Green Card for Illegal Spouse?

Posted By Joey Gilbert Law || 1-Jul-2012

A common immigration scenario that many couples may face occurs when an individual moves to the United States, and either never gets a visa or overstays a visa, and then proceeds to marry an individual who is a legal citizen - should their new spouse be given a green card?

It is common practice for foreign nationals to enter the U.S. and marry a U.S. citizen, but, unfortunately, this does not necessarily result in the non-citizen spouse being able to remain in the United States. Immigration law in this particular area becomes extremely complicated.

In order to better understand this aspect of immigration law, there are several generalizations that you should be aware of. Depending on the situation, if a non-citizen enters the county illegally, and marries a citizen, they may have to return to their home country, in order to apply for a green card though a U.S. Consulate.

However, if a non-citizen spouse enters the U.S. legally (on a visa, etc.), and overstays said visa, they may be allowed to remain in the U.S. during the Green Card application process, through what is called Adjustment of Status. For those who are eligible, Adjustment of Status is an appealing option, as it allows you to remain with your loved one during the application process, which can take months.

Regardless, you should be extremely careful that you do not commit visa fraud. An example of visa fraud would be when an individual enters the U.S. as a tourist with the real intention of getting married. In this situation, you may be accused of fraud and sent back to your home country.

Should you be facing a similar situation, you should contact Joey Gilbert Law at (775) 574-4774 in order to discus your options.

Categories: Criminal Defense
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