Immigration Issues/green card


QUESTION: Hi Alexander,
Thank you for taking my question. I have overstayed my student visa for three years now but I did enter the county legally. During this time I have become engaged to a U.S. citizen. But now I must return to Ireland within two weeks as a relative is ill and I need to take care of them over the next year. My fiance is going to come with me but as I overstayed my visa here I am aware that I face a ten year ban from returning to the U.S. with him. My question is this, I do not have time to go through the process of immigration and apply for a green card now even if we got married tomorrow but I am wondering if we should get married anyway even though we are leaving in two weeks. As I am hoping this may help my case down the line if I am trying to re-enter the States with him as a husband that I married here rather than if I married him in Ireland when we get there. Any advise would help thank you.

ANSWER: It would seem that you have a real problem. If you leave the US there is a very real possibility that you will not be allowed back in for 10 years. If you get married and get all the paperwork miraculously done, you will still be barred from re-entry. You can get a parole re-entry permit, but it is unlikely that it will be approved prior to you leaving. But it could be sent to you later. You need to get a lawyer and get one fast. Otherwise your relationship with your future husband will depend upon him being willing to live in Ireland for the next 10 years. Might not be too bad, but that may not have been in the plans.

Good luck.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your answer, it was very helpful. I am afraid of what decision to make, my fiance does not want to live in Ireland indefinitely. There is a chance someone can help to take care of my relative so I can stay here longer to  get all the paperwork filed with a lawyer without such a limited time constraint but how long would you estimate it would take for it to be processed and for me to be able to fly back and forth without problems? You mentioned that I would be barred from re-entry regardless of paperwork filed, is this only because I wanted to leave so soon and the papers wont be processed or will I be banned regardless of how much time I wait here for the papers to go through. I thought if we got married and filed the papers I would no longer be subject to the ban at all. Any help would be lifesaving, thank you so much. Sara

This is all getting very complicated. Go get a lawyer to help you, and get one fast. I believe you are excludable for 10 years, but you entered legally. If so you can adjust to a greencard here, but will have to prove a hardship on your husband if you try it from Ireland. If you apply in the USA, and need to leave, you can request a parole re-entry permit.  This can be included with the original paperwork. If it is done correctly, and it is approved by the immigration, it can then be forwarded to you by mail. However, if it is denied for some reason, you will be in Ireland with out a permission to re-enter.  Even when you visa is approved, you will be barred from re-entry to have it issued, and you will need to stay out of the USA for 10 years before it will be issued in a consulate unless you can prove that the excludability should be waived, which is not easy considering you have not been married and the hardship on your husband would most likely be considered to be self-inflicted.

Get an attorney. Get one fast.

Immigration Issues

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Alexander J. Hay


I am a U.S. lawyer with offices in Houston, Texas and in Belize. I can answer questions on U.S. Immigration, U.S. corporate law, and Offshore Tax and Asset Planning.
If you are on an H or L visa I am NOT GOING TO ANSWER your questions since they are usually highly fact oriented, and also you have a company attorney handling the whole thing. Call your own attorney please! If you disregard this request, don't be surprised if I answer with "homework question".


I am a U.S. attorney with offices in the United States and Belize. I have experience helping to protect assets, reduce taxes, and improve investment performance by utilizing global investment techniques.

Harvard University, A.B. degree; University of Houston Law Center, J.D. Degree; Fulbright Scholar

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