Margarita ManduleyAsk Margarita, Margarita Manduley

My name is Karen and I am 22 years old. I was born in the United States. My mother is has been here, without papers, for 25 years and I would like to know how I can help her get her green card?

Margarita Manduley, Esq.

Dear Karen: Whether you can help your mother obtain her legal permanent resident status depends on several factors.

First, if your mother entered legally, that is, if she for example entered with a tourist visa and overstayed, then yes, you can petition for her and she will obtain her residency here in the United States. The same holds true if your mother is protected by a law called 245(i) which applies to people for whom a family or employment based petition was filed prior to April 30, 2001. However, if your mother entered the country without inspection, that is illegally, she will probably not be able to obtain her residency. The reason for this is that when you petition for her, she will have to depart the country to attend an interview in the US consulate in her home country. When she departs she triggers what is called the “10 year bar”. She can only request a “waiver” (i.e. forgiveness for having been in the U.S. illegally) if she can show that a parent or spouse who is a citizen or a legal permanent resident would suffer extreme hardship if she is not permitted to return. Consequently, unless your mom has a parent or husband who is a citizen or legal permanent resident she will not be able to legalize her immigration status through you.

As you can see, immigration law is extremely complex and every situation is different. For that reason it is imperative that you consult with an attorney who specializes in immigration law prior to filing any petitions on your mother’s behalf.

Margarita Manduley, Esq.

International Legal Alliance Group
Margarita Manduley, Esq.
5200 Lankershim Blvd. Suite 350
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Phone (818) 506-0070
Fax (818)506-0660

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