Portland, ME asked in Immigration Law for Maine

Q: My partner has no proof that he is in the US legally. He came from Canada when he was a teenager to go to private school

My partner has no proof that he is in the US legally. He came from Canada when he was a teenager to go to private school. He has a social security card but a Canadian birth certificate and no other information. He was born in Canada and adopted as a baby, his mother is a US Citizen and his father is Canadian. They are living in Canada in their late 80's and have no adoption paperwork and cannot remember what they did to get him enrolled in school in the US. The question is, what can we do. He wants to stay in the US legally (has been here for over 20 years).

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1 Lawyer Answer
Allen C. Ladd
Allen C. Ladd
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Greenville, SC

A: Assuming you are a US citizen, you can marry him and apply for permanent residence. Your partner either came as a foreign student (F-1 visa status) or as a visitor. The school probably has records that will help establish how he came into the USA. The point is to show he made a LEGAL entry, which logic says he likely did. The 20 years since, as an overstay, can fall away WHEN you are married and you have filed the necessary applications.

I recommend you look for an experienced immigration lawyer in your area. He or she can guide you both, now and through the process, and be present at the interview at the local USCIS office in your area, when the decision will be made on the application.

Important: The key ingredient is proving your commitment to one another as spouses.

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