Green Cardby Debbie McGoldrick
- A ten year old green card, where do my family and I stand?
- Advice on the fast approaching 2015 U.S. visa lottery
- Sponsoring offspring to come to the United States, the V visa
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services warns of phone scam
- How can I reclaim my expired Green Card that I received as a child?
“Two years ago I had to travel home for a family death. When I attempted to return here I was told by U.S. immigration that I would not be able to come to the U.S. for another 10 years because I had been here illegally for so long.
“Needless to say I was devastated and desperate for a way to return. To make a long story short, I traveled to Canada and entered the U.S. by driving over the border. I did not meet a U.S. immigration officer and everything worked out according to plan.
“That was about 21 months ago. During that time I met a lovely U.S. citizen, and we would very much like to get married. But I’m petrified of going through the legalization process. What would happen if I did, given that I’m technically barred from the U.S. and shouldn’t be here in the first place?”
Your quest for legalization is going to prove very problematic, even if you marry a U.S. citizen. Becoming legal isn’t an impossibility, but you’re going to have to take a long-term view that will very likely involve significant time outside the U.S.
This column will provide brief generalities about situations such as yours, but it’s imperative that you speak to an immigration lawyer before proceeding with any course of action.