Getting married is supposed to be the most exhilarating and important time in one’s life. However, for United States citizens who marry individuals who have non-immigrant status, marriage can carry with it the added stress of filling out paperwork, going through the interview process and being subject to an extensive background check. Many non-immigrants who marry a United States are not technically in the country legally. This alone does not necessarily preclude someone from becoming a permanent resident through adjustment of status based on marriage. However, you will need to seek the help of a seasoned immigration attorney to ensure you are doing everything in compliance with United States immigration law.
If you entered the United States legally, by either obtaining a tourist visa, temporary work visa, student visa, or some other temporary visa, and you have overstayed this visa, you are technically now in the country illegally. This does not mean that the office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will find you and deport you to your home country. If you marry a United States citizen, you can still apply for adjustment of status based on marriage because your initial entry into the United States was lawful.
On the other hand, if you entered the United States illegally, such as crossing a border without any documentation that you are allowed to be in the United States, you may have difficulty being granted an adjustment of status based on marriage. This does not bar everyone from having an adjustment of status simply because the initial entry to the United States was illegal, but there will certainly be additional obstacles in front of you. In such a situation, it is imperative that you have an immigration attorney by your side advising you on what you need to do.
If you are in a situation where you entered the United States illegally, you should do whatever you can to show that you would be a law-abiding permanent resident if granted adjustment of status based on marriage. For example, do not commit any crimes. If you have a criminal record and you entered the United States illegally, you may have a very small chance of being granted adjustment of status. Have family members and friends write affidavits on your behalf, showing your good moral character. Any little thing helps.
If your application for adjustment of status based on marriage is denied because you entered the United States illegally and the USCIS is not willing to ignore your illegal entry, you may have to wait a certain number of years before you can apply again. If this happens, you need to be sure you comply with United States immigration law and do not stay in the country illegally. The more you can do to show the USCIS you are willing to follow the law in order to obtain adjustment of status based on marriage in the future, the greater your chances are of your application being granted.
Contact Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. To Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you have recently been married, or are planning to marry, and will need to apply for adjustment of immigrant status based on marriage, you need to speak with an experienced immigration attorney right away. While you can fill forms out by yourself by downloading them from the internet and paying the required fees, it is always best to ensure you have done everything correct. The immigration attorneys at Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. have the expertise necessary to help you through this complicated process. Even one small mistake might result in a denial of your application. We can evaluate your situation, help you fill out the forms and can answer any questions you have regarding your current illegal status in the United States. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at 513-791-1673.