10 years 3 weeks ago #72796 by **DONOTDELETE**
Hello everyone,
I am new to this website and I have read most of the diaries and forums in search for an aswer about my very personal issue.
Since I haven't found the answer yet, I am really going out of my limits and expose myself:
I am a young mom, non-traditonal student, I work full-time, and I am a foreigner with a overstayed visa! From here to now starts all the complications.
1. I have a visa and passport, but my documents are expired from 5 years ago.
2. I work full-time and pay takes to the IRS
3. I can't apply to a 4-yr College of University because I will be asked to provide a green card or any legal documentation form.
4. I don't want to use ilegal documentation for anything. I want to be really honest with this process
5. There are not laws of regulations that can help me right now.
6. I love this country and I do not wish to go back. . .
7. I have a option to legalize through marring my boyfriend (6 years together but he is just a U.S. resident)

So, I am basically telling you this, because I know that I want to be a Doctor, but I don't know what to do during this time 7-8 years while I wait for him to turn into a citizen and get married and do things legally and honestly like I want to do them.
I can't help but feeling trapped or stucked because I don't know what to do during all this years . . what should I DO ?
I am not givin-up, no matter how hard it is, how long it will take, I just want to use my time-Years wisely. but i don't know how. HELP PLEASE!

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10 years 1 week ago - 10 years 1 week ago #72940 by tee11
You have a huge problem that has nothing to do with what profession you want to get into - that you want to become a doctor is not relevant at this point. Your thought of legalizing through marrying a US resident - that is not neccessarily possible. You need the advice of a US immigration lawyer now. Don't wait around any longer, thinking your boyfriend will become a citizen, that does not change the fact that you are in the country illegally, and have been for years! You wrote that you want to be honest, but understand, that everyone will think you have been dishonest already. Try to do what you can NOW. It is important that you pick a lawyer that has immigration as their specialty, the first consultation should come free. I hope everything will work out for you.
Last Edit: 10 years 1 week ago by .

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10 years 1 week ago #72991 by FPmom
Wow, that is really scary. I agree that you should talk to a lawyer first and get your situation worked out before you end up deported or something. You are breaking the law and you have to worry about that first. But to answer your other questions, start studying for the MCAT and get some textbooks for the pre-med subjects and start reading them. You can teach yourself just about everything you need to know for your pre-med stuff now. The classroom environment just keeps me on task, but I end up teaching myself most of the material anyhow. Good luck!

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10 years 4 days ago #73088 by fiddlewendy
Absolutely agree with above comments. Get a lawyer immediately. A good immigration lawyer can help you stay here and help your costs be as low as possible.

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10 years 2 days ago #73106 by snowflake
Please be very careful!!! I don't mean to scare you, but you should take this very very seriously, and DO NOT GET MARRIED IN THE U.S. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A MARRIAGE VISA--you must have permission from the government to get married in the U.S. if you are not a U.S. resident! A friend of mine (a U.S. citizen) was engaged to an Australian girl, and she entered the country on a student visa, and ended up getting married in the U.S. without having a marriage visa in place first. Long story short, she was arrested and sent to prison for 6 months--the U.S. takes this very seriously and basically treats you like a potential terrorist trying to gain entry into the US illegally. (You don't mention what your nationality is, but since she was from a first-world country with good relations with the U.S., I can't imagine how they would treat someone from a country that had bad political relations with the U.S.).

She and her husband were so distraught by the whole ordeal, and now she and her husband live in Australia, AND she is never allowed back in the U.S. again. She had Australian and U.S. politicians trying to intervene on her behalf, but to no avail.

I feel for you--I'm so sorry that you're going through this, just please be careful and protect yourself first! I completely agree that you should get a lawyer ASAP--this should be your first priority! If you can't afford a lawyer, see if you can seek out any charity immigration advice services.

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9 years 8 months ago #74559 by Sweet
I am sorry I did not come upon this thread before, but in case anyone will read this, I would like to share some thoughts.

I worked as a contractor for the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, which then became BCIS and later USCIS, Homeland Security/DOJ from 1996 until 2009 (when I started medical school). I am not disputing the experience of Snowflake's friend, however there has to be MUCH MORE to that story. People are not, I repeat, NOT jailed for visiting the United States falling in love and marrying a US citizen without "government permission". This is simply not true. As I said, there had to be more to the story.

As far as the OPs situation:

Your greatest problem is the fact that you have remained in the country illegally for 5 years. For that you can indeed be apprehended by ICE agents, incarcerated in a detention center, then deported to your country of origin. Had you married your US resident boyfriend before your visa lapsed, although you would not have been able to legalize your status at that time, at least it would be considered as a mitigating circumstance when the court reviews your overstay as part of your larger immigration case (because at this point, no matter what route you take, your case will have to go to court and be heard by an immigration judge). However, what's done is done and cannot be changed.

Having said that, since it does not appear that deportation proceedings have been initiated in this case, or at least deportation has not been ordered yet, you still have a chance to salvage your life in the US. The best advice is to contact an immigration attorney as soon as possible.

Look for attorneys who offer free consultations, low-fee consultations and/or credit the consultation fee towards your overall case costs. Speak with 3-5 attorneys before picking one. Ask for a clear breakdown of their fees and for the avenues they plan to pursue (rough idea of their game plan). Bring a notebook and take notes during the consultation! Ask the attorney to provide you a written copy of the contract (that you will be signing with them) in advance, so you can take it home and review it carefully (preferably, ask a friend with some background or experience in law/contracts/etc. and strong English skills to help you review it).

It should NOT take your boyfriend 7-8 years to become a citizen (whoever told you that was either misinformed or was trying to misinform you). A permanent resident of the United States is eligible to apply for naturalization (citizenship) after 4 years and 9 months of being a permanent resident (having received their "permanent green card", not the temporary status granted to some refugees/asylees), and is eligible to be naturalized (become a citizen) after 5 years of being a PR. It takes approximately 5-8 months in most areas from the time of application to the time of interview/naturalization, so your boyfriend should be able to become a citizen in as little as 5 years and 3 months or generally less than 6 years after he became a PR. You can go to the USCIS website and check the processing times for your area (go to at the bottom of the page in the box that says "Processing Times", pick form N-400 then the nearest office (city) - for example, the average processing time for the Albany, NY office is 5 months).

Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.

Good luck,

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