Question from Farbie, Can Marriage to a US Citizen Stop Deportation?
Answer from AI:
If you have received a deportation order because you did not appear at immigration court, you may be feeling anxious and looking for options to remain in the United States. One question that often arises in such situations is whether marrying a U.S. citizen can prevent deportation. Here’s some general information on the topic:
Understanding Deportation and Marriage to a U.S. Citizen
Marrying a U.S. citizen can potentially provide a path to lawful permanent residency (a green card), but it is not an automatic or guaranteed solution to avoid deportation. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and immigration courts scrutinize marriages to ensure they are bona fide, meaning the marriage is genuine and not solely for immigration benefits.
Steps to Take After Receiving a Deportation Order
- Consult an Immigration Attorney: It is crucial to seek legal advice from an experienced immigration attorney immediately. They can help you understand your options, the likelihood of success on appeal, and whether marriage to a U.S. citizen could impact your case.
- File an Appeal: If you have a month to file an appeal, it is important to act quickly. An attorney can help you file a motion to reopen or reconsider with the immigration court or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) if there are valid legal grounds for doing so.
- Assess Your Eligibility for Adjustment of Status: If you marry a U.S. citizen, your spouse may be able to file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on your behalf. However, if you are already under a deportation order, you may also need to file a Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal, and possibly a Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.
Challenges with Marrying After a Deportation Order
- Timing: Marrying after receiving a deportation order can raise suspicions about the marriage’s authenticity. USCIS may conduct thorough investigations, including interviews and background checks, to confirm the marriage is not fraudulent.
- Legal Hurdles: Even if the marriage is genuine, the deportation order complicates your immigration status. You may face legal barriers that require waivers and a lengthy process to overcome.
- Immigration Fraud Penalties: Entering into a marriage solely for the purpose of evading immigration laws is considered fraud and can result in severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment for both parties.
While marrying a U.S. citizen can be part of a strategy to adjust your immigration status, it is not a guaranteed or immediate solution to avoid deportation, especially if you have already been ordered deported. It is essential to consult with an immigration attorney to explore all possible legal avenues and to ensure that any steps you take comply with immigration laws.
For more information on immigration laws and procedures, you can visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). Remember, each case is unique, and this information should not be taken as legal advice for your specific situation.