Question: How can I help my employee/fiancée/spouse/friend if that person does not have valid status in the U.S.?

Answer: That will depend largely on the situation. So one common situation is a person who has an immediate family member, and that is defined by immigration code as a parent, a child, a spouse or a sibling who is not a U.S. citizen. If you are a U.S. citizen or a legal resident, a green card holder, you may be able to petition for that person who is an immediate family member. There are other situations, too.

If you are an employer and you have an employee who might need some assistance in that area, the criteria are much different. Commonly visas that lead to employment opportunities require a higher education degree, advanced experience, things like that. So it’s a much different arena than a family or an immediate family visa. There are other things that people can do to help support their friends or family members even if they don’t meet those criteria.

You can help them establish financial viability that might help them petition with immigration. If the person is having difficulties and is in removal proceedings, they might be able to support showing that there would be extreme and unusual hardship if that person were to be removed. So there are some other roles that people can play even if they can’t directly petition for the person themselves.  

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