A friend of mine was brought to America around the age of 1. He went to public schools even a semester of college in the USA and lived here since the age of 1, but his parents never went through the process of establishing him as a resident through the Green Card process eventually to actual citizenship. What are the first steps he can do to start becoming a legal resident...green card?
State/Country relating to question: Texas
I have looked on the US Immigration website and thinking that he needs to start the Green Card application process.
How old is your friend now?
Are his parents US citizens, permanent residents, or undocumented?
Did your friend initially enter the United States legally? For example, did he enter on a visitor visa?
He is 20. Found his birth certificate from Mexico just recentlyHis parents are undocumented. But his 2 sisters, which are not yet 21, were born in the US.He did not enter legally according to what his parents told him.
Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, your friend would be required to leave the United States if a family based petition is filed on his behalf because he would not be eligible to adjust status, (remain in the United States to process the family based visa).
In addition, his parents would not be able to petition for him because they do not have legal status in the United States. A US citizen spouse or his US citizen sisters when they turn 21 could petition for your friend but he still would be required to leave the US to complete the immigration processing in Mexico.
If your friend were to leave the US, he would be subject to a ten year bar from returning to the US because he has been here illegally for longer than one year although he did not have control over his entry into the US.
There is a I-601 extreme hardship waiver for a family based petition based upon extreme hardship to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent that would excuse your friend's illegal presence in the US.
At this point, it may simply be better for him to remain in the US until the immigration laws are more favorable to his situation. Any immigration reform/amnesty will most likely require a person to be current on back taxes, speak English, and not have any criminal record in the US.
Could he do the Green Card application on his own (without familial sponsorship) with the required documentation according to the Green Card application process and at least get a Green Card, then after 5 years apply for Citizenship through Naturalization?
The only way that he could file for his own green card without a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member would be through the Cancellation of Removal process in the unfortunate event that your friend is arrested and detained by Immigration Customs and Enforcement
Cancellation of Removal is based upon ten or more years of illegal presence in the US and extraordinary and exceptionally unusual hardship to a US citizen spouse or children but this procedure is not available unless the person is actually in removal/deportation proceedings and it is my assumption that your friend does not have a U.S citizen spouse or children at this time.
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