Marriage Based Immigration

Adjustment of Status within the United States

If you are a foreign national and you are thinking of marrying or have already married a U.S. citizen, you may qualify to apply for permanent resident status within the United States. Many people think it is a simple process, but it can actually be quite complicated. Whether you qualify to apply within the United States depends upon various factors, including how you entered the United States.

If you entered the United States legally with a visa and you have married a U.S. citizen or are considering marrying a U.S. citizen, you likely qualify to apply for adjustment of status within the United States.  Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your options!

Section 245(i)

If you entered the United States without legal documentation, you still may be able to apply for adjustment of status within the United States if you were ever the beneficiary or even a derivative beneficiary of a properly-filed, nonfrivolous labor certification application (ETA 750) or an immigrant petition (I-130 Petition for Alien Relative or I-140 Petition for Alien Worker) filed on or before April 30, 2001. If you were a minor child (under age 21) at the time, you likely would qualify to use this connection to be able to stay in the United States and adjust your status, even if you entered without a visa.  In most cases, a $1000 fee is required.

Immigrant Visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate Outside the United States 

If your spouse is outside the United States, he/she can apply for an immigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy in his/her home country. In the past few years this already somewhat lengthy process has become even lengthier and more complicated. It is well worth your time to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer about this type of case.  Having navigated this type of case at U.S. Consulates all over the world, our experienced team can give you peace of mind and guidance while dealing with the different government agencies that are involved in consular processing.

Waivers of Unlawful Presence

If you entered the United States without documents and you do not qualify to pay the $1000 fee and adjust status in the United States with 245(i), you may still qualify to submit an application for a Provisional Waiver. Normally immigrant visa applicants who have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence are barred from the United States for ten years and are required to obtain a waiver of inadmissibility prior to being able to return, even if they are married to a U.S. citizen.  Former President Obama created the provisional unlawful presence waiver process in early 2013 as a way to shorten the amount of time that an applicant is separated from his/her U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family members. It allows applicants with unlawful presence to submit a provisional waiver application within the United States prior to leaving for their consular interview. Our firm has experience submitting Form I-601A for unlawful presence Provisional Waivers and we can help you put together a solid case to submit to the USCIS. Our goal is to help keep families together!

We encourage you to contact our experienced team today to schedule a consultation if you are thinking about applying for permanent resident status through marriage.