Asked in Immigration Law for New York

Q: I'm a Canadian, marrying US boyfriend that is incarcerated. Can he sponsor me while incarcerated, with cosponsors?

Can he do a k1 visa with cosponsors, while in jail?

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3 Lawyer Answers

Kelli Y Allen

  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Charlotte, NC

A: If you can navigate the practical issues of getting him to sign immigration petitions and can get his documents (birth certificate, judgments, etc.), there is no statutory prohibition against someone in jail filing an immigration petition. As you mention, you would need a joint sponsor.

Kevin L Dixler

  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL

A: There are issues that need to be considered before filing. First, you can meet him, but he is locked up. I suppose that you can, but it will be difficult to take a photo of the two of you, together, unless he was not incarcerated when you first met him. More information is needed. When will he be released from jail?

In addition, you cannot consummate after the marriage if he is incarcerated with a longer term sentence. It is unclear if there is a joint sponsor to support you for the adjustment after you manage to get married. That means that there can be issues of fraud when you both try to file an I-751 in the future. Again, the situation gets complicated unless he has a much shorter sentence. If you are charged with 204(c) fraud, then you can never be petitioned by another U. S. Citizen, again.

I strongly recommend an appointment with a competent immigration and visa attorney before there are any more complications. The above is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

Leonard R. Boyer

  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Brooklyn, NY

A: Do you really want to get involved with a person like this in the first place? You really need to retain an experienced immigration attorney, because there are an infinite number of problems with this, not just legal ones.

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