Q: I have a friend who came into the country in 2004 into the US with someone else’s passport and the person took their passport back now he’s out of status and he’s now met a lady who’s american citizen they both want to get married.Can he adjust his status? he now have a blank passport with no visa. Would this be a problem for him when adjusting his status or what document does he need to prove? please advice on his behalf.
A: Your friend has three big problems.
First, because he used fraud to enter the US, there is a good chance USCIS will say this was not a “lawful admission” and without a lawful admission, he is not eligible for adjustment of status. There may be room to argue that point, but not without research and analysis of many more factors than are available from your description.
Second, if he is not eligible for adjustment of status, he would have to leave the U.S. and process an immigrant visa at a US consulate. Because he has been ‘unlawfully present’ in the U.S. for more than 1 year, leaving the U.S. now will cause him to become inadmissible to the U.S. for 10 years. To come back sooner than that, he will need to seek a waiver of unlawful presence, by demonstrating extreme hardship to a qualified relative.
Third, because he used someone else’s passport to enter the U.S., he is already inadmissible due to fraud. He will not be able to adjust status or obtain an immigrant visa at a consulate, unless he seeks and is granted a waiver for his fraud.
Each of these three issues are complex and turn on many different factors. Succeeding in any of them will be difficult. If he does not have expert legal counsel, his chances of obtaining lawful status in the U.S. will not be very good! He definitely needs the help of an experienced immigration attorney.
Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C. – Attorney Mark Egan
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Re-Published from: AVVO Legal Questions and Answers