Legal Blogs from the Attorneys at Roach and Bishop LLC

How To Legalize Your Status Without Leaving The United States

How To Legalize Your Status Without Leaving The United States

Q#1: I’ve had many people in the United States without status ask me if I can obtain legal status without leaving the United States. Is this true? What potential options do I have to “arreglar sin salir”?how to legalize your status without leaving the United States Roach & Bishop

A#1: When someone enters the United States illegally or is in the United States illegally, the Immigration Service typically requires the person to leave the United States, get their Green Card in their home country, then return to the United States as punishment for entering or remaining in the United States illegally. However, even though the general rules require someone to leave the United States to get their legal status, there are quite a few exceptions that allows someone to “arreglar sin salir”.

Q#2: How to “arreglar sin salir” through a family member?

A#2: There are typically four exceptions that allow a person to “arreglar sin salir” based on various applications filed by a parent, spouse, son or daughter, or brother or sister.

  • The first exception is if someone originally enters the United States legally and never departs before obtaining their Green Card.
  • A second option would be utilizing Advance Parole, which although it does require you to leave the United States, you don’t have to go to Ciudad Juarez, instead you talk to a border officer at the airport and are allowed to enter legally, then you apply for your Green Card in the United States once you return.
  • A third method is through having a U.S. Citizen spouse, parent, or child in the Military.
  • The final exception is by having an Immigrant Petition filed for you or for your parent prior to April 30, 2001, utilizing an exception in the law called §245(i).

Those are the methods to “arreglar sin salir” through a family member.

Q#3: How can I “arreglar sin salir” based on being the victim of a crime?lawyer discussing how to get your Green card as the victim of a qualifying crime Roach & Bishop

A#3: The two most common processes to get your Green Card as the victim of a qualifying crime are through a U Visa or VAWA. Both of these options allow you to “arreglar sin salir”. However, VAWA can take as little as two years before you can get your Green Card inside the United States, while the U Visa is currently taking around 28 years before you can get your Green Card. A VAWA case either requires you to be married to a U.S. Citizen or Green Card holder or be the parent of a U.S. Citizen child in order to qualify. For a U Visa, you must be a victim of a qualifying crime as stated in the regulations. Although you don’t get your U Visa for many years, after waiting for a few years for your case to be processed, you ultimately are given a Work Permit that you can continue to renew while you are waiting to “arreglar sin salir”.

Q#4: What if I am in the deportation process or applying for an affirmative benefit in front of the immigration judge?

A#4: This is also a method to “arreglar sin salir”, however this is a very high stakes and low percentage method to be granted legal status. Although you don’t have to return to your home country to be granted legal status, the majority of the time applicants in front of the immigration judge are denied benefits and are ultimately deported.

Q#5: What should I do if I want to “arreglar sin salir”?

A#5: You should talk to a qualified immigration attorney. Attorney Eamonn Roach has dealt with all of these types of cases and is doing everything he can to help clients “arreglar sin salir”. However, many clients don’t qualify for any of these options and do have to salir para arreglar. This is typically possible though obtaining a Waiver, departing the United States for a short period (usually a week or two), before re-entering the United States as Green Card holder.a qualified immigration attorney can help you with a legal status in the US Roach & Bishop

Eamonn P.S. Roach is an immigration attorney at the law firm of Roach & Bishop, LLP in Pasco, Washington. This information does not constitute legal advice. It is possible that this information does not apply to you. Each case depends on specific facts. If you have questions regarding the immigration laws that you would like answered in this column, please send them to: Eamonn P.S. Roach, 9221 Sandifur Pkwy, Suite C., Pasco, WA 99301, phone: (509) 547-7587, fax: (509) 547-7745; or email

To read this blog in Spanish, click here.

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