When a person comes to the United States without proper documentation or a visa, he or she may find a way to live in the country without detection for a time. In some cases, the person may marry and have children with a citizen of the United States. Obtaining a green card for a person in this situation is typically not arduous, as courts generally do not endeavor to remove a mother or father from his or her family. However, family-based green card applicants in Maryland may want to understand the causes and implications of having a permanent bar placed on their immigration status.
In most cases, courts desire to keep families together, especially when children are involved. However, those seeking to obtain a green card via a family petition might be surprised to learn the conditions in which a permanent bar is placed on their ability to seek citizenship. Some of the reasons a person may be denied a green card are obvious, such as if a person is declared inadmissible because of criminal involvement. Other reasons are seemingly more innocuous, though these have the potential to cause families to be involuntarily separated for years.
One of the biggest issues that can affect the ability of an applicant to obtain green card status is due to whether or not the applicant originally entered the United States legally. If someone enters the country without proper documentation, and remains in the country for more than a year without permission, he or she may be subject to an “unlawful presence bar.” This bar can prevent a person from citizenship eligibility for 10 years, even if he or she is legally married to a citizen and is the parent of a child who is also a legal citizen of the United States.
This law can tremendously impact a family unit. Those in Maryland who are facing a permanent bar or other related challenges could greatly benefit from discussing their situations with attorneys who are well-versed in immigration law. An attorney who has experience in this area of law can discuss the legal options and ways to best resolve a client’s situation according to national immigration laws.