Falling in love can be spontaneous, and issues of immigration status don’t come to mind at the start. So, if the one holding the key to your heart is an undocumented immigrant, do you quit or find a way to make things work? As a US citizen, can you court an illegal immigrant?
Yes, US citizens are free to court anyone they like, including an illegal immigrant. As long as both partners are of marriageable age and not related by blood.
But unlike a legally recognized immigrant, there are pertinent issues to resolve concerning an illegal immigrant. Thankfully, we have them treated in this post. Keep reading to find out.
Can an Illegal Immigrant Marry a US Citizen?
Illegal immigrants marry US citizens daily. If you are an illegal immigrant in the US, you can marry a US citizen and virtually anyone else. Marriage in the US is governed by age and whether or not the prospective spouse is a close relative.
Their marriage qualifies them for a green card because they are “immediate relatives,” Undocumented immigrants, on the other hand, face severe barriers.
Can an Illegal Immigrant Marry a Green Card Holder?
An illegal immigrant can marry a green card holder. The Wall Street Journal estimates that 1.2 million undocumented immigrants are married to US citizens. Obtaining a marriage green card protects your spouse from deportation and allows them to naturalize.
However, your undocumented spouse should avoid leaving the country before getting their green card. If your spouse quits before then, they may be barred from entering the US for 3 to 10 years. The length of the bar depends on how long they were in the US illegally.
How long can you Marry to an Illegal Immigrant?
You have 180 days to begin your spouse’s green card application. Suppose your spouse entered the United States illegally but stayed for less than 180 days. In that case, they might return home and apply for a green card through the United States embassy.
However, if your spouse has been in the United States without legal status for more than 180 days, they will face a three-year or ten-year ban from entering the country.
Can you get in Trouble for Dating an Illegal Immigrant?
You most likely won’t get into trouble if you are dating an illegal immigrant. However, your partner is liable to get into trouble after overstaying their visit. There’s a chance they won’t acquire a green card.
For example, if your spouse entered the United States on a tourist visa to meet someone and marry them, this is not a desirable circumstance and is deemed fraud. In this situation, it may have an impact on your spouse’s eligibility for a green card as well as future US visa applications.
Consequences of Dating an Illegal Immigrant
Your illegal partner pays the price most times. A green card interview may be required if your foreign spouse has been in the US for more than six months (180 days) following an illegal admission. The 3- or 10-year bar may be a legal hurdle to the application. If you marry an undocumented immigrant who came without inspection, you may be given a waiver.
According to US immigration law, anyone who remains in the country illegally for more than a year is barred from returning for ten years. Your spouse will be denied an immigrant visa based on marriage once they depart the US for their appointment at the US consulate in Ciudad Juárez. An immigrant visa is only provided to individuals who are instantaneously admissible.
How to Date an Illegal Immigrant?
If you want to date an illegal immigrant, consider a fiance visa. A fiancé (K-1) visa allows a non-U.S. citizen who is engaged to marry a US citizen to enter the country to marry that person.
You must file a petition on Form I-129F with US Citizenship and Immigration Services for your fiancé to be granted a K-1 visa (USCIS).
If the petition is authorized, it will be sent to the immigrant’s home country’s US consulate for assessment. At the consulate, an interview with the applicant will be set. The visa (K-1) will be given if everything goes smoothly during the interview.
Once the married visa or fiancé visa is approved, the immigrant has six months to use it to enter the United States, followed by another 90 days to marry.
While love knows no barrier, there is a need to consider doing what it takes to make that relationship last. Knowing the immigration status of your lover should be a top priority after courting begins. That would give you both ample time to sort out the immigration issues promptly.
Also, immigrating to the US through the right channel is crucial to a robust relationship. After all, a single hug from your loved one is worth more than a thousand words said over the phone.