Asked in Immigration Law for Illinois

Q: Can my husband apply for a green card if I sponsor him?

I'm a green card holder(obtain in 2018) and my husband is out of status. He's been brought to the USA as a minor and when he turned 21 his status expierd. If we apply for a green card for him, would he have to leave the country to be able to adjust his status? If he leaves he will get banned for overstaying his Visa. Should we consider applying for a green card for him now or wait until I'm eligible for citizenship and apply after?

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2 Lawyer Answers

Sheri A Benchetrit

  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

A: Your case has a number of different aspects that have to be addressed. First, you should know that marriage to a green card holder does not forgive the unlawful presence that your husband has already accrued, and will not protect him from accruing more unlawful presence. (This means that marrying you and having you file an I 130 for him, will not give him any status in the US.)

Next, leaving the US at this time, after having accrued more than 1 year of unlawful presence would cause him to trigger a 10 year bar to returning and require a waiver in order to able to return.

You have a number of different options as to how to proceed but it would be best if you meet with an experienced immigration attorney before your take any action on your own.

Kevin L Dixler

  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: More information is needed. Was he admitted, inspected and allowed to enter the U.S.? If so, what type of visa? Has he ever departed the U. S.? These, among numerous other questions should be answered before any further action is taken.

As a result, I strongly recommend an appointment with a competent and experienced immigration attorney, who will spend enough time to understand all the facts, then provide legal advice. There is hope, but spending time to discuss the process is the best first step. Good luck.

The above is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

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