Rights and processes for undocumented immigrants living in the US

Entering the US without authorization is illegal. Not to forget, living in the United States without approval after the visa expiry or the authorized stay has finished is also illegal. Even violation of the legal term can make the stay illicit.

The immigration law of United States offers few options to change the status from illegal or the undocumented immigrant to being a permanent U.S.resident, having a green card. Here in this article, we have described the Rights and processes for undocumented immigrants living in the US below, but it is important to appoint an immigration attorney for any legal help.

Marriage to U.S. Citizen

Entering into a valid and real marriage with a citizen of United States brands you to be an immediate relative of the citizen as per the U.S. immigration laws. One who is an immediate relative is supposedly eligible for U.S. green card right after getting through the application procedure. However, if you own a current illegal status, it could create a few problems.

Service in the U.S. Military

If you have served honorably and are on active duty with the Armed Forces during any one of its wars, the U.S. law lets you to apply for a U.S. citizenship. The best part is that you don’t have to go through any usual steps of green card application first.

However, you must, enlist or (sign up) while on the U.S. territory, including the Canal Zone, Swains Island, American Samoa or any noncommercial U.S. ship.

The wars that qualify for an immediate U.S. citizenship contain:

  • World War I
  • World War II the Korean hostilities
  • the Vietnam hostilities
  • the Persian Gulf War
  • “Operation Enduring Freedom”, i.e. Iran hostilities, also known as the “War on Terrorism”

Cancellation of the Removal

If you get arrested by the U.S. immigration authorities, you can possibly avoid the removal, and get a U.S. green card, if you are able to prove the points stated below:

  • You have been physically present in the US for a minimum of 10 years.
  • You are a person of good morals and character during the given 10 years.
  • The removal from the United States would cause any exceptional or extreme unusual hardship to the spouse, child, or parent who is a U.S. citizen as a lawful permanent resident.

Don’t try and apply for the cancellation of removal on your own. The process is available with the case when you are in the immigration court already for the (removal) proceedings or facing deportation. It is very important to have an expert immigration lawyer by your side during this time and situation.

Temporary Protected Status

If you hail from a country which has had a civil war recently, natural or environmental disaster, or any other trouble making the country unsafe for the citizens or to return back, the United States laws offer what the process of Temporary Protected Status or the “TPS.”

It is not any green card, nor can it lead to your green card. TPS, However, allows you to stay in the US legally for a fixed period of time (not more than 18 months), and receive the work permit while being here.


You are eligible to apply for right to stay in the United States when qualified for the asylum and to apply within the first year of the entry or expiration of the authorized stay.

If you get the asylum granted, you are eligible to apply for the green card 1 year after the approval, and for the U.S. citizenship 4 years following it.

Want to know more about the Rights and processes for undocumented immigrants living in the US? Appoint an expert lawyer from ilexlaw now!