we like to include in a solid marriage petition.
Step 2) The Provisional Waiver
The Provisional Waiver of Inadmissability for Unlawful Presence, is a pardon for the 3 or 10 year bar that the undocumented spouse will be subject to if they leave the United States after acquiring unlawful presence in the United States for more than 1 year. To have a provisional waiver granted before you leave the United States for your Consular Interview, you must show that your U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent spouse (or other qualifying relative) will suffer extreme hardship. Financial, property, or business loss, physical and mental health, loss of career or educational opportunities, and country conditions, are some of things that we will address during our consultation to determine eligibility.
Step 3) Consular Process
Once the marriage petition, and provisional waiver are granted, then we will work with the National Visa Center to make an appointment for you at the proper U.S. Consular Post. For example, for Mexico, it is at the U.S. Embassy in Cuidad Juarez. Once you have an appointment we will prepare you for the interview abroad and keep in contact with you and your family while your family member is outside of the United State processing there visa.
Consult an Experienced Fort Myers Immigration Attorney Today
Because your family member will be exiting the United States after spending time undocumented in the U.S. it is very important that you speak to an immigration attorney with experience in provisional waiver and consular processing. Applying for a Green Card on behalf of an immigrant spouse can be stressful. And even more so, when they have to leave the United States to process their visa abroad. Thankfully, you do not have to deal with the process alone. To help ensure your chances of bringing your spouse to the United States are maximized, you should consult an experienced Fort Myers immigration attorney for legal advice. At the office of Hurtado Immigration Law Firm, our legal team, led by Attorney Pablo Hurtado, has the necessary education and experience to help you and your family avoid legal obstacles during the immigration process. We offer compassionate legal representation that is custom tailored to serve the particular needs of you and your family.
Call the Hurtado Immigration Law Firm today or contact us online to discuss your case with an experienced immigration law attorney.
Part 3 - Video Only (In Spanish) Blog Post Coming Soon!
Part 4 - Video Only (In Spanish) Blog Post Coming Soon!