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I'm An Illegal Immigrant But I Just Got Married To An US Citizen

Discussion in 'Family Based Green Card -Through Marriage/Relative' started by whitebottle, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. whitebottle

    whitebottle Registered Users (C)

    Hi there,

    Pasted below is my story. There has been a huge progress to my situation since I last posted my story. Due to my illegal status, I was unable to obtain a current state ID in CA so I did my research and found out that Washington (State) is the only state in the US where I as an illegal immigrant can still obtain a valid, current state ID. I needed to have a valid state ID in order to get married to my US citizen fiance. So, I traveled to WA and got my WA state ID and came back to CA (where I live). Just two weeks ago, my fiance and I got married here in CA. We still are living together, August 2011 will be four years since we started living together. We were hoping to seek some advice on what is the next step I need to take to fix my illegal immigrant status. We just want to live our lives together without having my immigration status hanging over our heads. We are not wealthy but we are both smart and can follow instructions, so we intend to do the paperwork process without an attorney. Btw, I did read some of the postings on GC/Citizenship for legal immigrants (especially the one by nkumar7) and found it to be extremely helpful but my situation is a bit different since I am an illegal immigrant.

    My Story - How I Went From Being A Minor To An Illegal Immigrant:

    I came to the US when I was 16yrs old in Dec, 2000 from India. I left home when I was 19 and lived my own life, went to college etc. I didn't talk to my parents till I was 22, when we spoke I asked my mom for my documents...passport and such. At this time my mom told me that our visas expired 3yrs after coming to the US and refused to give me my documents because they (my parents) feared that if I did anything then our entire family could get deported. Dad was on a H1B visa and I along with my brothers were on a H4 visa, don't know what visa mom was on...I believe an H4 as well. I didn't know what to think of all this at the time because I didn't know squat about immigration. In fact, I didn't even know what type of visa we were on up until last month.
    I was busy with college so I just let this whole deal sit on the back burner. Now that I've graduated from college (June 2010), I want to take care of my paperwork and get married to my boyfriend (who turned into fiance in July 2010) who I've been living with for the last 3yrs. So I met with an attorney, who advised that I obtain my passport and I94 from my parents. Earlier this month I contacted my mom and told her I'm getting married so I need my documents...so she mailed me my birth certificate and my passport. The problem is that my passport expired in Dec of 2009! According to the attorney's advise, I tried to renew my expired passport online but it is not as easy as the attorney made it out to be. I need proof of legal residency and various other documents to renew my passport which I don't have. The attorney suggested that I could take care of my paperwork after I get married to my boyfriend so I did the research and found out that to obtain a marriage license, I need a valid government issued ID which I do not have...and have no means of obtaining. I used to have a CA ID which expired in 2007, which I went to go renew but they needed a passport which I didn't have at the time...now I realize after doing thorough research that even if had had my passport at that time I would've still needed proof of legal residency in order for them to have renewed my ID.
    I've been trying to reach the Indian consulate in SF but they don't answer the phone at all. I even left them a message but no word from them yet. The more and more I read about it and hear about it I just get so uncertain of my future...I want to continue my education so I can go to vet school and follow my dreams...please does anyone have any words of advice? This was my previous posting back in Oct, 2010 I believe.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2011
  2. BigJoe5

    BigJoe5 Registered Users (C)

    You originally enetered legally. You are an "overstay". You married your USC fiance, just file the forms with USCIS. You don't need a current passport (or a lawyer). You cannot travel abroad until you get a greencard. Do you have an entry stamp in your passport? They can always run your passport # in the computer to confirm your old legal entry.

    Your USC spouse files an I-130 CONCURRENTLY with your I-485 and I-765. Once you get your receipt notice you can work if you want or continue school. Since you had an H-4 and a CA ID then you probably already have a SSN. IF not you can get one with your EAD when it comes after ??2-4 months??

    Your spouse will have to file an I-864 and show sufficient income per the I-864P (a new one will be posted soon with new $$ figures). The I-864 can be submitted later in the process. Get and READ all the form instructions at: www.uscis.gov THEN fill out the forms and file.
  3. Triple Citizen

    Triple Citizen Registered Users (C)

    Just curious, why did the state of Washington issue an ID to someone who does not live in the state?

  4. Concerned4us

    Concerned4us Banned

    There are legitimate reasons one might not live in a state but be granted it's ID. Members of the military can elect to retain the ID of their registered state of residency even though they are stationed - and physically reside -elsewhere. This is true of their spouse, but the spouse may need to take up residency of the actual state of residency due to other obligations. So the couple has the odd situation where each is a legal resident of a different state although they live together. Since one must be present in the state with a photo, one might even have a WA DL without a photo. It makes it difficult for travel or other situation where photo ID is required since military ID or passport must be used.
  5. Triple Citizen

    Triple Citizen Registered Users (C)

    All fine and dandy with your explanation. However I cannot deduce from the OP's post that the couple does live in separate states. Thus my query.

  6. BigJoe5

    BigJoe5 Registered Users (C)

    She did what she had to do out of desperation. Washington State issues ID's wiothout proof of residence; and DL's without proof of residence IF you have a SSN.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2011
  7. Triple Citizen

    Triple Citizen Registered Users (C)

    Ah, that makes sense. An attempt to make two wrongs conveive a right :)

  8. Al Southner

    Al Southner Registered Users (C)

    Here you go and based on the information you provided, your case will be ok and don't anticipate problems, provided you file correct forms and prepare for your interview with USCIS. More importantly, file all required forms concurrently to avoid problems. Your overstay will be forgiven and don't do anything crazy, like pee on a side-walk....:)

    Your USC Spouse files:

    I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (your spouse files this); fee at this time is $355, click to see most current filing fee, download form and instructions.

    You (the GC applicant) file:

    I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (this is your main application form); fee at this time is $1010, click to see most current filing fee, download form and instructions.
    I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, to be filed with your I-485 (this has to be filled out by your civil surgeon. If you have had the BCG vaccination, your TB test will most probably be positive, so ask for a chest x-ray at the same time to save time if it is not suggested). This will take about 3-4 days and probably cost between $160-220 depending on your doctor, find an approved doctor here. Click to download form and instructions.
    I-864, Affidavit of Support, to be filled out by your spouse and/or another sponsor, filed with your I-485. Check instructions to see if you can use the I-864EZ instead, it is shorter. Make sure you qualify for it. Click to download form and instructions.
    I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (this is your ‘work permit’ and is optional, although most people file it); fee is $0 if you file with your I-485 or after your I-485 has been received by USCIS, click to download form and instructions.

    I-131, Application for Travel Document (this is your advance parole application, if you want to travel before you have your green card in your passport/in your hand, also optional), fee is $0 if you file with your I-485 or after your I-485 has been received by USCIS, click to download form and instructions.

    G-325A, Biographic Information. Fill out 2 copies for the applicant and 1 for the USC spouse, 1 for each goes with I-130 and 2nd applicant form goes with I-485. Click to download form and instructions.

    Passport photos- You will need about 7 for the applicant and 1 for the USC spouse, get extras in case you mess up.

    Don't apply for advance parole, don't travel abroad until you have your green card in hand.

    This forum is a treasure of solid information, self-less people who enjoy adding to the diversity of our American society.
  9. whitebottle

    whitebottle Registered Users (C)

    Thank you all for the replies, I found them all very helpful. Just for clarification, I had to go to WA for my ID because I had and I got it because I used one of our family friends' address (they live in WA). I don't have an SSN and did not need one to get my id in WA. I did need my expired ID, passport, school transcript w/name, DOB, a print out of my record from the DMV along with my birth cert. My ID looks just like any other ID with a pic and all that good stuff. Thanks again for your help, I will keep posting on my progress. As of now, we are still waiting for our marriage cert.
  10. Triple Citizen

    Triple Citizen Registered Users (C)

    So you do not live in WA but used someone's address to get an ID?

  11. Concerned4us

    Concerned4us Banned

    You just admitted on a public forum that you illegally obtained a drivers license. Through your selfishness you have placed your friend in jeopardy for future illegal acts by you. Your friend needs to find a better circle of friends.
  12. ananga73

    ananga73 Registered Users (C)

    Take a chill pill. This is not the place to excoriate people.
  13. daniyatom

    daniyatom Registered Users (C)

    Yes, chill out. You'll sound so high and mighty like you are sinless. People will do what they will have to do period.

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