If you have been in the United States unlawfully but wish to apply for your Green Card, you are usually not permitted to do so. However, if you have been in the U.S. without a Green Card for 10 years or more, you may be able to obtain one. This is known as the 10-year law. The government understands that you have built a life here over the past 10 years and wants to give you the chance to obtain lawful status.
There are certain qualifications that a person must adhere to if they want to apply for a Green Card. Some of the factors that are considered in this situation are whether or not you have shown good moral character during your time here and would face extreme hardship upon deportation. Essentially, the government just wants to make sure you haven’t committed any crimes, are known as a decent person by the people you associate with and there is no reason for you to be considered a danger to the country. If there is a reason that it would be dangerous for you to return to your home country, you will also have to show that when applying for your Green Card. You can also show that your leaving would result in extreme hardship to a permanent resident or citizen that would remain in the U.S. This person can be a spouse, a child or another immediate relative that depends on you being in this country.
The 10-year law is a great defense against removal for a person who has been in the United States for over a decade unlawfully and has built a life here. If you believe you may be eligible for this defense, please contact an experienced immigration attorney at your convenience.
John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and obtain your initial consultation.