Legal Implications of Entering the US Without a Visa

By Mary Haller posted 01-02-2021 01:31


Entering the United States without proper approval is illegal and punishable. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is strict about any violations of U.S. immigration laws. 

You may encounter challenges obtaining a visa if you have been to the USA illegally or have entered there without legal immigration status. Here are the legal implications of entering 

the USA without a visa

Cancellation of removal

If you are found in the United States without a visa, you can be arrested but you might avoid removal and receive a green card. This is only possible if you have been in the United States for at least ten years and have been of good character. It can also occur if your removal would result in unusual hardship to your loved one who is a lawful permanent resident or a U.S citizen.

Avoid applying for cancellation on your own because this is available if you are facing deportation or you are in an immigration court. The Monder law group provides for the protection of legal rights during a criminal case. 

Contact Vik Monder for help because he understands that being charged with an offense can be frustrating. Monder is experienced and understands how investigation processes unfold until final justice prevails. 


If you qualify for asylum, you can apply to stay in the U.S, within one year of your stay and before the expiration of your authorized stay. You should prove that you are about to be persecuted or have already been persecuted in your country. This could be based on your nationality, race, religion, social group membership, or opinion.

This process entails submitting USCIS Form I-589 and membership documentation in the group you are claiming and also the relevant persecution. If you get asylum, you can proceed and apply for a green card a year after your approval. 

You can also apply for U.S. citizenship after another four years. If you are denied, you could be deported unless you prove that you can face torture after returning to your home country. 

Marriage to a United States citizen

Entering into a valid marriage with a U.S. citizen makes you be recognized as a relative under the immigration law. An immediate relative is eligible for a green card and can go through the application process immediately after the marriage. 

This can work well if your illegal stay in the U.S. is due to overstaying after the visa expiry date. In this case, you can apply for a green card and assume permanent resident status.

However, if your entry to the U.S. was illegal, you have limited chances of adjusting your status based on marriage unless covered by old laws. You can also be eligible for permanent residence if you get married to a permanent resident in the U.S.

U.S. military service

If you serve diligently and actively with the U.S Armed Forces during the following conflicts or war, you can apply for US citizenship. 

You don't need to through the normal green card application process. You must sign up while on territories such as American Samoa, Canal Zone, or Swains Island.

The wars and conflicts that allow you to get immediate U.S. citizenship are:

  1. World War I and II
  2. The Vietnam hostilities
  3. The Korean hostilities
  4. Persian Gulf War
  5. The war on terrorism
  6. Assume temporary protected status

If you are in the United States because your home country has experienced civil war, natural calamity, or any trouble that makes it unsafe, the United States might offer Temporary Protected Status (TPS). 

However, TPS does not allow you to get a green card but may allow you to stay in the country for up to 18 months. You can also receive a work permit during your temporary stay. You can visit the USCIS website ( to get the list of the eligible countries.

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