How can an undocumented immigrant get legal status in the US?

Some undocumented foreign nationals may be eligible for asylum if they can establish that because of a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, are unable or unwilling to return to their country of nationality, and are unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country.

Foreign nationals in removal proceedings may be eligible for cancellation of removal if (i) they have been physically present in the US for a continuous period of 10 years, (ii) have been persons of good moral character for 10 years, (iii) have not bee convicted of certain offenses, (iv) establish that removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to US citizen or legal permanent resident spouse, parent or child and (v) warrant a favorable exercise of discretion.

Persons who: (i) have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of certain criminal activity (such as murder, rape, kidnapping, domestic violence), (ii) possess credible and reliable information establishing that (s)he has knowledge of details concerning the criminal activity, (iii) have been helpful, are being helpful, or are likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity and (iv) criminal activity occurred in the US or violated a US federal law that provided for extraterritorial jurisdiction may qualify for U visa.

Certain persons are allowed to apply of adjustment of status notwithstanding the fact that they entered without inspection, overstayed, or worked without authorization if: they (a) are beneficiaries of a labor certification or visa petition filed on or before January 14, 1998; or (ii) are beneficiaries of a labor certification of visa petition that was filed after January 14, 1998 but on or before April 30, 2001, and were physically present in the US on December 21, 2000.

Undocumented immigrant’s spouse, adult child or parent who are US citizens may petition for their legal permanent resident status.

Temporary protected status (TPS) is a temporary benefit to certain nationals of designated countries due to conditions in the country (such as ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or an epidemic or other extraordinary and temporary conditions) that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning. Countries currently designated for TPS are El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Undocumented persons who demonstrate that the (i) they came to the US before reaching 16th birthday, (ii) were physically present in the US on June 15, 2012, (iii) have continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007, up to the present time, (iv) entered without inspection or were out of status on June 15, 2012, (v) were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, (vi) are currently in school, graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, obtained GED certificate or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or US Armed Forces may qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline some of the options to consider for undocumented immigrants to get legal status in the US. If you would like to obtain legal status in the US, call our experienced immigration attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.


Irena Juras Gets Dreamer her Green Card

A woman that has been brought to the United States from Mexico when she was 3 years old (let’s call her the “Dreamer”) came to my office with her husband who is a U.S. citizen. They had been married for 2.5 years and have three children born in the United States. We discussed the Dreamer’s options and the Dreamer has decided to request the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). She had a high school diploma and met the residency and other requirements for DACA approval. DACA was approved and she received her work authorization. Then, we filed a petition with the Dreamer’s husband as the petitioner. The petition was accompanied by supporting documents sufficient to rebut the presumption of marriage fraud. The petition was approved. Meanwhile, the Dreamer’s mother in Mexico was seriously ill and we applied for advance parole to allow the Dreamer to travel to Mexico to visit her mother. The advance parole was approved and the Dreamer traveled to Mexico, visited and helped her mother and entered the United States legally. Once the Dreamer entered the U.S. legally and met all other requirements for legal permanent residency, we filed her green card application. The application processing time in Phoenix is now more than one year. Finally, we attended an interview with the Dreamer and her husband, the application was approved and her green card has arrived. It was nice to see the happiness in her eyes to finally feel relieved that at age of 31 after living in the United States for 28 years illegally in fear, she does not have to worry that she will be deported and taken from her family. She is very appreciative for my help in guiding her through this process!
If you are facing similar circumstances or know someone else facing similar circumstances, call the immigration attorney Irena Juras at 480-425-2009 or reach us via email to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help you!


Marriage Green Card

Juras Law Firm receives calls from U.S. citizens all the time sharing with us very exciting news that they have married or are considering marrying a person who is not a U.S. citizen. They want us to represent them in the process of sponsoring their new spouse for a green card (U.S. permanent residence) based on marriage. Since there is lots of fraud in the area of applying for a green card based on marriage, there is a presumption of fraud. We help them rebut that presumption and make sure that the new spouse will not face negative consequences based on misrepresentation. There are two groups of spouses. First, the spouses that are already in the United States. Second, spouses still living in their home country. The spouses already in the Unites States may have another type of visa. Depending on the case, we help them establish that the marriage is bona fide through documentation and representation at the interview. They may be able to get their marriage green card without leaving the United States. Spouses seeking green cards based on a marriage that has entered the U.S. without authorization may need to get a waiver of illegal presence. We help them establish an extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen spouse if they are not allowed to stay in the United States. Once the waiver is approved, the final step is to schedule an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The second group of spouses is spouses who are still living in their home country and want to apply for a green card based on marriage to a U.S. citizen. They are going through a two-step process. The first step is to establish that their marriage is bona fide and second is to attend an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country. If you are considering applying for a green card based on marriage and want to make sure to minimize the time apart and avoid any negative consequences associated with the process, call us today at 480-425-2009 or contact us via our website and schedule a consultation today!