Undocumented immigrants live and work in the United States without the permission of the government. Since the government has not recognized their residency, undocumented immigrants do not have the safety and protections that are offered to U.S. residents. Getting a green card can help provide these protections.
Are Undocumented Immigrants Eligible for Green Cards?
If you have a family member or spouse who is undocumented, they may still be eligible for a green card depending on the situation.
There are several paths to legal status for undocumented individuals.
- Marriage to a U.S. citizen
- Immediate relatives of U.S. citizen
- Serving in the military
- Asylum status
- U Visa for victims of a crime
- Cancellation of Removal
Talk to an attorney for more information on getting a green card for an undocumented loved one.
Do you qualify for a Cancellation of Removal?
One of the common misconceptions about getting a green card in the United States is the idea that residency will apply to any person that has been in the United States for 10 years or longer, documented or not. This only applies in a very specific scenario called "Cancellation of Removal." This occurs when those already in Immigration Court and fighting deportation request relief from their deportation proceedings. They can only apply if they have been living in the United States for 10 years or longer. The judge will look at their case and grant a green card if it applies.
Some requirements for a Cancellation of Removal are:
- Involvement in an Immigration Court proceeding
- 10 years of continuous physical presence in the United States
- Proving removal would cause exceptional hardship for a spouse, parent, or child
- Family members that are affected are United States citizens or otherwise documented
- Showing good moral character
- Having a clean criminal record
Even if all of the requirements are met, it is still up to the subjective opinion of the judge to grant a Cancellation of Removal.
Simply living in the United States does not make someone a citizen. Rigorous standards must be met for someone to even qualify for a Cancellation of Removal, and it is not a given that the standards will be enough to keep them in the country.
Need Help with a Green Card? Call Us
If you or someone you know have been living in the United States without the proper documentation, consult with an immigration attorney right away. Our firm can help you navigate immigration issues and stay in the United States without problems. Give Brown Immigration Law a call today!