How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Expert James Your Own Question

Expert James
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7525
Experience:  Experienced in all aspects of immigration and nationality law.
23431962
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
Expert James is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

came with a visa from costa rica 13 years ago, as a minor,and

Customer Question

came with a visa from costa rica 13 years ago, as a minor,and graduated from high school in NJ. now i have two usa born children. can i fix my status?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Expert James replied 11 months ago.
Hi there! Thank you for using this service. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'll be helping you with your questions today.

I just need to clarify a few things - did you marry a US citizen? How old are the children? On what status did you enter the US - F1 status?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Im not married to a us citizen. my children are 3 and 5 years old. i came here with a tourist visa

Expert:  Expert James replied 11 months ago.
Okay Dayana. Thanks for the information. It might take a while to compose an answer for you. Please be patient as I do so. Thank you!
Expert:  Expert James replied 11 months ago.
Hi Dayana,

Thanks for your continued patience. It is much appreciated.

However unfortunately, I do not have very good news to share at this time.

Unfortunately, there is no way for you to become legal right now because you are out of status. The only option available would be if you married a US citizen, or wait until one of your children turns 21 and sponsors you for a green card.

 

Your options are quite limited for any relief:

Option 1) Have an employer file an employment-based immigrant petition on your behalf. If approved, you would have to leave the US and process back in legally. The big problem with this is that if you leave the US now, you will be subject to a ban from re-entering the US for quite some time, due to your unlawful presence in the US. The only way to get around this ban is if you can show that your US citizen children will suffer extreme hardship if you are not allowed to re-enter sooner. Note that this is not just an emotional or financial hardship. It is more like one of them has a medical conditions and they need you to attend to them for their well-being.

Also note that you might not be eligible to come back with the employment-based visa until one becomes available, which can take a few years.

Option 2) You wait until one of your US citizen children turns 21 years old, and then they sponsor you for an immediate relative green card and adjustment of status.

Option 3) Marry a US citizen who sponsors you for a green card.

Option 4) Wait until the law changes (remaining int he US illegally), and hope that any new laws cover your current situation.

I'm very sorry. But these are your only options. Please know that I always do my best to help customers come up with a good solution, but from time to time, the law does not provide a good solution to every situation. Please do not hold bad news against me by giving me a negative rating.

I hope I have answered your questions. If you need more help, please use the reply button to continue our conversation.

If you do not require further assistance, kindly rate my satisfactory customer service (not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control) with a top-three rating, as this is the only way I receive credit for assisting you.


A bonus is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you want me to answer questions in the future, just go to Ask Expert James an Immigration Question! and make sure you write "FOR JAMES" in the subject or at the beginning of your question. That is the only way to ensure that I will assist you.

Thank you!
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7525
Experience: Experienced in all aspects of immigration and nationality law.
Expert James and 2 other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Expert James replied 11 months ago.

Hi Dayana,

I just want to follow up with you about another possible option, but one that will bring you to the attention of the USCIS.

There is something called deferred action for childhood arrivals. It requires that you entered the US as a child, before the age of 16; that you are in at least high school or have a high school diploma or equivalent in the US; that you were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012; you have continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007, up to the present time; you were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012; and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS and that you have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

A successful application will permit you to work and remain in the US legally, for up to 2 years, and can be renewed indefinitely. However it also brings you to the attention of the USCIS, and can potentially be a problem, if something more permanent is not passed into law.

 

Here is information on this process, commonly referred to as DACA: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=f2ef2f19470f7310VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=f2ef2f19470f7310VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD#guidelines

I hope I have answered your questions. If you need more help, please use the reply button to continue our conversation. If you do not require further assistance, kindly rate my satisfactory customer service (not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control) with a top-three rating, as this is the only way I receive credit for assisting you.

A bonus is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you want me to answer questions in the future, just go to AskCustomeran Immigration Question! and make sure you write "FOR JAMES" in the subject or at the beginning of your question. This is the only way to ensure that I will assist you.

Thank you!

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Immigration Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    30464
    10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Immigration Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    30464
    10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/GE/GeorgetownLawyr/2011-6-16_115959_MeatOffice.64x64.JPG Georgetown Lawyer's Avatar

    Georgetown Lawyer

    Immigration Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8543
    10+ years of Immigration Experience in All Areas A-Z complex immigration cases & issues in all areas
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/personwilt/2010-1-10_164828_person1.jpg Wilton A. Person's Avatar

    Wilton A. Person

    Immigration Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    3550
    Knowledgeable and experienced immigration lawyer.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2889
    Private practice in several areas, including immigration
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/Assielle/2008-12-13_165256_2_edited.jpg Law Girl's Avatar

    Law Girl

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    451
    My law firm practices immigration law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mnphillips2/2009-03-13_203105_10984459-249293407.jpeg Phillips Esq.'s Avatar

    Phillips Esq.

    Attorney-at-Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    238
    B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VI/Vilnius100/2012-7-12_193419_Gintare.64x64.JPG Gintare Grigaite's Avatar

    Gintare Grigaite

    Immigration Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    185
    Expert Immigration Attorney
 
 
 

Related Immigration Law Questions