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Green card holder married to visa overstayer!

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  • Green card holder married to visa overstayer!

    Hi, I am currently a green card holder. I came to the US when I was 1 years old and when I was 9 years old my parents became US citizens, I got naturlized on my parents application but I couldnt become a US citizen since I was underage. My parents passed away and they told me all my life that I was a US citizen since my 2 siblings who were much older became US citizens when my parents filed for theirs. But when I went to get my passport 25 years later, they had no record of me, after years of struggling with INS, INS managed to atleast give me a greencard. Well to make a long story short...
    I have been married to my wife for 5 years, she came here on tourist visa legally with no intention to get married and the visa expired around 2 years before we got married. Can I file for her to became legal resident as a greencard holder without her getting deported or
    should I apply for US citizenship certificate first and then do it? will it make a difference?

    Right now we live in limbo and can not move on with our lives and are considering leaving the country permanently if this can not be resolved.

  • #2
    Hi, I am currently a green card holder. I came to the US when I was 1 years old and when I was 9 years old my parents became US citizens, I got naturlized on my parents application but I couldnt become a US citizen since I was underage. My parents passed away and they told me all my life that I was a US citizen since my 2 siblings who were much older became US citizens when my parents filed for theirs. But when I went to get my passport 25 years later, they had no record of me, after years of struggling with INS, INS managed to atleast give me a greencard. Well to make a long story short...
    I have been married to my wife for 5 years, she came here on tourist visa legally with no intention to get married and the visa expired around 2 years before we got married. Can I file for her to became legal resident as a greencard holder without her getting deported or
    should I apply for US citizenship certificate first and then do it? will it make a difference?

    Right now we live in limbo and can not move on with our lives and are considering leaving the country permanently if this can not be resolved.

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    • #3
      This issue *can* be resolved. You don't have to leave the country. Here's the plan of attack:
      1) You file for citizenship. It takes about a year to clear the CIS.
      2) You petition for her (I-130) concurrently with her adjusting status (I-485) as well as other forms like I-765 for employment authorization (I-765), Advanced Parole (I-131 to travel outside the U.S. while I-485 is pending) and other supporting forms and doc.
      3) After you receive first NOA for I-485 she becomes legal again! Bingo, home free.

      If you file I-130 while still an LPR even after you become a citizen you'd have to wait for the I-130 approval before filing I-485. Filed/pending I-130 alone won't make her legal. It's always a good idea to file as a citizen then going through the pain of upgrading the I-130.

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      • #4
        It is better to file when you are USC, not to raise any flags

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