Immigration Attorney

If a U.S. citizen marries an illegal immigrant, can they immediately apply for a green card?

Posted by admin on December 26, 2016
Immigration Attorney

It is very likely that an illegal immigrant who marries a United States citizen could apply for a green card immediately. Each green card is approved based on specific criteria and the applying illegal immigrant must comply with all informational requests by the government. Green cards are not automatic for the spouses of U.S. citizens without qualification. The primary benefit for those who are allowed to apply as an “immediate relative” is that there is no limit on the number of visas allowed in this category. But, even when the likelihood for an application is good, it is still a smart decision to retain a Cedar Park immigration attorney.

One of the biggest obstacles illegal immigrants who marry U.S. citizens face is a review of how they arrived in the United States. Immigrants who entered the country on a valid visa for purposes other than touring are normally automatically allowed to apply and still remain in the country through their hearing date with ICE. Those who did not have valid visas or did not pass inspection by an immigration agent at the border could face deportation of 3-10 years, depending on how long they have been in the country illegally. Individuals who have been convicted of a certain type of crime can also be denied, as well as illegal immigrants who have been convicted of two offenses of any type.

In addition, all spouses must prove that the marriage is not a “convenience arrangement” and is valid in all institutional respects. Depending on the circumstances involved with the application, like time spent in the country illegally, the applicant is required to return to their native country for a designated period and wait for the immigration department to conduct an inspection at the appropriate consulate. Those who are allowed to stay in the U.S.  can qualify for adjusted status as a temporary authorized immigrant. It is also very important for all valid visa holders to make sure the visa does not expire while waiting on permanent residency  based on your marriage. Contact a Cedar Park  Immigration Attorney like The Jackson Law Firm if you or anyone you know needs assistance.

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