Things To Know If You Are in Love With An Undocumented Immigrant

Posted on 04/18/24

Falling in love is a beautiful and universal experience that transcends borders. However, when your significant other is an undocumented immigrant in the United States, the emotional roller coaster can quickly become complicated due to the complexity of the immigration system. The intricacies of the U.S. immigration system do not just involve filling out forms and waiting for approvals. They encompass understanding a vast array of laws, regulations, and potential pathways that can change with political climates and individual circumstances. For couples in this situation, the stakes are incredibly high — the outcome can significantly impact their future together, including the possibility of separation if legal status is not resolved.

Understanding the Legalization Process for Your Non-Citizen Spouse

The process of adjusting the legal status of a non-citizen spouse in the U.S. can vary greatly depending on several factors, including how they entered the country and their current immigration status. In the following sections, we’ll explore the key aspects of the legalization process for non-citizen spouses, highlight common issues and scenarios that might affect the case, and discuss the importance of selecting a qualified Connecticut immigration attorney at the Law Offices of James A. Welcome who can provide the necessary support and guidance throughout this complex journey.

Eligibility for Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of status is a crucial pathway for undocumented immigrants married to U.S. citizens to obtain lawful permanent residency without having to leave the United States. Here’s a closer look at the eligibility requirements:

  • Lawful Entry: Your spouse must have entered the United States legally, which generally means they were inspected and admitted or paroled. This includes entering with a visa or through a waiver program.
  • Be Physically Present in the United States
  • Marriage to a U.S. Citizen: The applicant must be married to a U.S. citizen. This relationship must be bona fide, meaning it was entered in good faith and not solely for immigration benefits.
  • Current Status: The applicant must have maintained lawful status since their arrival or be eligible for exceptions. 
  • No Disqualifying Conditions: The applicant must not have any conditions that would make them inadmissible, such as certain criminal convictions or previous immigration fraud.

Application Process for Undocumented Immigrant Spouses:

The adjustment of status process typically involves several key steps:

  • Filing Form I-485: This is the main application form for registering permanent residence or adjusting status.
  • Supporting Documents: Applicants need to provide proof of admission into the U.S., their marriage certificate, and proof of their spouse’s U.S. citizenship.
  • Biometrics Appointment: The USCIS requires fingerprinting and a background check.
  • Interview: Both spouses usually attend an interview where they must prove their marriage is genuine and not just for gaining immigration benefits.
  • Decision: If approved, the immigrant spouse receives a green card. If the marriage is less than two years old at the time of receiving the green card, it will be conditional, requiring a joint filing to remove conditions after two years.

Note additional information may be needed on a case-by-case basis. Consult with an immigration attorney to find out more. 

Examples and Issues That Might Affect the Process

Navigating the U.S. immigration system can be unpredictable, with various factors influencing the outcome of an application for adjustment of status. Understanding common scenarios and potential issues can help you better prepare for what might lie ahead:

  • Successful Entry and Adjustment: Parker, originally from France, entered the U.S. on a K-1 fiancée visa and married her American partner within the required 90 days. Her prior legal status and compliance with visa conditions allowed for a smooth transition to applying for and receiving a green card through adjustment of status.
  • Complications Due to Overstay: Bernard, a native of Canada, entered the U.S. on a B-2 tourist visa and overstayed due to unforeseen circumstances. After marrying a U.S. citizen, his application process became more complicated, necessitating additional legal documentation and possible waivers for his overstay before he could adjust his status.
  • Adjustment Despite Unauthorized Entry: Maria from Brazil crossed into the U.S. without inspection but later married a U.S. citizen. Due to her method of entry, she was initially ineligible for adjustment of status. However, she applied for a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver and successfully adjusted her status.

What We Offer at The Law Offices of James A. Welcome

At our firm, we believe in setting realistic goals and maintaining clear communication throughout your case. We understand the stakes are high and offer:

  • Personalized Consultations: Our initial consultations are designed to demonstrate how we can support and guide you through your immigration journey.
  • Experienced Legal Support: With nearly two decades of experience, Attorney James A. Welcome has successfully handled a myriad of immigrant issues. Our team is equipped to deal with complex cases and provide the diligent advocacy you deserve.

Why Choose The Law Offices of James A. Welcome for your Connecticut Immigration Matter?

Selecting a trusted legal partner is crucial when dealing with the nuances of immigration law. Here’s why our firm, with offices in Waterbury, Danbury, Norwalk, West Hartford, and Torrington, might be the right choice for you:

Testimonial from T.M. “My wife and I recently had the pleasure of working with James Welcome for our immigration case, and we couldn’t be more satisfied with the service. Their professionalism, expertise, and dedication to our case are truly exceptional. It’s not every day that you come across a legal team that goes above and beyond to ensure a positive experience, but that’s exactly what we got.”

At The Law Offices of James A. Welcome, we live by our motto, ‘Results You Can Trust.’ This motto reflects our commitment to providing dependable and effective legal solutions tailored to each client’s unique situation. Our experienced and dedicated legal representation is backed by nearly two decades of specialized practice in immigration law.

We prioritize clear and honest communication, understanding your individual needs, and crafting a legal strategy that aligns with your goals. Our bilingual team ensures that language barriers do not hinder your understanding or your case. Whether you speak English or Spanish, our team can provide the support you need.

Our firm has a history of satisfied clients whose testimonials speak volumes about their experiences and the results we’ve achieved. We handle every case with the dedication and thoroughness it deserves, from waiver applications to complex legal challenges.

Did you know our firm is part of Super Lawyers? Find out more!

To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation, call us at (203) 753-7300 or visit our website at We are here to help guide you through every step of the process with confidence and care. Choose us as your partners in navigating the complexities of immigration law and let us help you build a secure future together.

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