I Entered the U.S. Illegally
If you are physically present but entered illegally, you have a few options:
A. If you have no criminal history or negative immigration history other than the one illegal entry, you can probably apply for a provisional waiver while you stay in the US, then proceed to consular processing. You need to talk to an attorney to see if you are a good candidate for a provisional waiver.
B. If you can’t do provisional waiver, you will have to leave the country and proceed directly to consular processing in your home country and you will need to apply for a waiver due to your unlawful presence in the US (learn more).
C. There are some exceptions for when even someone with an illegal entry can adjust status without the need for leaving the country or applying for a waiver. Each of these programs have very specific requirements, so you will need to consult with an attorney to see if you are eligible. Some of the main ones:
- 245(i): If any relative filed an I-130 for you before December 21, 2000, you may be able to use that old approved petition to adjust status despite an illegal entry.
- Parole in Place: If your US citizen spouse serves or served in the US military, including National Guard and Reserves, and including both active and retired, you may be able to adjust status despite an illegal entry.
- Domestic Violence: If you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse in your marriage, you may be able to adjust status despite an illegal entry.
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