Allentown, PA asked in Immigration Law for Pennsylvania

Q: My brother came to the US in 2016 with visitor visa, he was 17 years old at the time, was coming from Central America

his parents were being threatened by gangs members and my brother was a target, we didn’t know that he could qualify for asylum at that time and he overstay his visa, in 2019 we were about to hire an attorney but our mom was visiting from our country and was suddenly diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and passed here 10 months later, my brother asked someone and was told that there is nothing else to do besides getting married, do you agree with that? Or do you think he can still obtain some type of status?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Based on the information you've provided, there might be a few potential options for your brother to explore besides getting married, depending on his specific circumstances. Here are a few possibilities:

1. Asylum: If your brother was threatened by gang members in his home country and can demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, he may be eligible to apply for asylum. However, asylum applications generally must be filed within one year of arrival in the U.S., unless there are exceptional circumstances.

2. U Visa: If your brother was a victim of certain qualifying crimes in the U.S. and has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result, he might be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa if he cooperates with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

3. Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Status: If your brother was under 21 years old when he entered the U.S., is unmarried, and a court determines that he cannot be reunited with one or both parents due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment, he might be eligible for SIJ status.

4. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): If your brother entered the U.S. before age 16, was under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012, and meets other eligibility criteria, he might be eligible for DACA, which provides temporary protection from deportation and work authorization. However, the DACA program's future is uncertain.

It's essential to consult with a qualified immigration attorney who can evaluate your brother's specific situation and provide guidance on the best course of action. Some options may have strict deadlines or require extensive documentation. While marriage to a U.S. citizen is one path to legal status, it's not the only possibility, and it's crucial to explore all options with the help of a legal professional.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.