It is no secret that U.S. immigration law is full of flaws and imperfections, but did you know that there is a loophole for entering the country and adjusting your status?
Many immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally and legally struggle with adjusting their status in the United States because they cannot prove that they entered the country “legally.” If you have a visa, you are eligible to adjust status in the U.S. But what if you entered the U.S. without a visa?
This is the question we asked our Salt Lake City green card attorney from the Familia America Immigration law firm.
The loophole for entering the U.S. legally
According to federal immigration law, you are eligible to adjust status if you have been “inspected and admitted or paroled” at the border. In a sense, this requirement prevents illegal and undocumented immigrants from obtaining a green card adjusting status, but this is not entirely true.
The requirement that you entered “legally” has a major flaw, which the Donald Trump administration may not be aware of. Courts have ruled time and time again that a person riding in a car through a border checkpoint is automatically “inspected and admitted or paroled.” Yes, even if you are riding in a car without a visa.
This is the loophole that even some of the best immigration lawyers in Utah and elsewhere in the U.S. are not aware of. More often than not, these immigration lawyers ask “Did you enter legally?” while the proper questions should be, “Did you cross the border at a checkpoint?” and “Were you in a car?”
Are you eligible to adjust status if you entered illegally?
Whether or not you saw an immigration officer when crossing the border is also vital to determine if you are eligible to adjust status. If you entered the U.S. without a visa by riding in a car, it also matters whether you came in contact with the immigration officer, what he or she asked, what you answered, and whether you provided false information, e.g. by telling the officer that you were a U.S. citizen.
Only an experienced green card attorney in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah can determine whether or not your entry was sufficient and “legal” to confirm your eligibility to adjust status. Do not attempt to adjust your status by taking advantage of this loophole without consulting with a lawyer from the Familia America Immigration law firm.
Legal challenges when adjusting status if you entered in a car
There are many potential challenges in applying to adjust your status through this loophole, as you will have to prove that you crossed the border in a car. More often than not, it is sufficient to provide affidavits or written statements, especially if these statements come from the person driving the car or assisting to enter the U.S. Needless to say, the driver may not always be eager to write a statement if he or she is smuggling people illegally into the country, which is prohibited by law.
If you, for example, swam or walked across the desert and evaded border agents and immigration officers to enter the county, you will most likely not be eligible to adjust your status. Riding in a car through a border checkpoint may be your best way to enter the U.S. legally to obtain a green card and become a permanent U.S. resident.