Green Card Waivers for Unlawful Presence in the U.S., Crimes, and Lies

Green Card Waivers for Unlawful Presence in the U.S., Crimes, and Lies

Can I obtain a green card if I entered the U.S. illegally and have been here for a long time?
What if I entered illegally, returned to my home country, and then re-entered the U.S. illegally?
Does my criminal record prevent me from obtaining a green card?
I lied to immigration; can I still obtain a green card?


Get answers to your questions before you file anything with the U.S. government. Often clients come to us after the family is separated by international borders because the spouses were told if you are married to a US citizen, they have to let the immigrant back into the U.S. Not true. Your immigration past, even if you have no criminal issues, can bar you from ever re-entering the U.S. again.

That’s where SGG comes in. Our team of family and removal attorneys regularly work to find exceptions, waiver options, and argue against charges of inadmissibility and deportability to keep families together.

Once you determine that your U.S. citizen or green holder relative can petition you for a green card, the next step is to determine if anything you have done in your past will stop you from taking advantage of the petition. Is there a way to ask the U.S. for forgiveness due to past illegal time in the U.S., crimes, and/or fraud, misrepresentation? Sometimes there is no waiver available, which means that you need to find some other route to obtain status in the U.S., if possible. Our firm specializes in evaluating your situation thoroughly and determining what, if any, immigration options are available to you.

Explore more about specific types of options that may be available to you through our site and then give us a call to discuss your particular facts:

Unlawful Presence in the U.S.

Often times, potential new clients will explain to us that they entered the U.S. illegally and stayed many years without lawful immigration status. They may have done this for a number of reasons: searching for a better life, fear of persecution in their home country, etc. As often happens in life, they meet a U.S. citizen or green card holder, fall in love, and wed. If they have been in the U.S. for more than a year illegally, than they may need our help to file a waiver so that they can take advantage of a marriage-based green card.


Potential new clients often explain to us that they have a criminal record. Depending on the type of crime committed and charge, a potential client may or may not be eligible for a waiver. It is critical to understand the implications of criminal convictions on immigration benefits. Do not wait and see what happens to your immigration application without knowing the potential consequences. You may not only be denied, but removed from the United States or kept permanently away from your family and stuck abroad.

Lying to Immigration

If you lied to USCIS, the Consulate, or U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on any application for a visa, entry, or in an interview for a benefit, you could face a lifetime ban on receiving any immigration benefit, even if you a married to a U.S. citizen. Even if you think the omission or lie was minor, it may still have this harsh effect. Lying about your illegal employment, how long you’ve been in the U.S., and more, can bar you from a green card. Be careful what you do and what you say. It can come back to haunt you. Explore what you may be able to do to take it back or have the lie(s) forgiven:

To work with an SGG immigration attorney on your waiver case, click here or call us at 213.627.8997 today to book a detailed Case Evaluation appointment.