Individuals who have entered the United States illegally (i.e., without inspection) are not eligible to adjust their status to permanent resident (i.e., a green card), even if they are eligible for an employer-sponsored visa. This is because the law requires that applicants for adjustment of status have entered the U.S. lawfully and been inspected by a border officer at the time of entry.
However, there are some limited exceptions to this rule. For example, some individuals who have entered the U.S. illegally may be eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility based on extreme hardship to a qualifying U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent. This waiver is available in certain circumstances, such as when denial of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to a qualifying family member.
In addition, certain employer-sponsored visas, such as the H-1B visa, require the applicant to have maintained lawful status in the U.S. before applying for the visa. If an individual has entered the U.S. illegally, they may not have maintained lawful status and may therefore not be eligible for the H-1B visa.
Individuals who have entered the U.S. illegally and are seeking an employer-sponsored visa may face significant challenges in obtaining a green card. These individuals need to consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance on the particular issues in their case, including any available waivers or other forms of relief.
HELPING A FAMILY MEMBER COME TO THE U.S. ON A TOURIST VISA
Helping a family member come to the U.S. with a tourist visa can be straightforward, but it is important to carefully follow the application procedures and requirements to avoid any issues or delays.
To apply for a tourist or B-2 visa, the family member must complete the online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) and schedule an appointment at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. The family member will need to provide evidence of their ties to their home country and their intent to return after their visit to the U.S. This may include evidence of employment, family ties, and financial support.
It is important to note that tourist visas are typically issued for a limited period of time, usually six months or less, and the family member will need to show that they have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay in the U.S.
Suppose the family member has any criminal history or other issues affecting their admissibility to the U.S. In that case, they may need to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility before obtaining a tourist visa.
It is also important to note that obtaining a tourist visa does not guarantee entry to the U.S. The family members will need to present their visa and passport to a U.S. border officer when they arrive in the U.S., and the border officer will decide whether to admit them to the U.S.