Close Menu
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyer > > General > How Can a Spouse, Who Entered Illegally Get Legal Status: Your Guide to Marriage Based Green Cards

How Can a Spouse, Who Entered Illegally Get Legal Status: Your Guide to Marriage Based Green Cards

In order to get a Green Card, you must have entered the United States legally, even if you no longer have legal status. However, there are certain exceptions for those who entered illegally. Getting a Green Card for those who entered the United States illegally, then married to a US Citizen may be hard, but not impossible.

  • If the spouse that entered the US illegally has been in the US for less than 180 days: The spouse could simply return to their home country and apply for a green card through the US consulate. This would work exactly like someone who was living abroad and applying for a marriage-based green card.

  • If the spouse has been in the US illegally for more than 180 days: The process is significantly more risky. If the spouse leaves the US, they would ordinarily be barred from reentering the US from anywhere between three to ten years. In order to avoid the bar, the spouse would have to apply for a provisional waiver. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determine whether or not to approve your provisional waiver.

A provisional waiver is an additional process for a married spouse who entered illegally to get a Green Card. In order to get the waiver approved, the spouse must show that their departure would cause extreme hardship to their US Citizen or Green Card holding spouse and/or children. Simply emotional distress is not enough in this instance. Getting a provisional waiver approved can be a hard and long process.

Consult a lawyer when applying for a provisional waiver to have the best chances of being approved. At Ellenberg Law Group, our lawyers have extensive experience handling immigration cases and we are here as your legal resource to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact our law firm now to arrange your completely confidential initial legal consultation. With a legal office in Philadelphia, we provide legal services to businesses throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including in Montgomery County, Chester County, and Bucks County.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Request Your Free Consultation

The solutions to your legal needs start with a free consultation so we can understand your situation and let you know your options. Fill out the form below, and a representative from our office will contact you to set a convenient time for you to meet with one of our attorneys.

* All Contact Form Fields are Required

By submitting this form I acknowledge that contacting Ellenberg Law Group, P.C., through this website does not create an attorney-client relationship, and any information I send is not protected by attorney-client privilege.

protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms
Contact Form Tab