1. What Are the Steps to Legalize My Spouse?
I am a US citizen and my husband is here illegally and did not enter with visa. We have a two month old baby together. He has no criminal background not even a citation and has paid his taxes every year and has worked with his legal name. What are the steps I need to take for him to become a US resident? Is it possible for me to apply by myself for him? Due to economic reason, I cannot pay a lawyer.
Mr. Lee answers:
If your husband entered the US on a parole status instead of a visa, you could possible work to adjust his status to permanent residence n the US without leaving. The major forms that you would be dealing with would be the I-130 relative petition and the I-485 adjustment of status application. If he entered the country illegally without being paroled, does not qualify under section 245(i) as having been the beneficiary of a labor certification application or immigrant visa petition by April 30, 2001 and being physically present in the US on December 21, 2000, you may think of processing under the I-601A program which allows an advance waiver of the penalty for being illegal in the US for a period of time. The relevant forms for that would be the I-130 relative petition, and after that is approved, the I-601A application form for a provisional waiver. If approved, your husband would ultimately complete his case at the American consulate or embassy in his home country, but if everything else is okay, he would be allowed to come back with an immigrant visa right after the interview. For further information you can check out the USCIS website at uscis.gov.
2. What Is The Best Option for a Legal Permanent Resident to Get the Spouse From a Foreign Country?
Other than petition, what would be the fastest and easiest way for an LPR to get the spouse from foreign country, Philippines and how long will it take?
Mr. Lee answers
The best way would be for the LPR to become a US citizen and to petition under that category. Failing that, some other options could be through the immigration investor EB-5 program if your spouse has the wherewithal to invest, or he might qualify for a working category with dual intent such as H-1B specialized worker or L-1 intracompany transferee. Also if your spouse is an extraordinary alien in a specific field, he may be able to qualify under an O-1 nonimmigrant visa or EB-1A immigrant visa.
3. Which Eligibility Category Exactly Am I Under If My Visa Expired and Then I Got Married While Being Out of Status?
Mr. Lee answers:
You are illegal when your visa status expires. If you are married to an undocumented immigrant or green card holder, your status would still be illegal. In the event that you marry a US citizen, and you file for an I-485 adjustment of status application, you would be in a U.S.C.I.S. state of grace while the adjudication is ongoing.