green card : LUSENET : Immigration Law - Law Offices of Michael Boyle : One Thread

I entered USA on my M1 visa (2 years) in 1999, changed status into B1 for6 months and tried to get additional extention for another 6 months. INS requested many documents which I provided 2 times and finally got letter from INS saying that they had never received documents so therefore my application was denied. I overstayed for more than 180 days, got married (for love), applied for change of status, got my work permit and also got charged in Los Angeles with Grand theft auto (spent 9 days in county jail) which was completely dismissed after all. Will I have problems in obtaining green card because I overstayed and eventually got arrested even if my case was dismissed ? If I get advanced parole to leave the country for 3 weeks (seek parents), am I going to have trouble coming back (overstayed for more then 180 days) ? Thank You.

-- Mario Ferucci (, July 19, 2004


Because your spouse is a U.S. citizen, the unlawful presence will only matter if you travel outside the U.S. before you become a permanent resident. If you have more than 180 days of unlawful presence, you will have problems and need a waiver EVEN IF you receive advance parole. (Because of this, many INS offices will not issue an adavance parole to an adjustment applicant with more than 180 days of unlawful presence.) It is not clear to me that you had 180 days of unlawful presence, since unlawful presence only began to accrue with the denial of your case.

If you were innocent, you should be able to adjust despite the arrest. If you committed the offense but wre not convicted, the case could be more complicated. In any case, get a lawyer. Many INS officers would rather deny your case to be on the safe side. It's better to pay a lawyer a reasonable fee for preparing you and accompanying you to your interview than to pay much more to defend you in removal proceedings.

-- Michael Boyle (, July 19, 2004.

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