question: Hi. My finance is living in the US illegally. He is a Mexican citizen. He is eligible for Italian citizenship since both of his parents are Italian and his grandparents were born in Italy. He was born in Mexico. Can he apply for his Italian citizenship while living in the United States? When we get married can he then be an Italian citizen marrying an American citizen? Will having his Italian citizenship and passport help his chances of staying in this country legally since there is pretty much no hope of him obtaining legal residency as an illegal Mexican immigrant. Thank you for your time and help.
david ingram replies:
I want to state here that I am not a US Immigration Lawyer and certainly not a member of the AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) and I fully expect my answer here to get different opinions and suggestions.
I suggest, in fact that you make a point of finding a good US immigration lawyer and will make a couple of suggestions because there are a lot out there that are not as good as others.
I would suggest that the following could all look after you but you may find one locally and get good service there as well.
The people I am suggesting have come across my desk over the last 46 years and I have heard nothing but good about them.
I also can not emphasize enough that you make sure that the lawyer you do contact is a member of the AILA. Do not try any consultant and whatever you do, do NOT take some answer from the Internet as gospel.
Remember, you fiancee is already illegal. He needs a lawyer with privileged communication to talk to.
You can find out more about his obtaining Italian citizenship at
In my opinion, he should get that as soon as possible but he should likely return to Mexico to get the Italian citizenship because he needs to apply for it and the last thing he needs is for his illegal status to come up.
I think he should return to Mexico and start the process for Italian citizenship and at the same time you can start the process for a K1 Fiancee visa.
These tips from the US consular service will help you with that process.no matter what country he comes from.
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Tips for U.S. Visas:
A citizen of a foreign country who would like to come to the United =
States to marry an American citizen and reside in the U.S. will have to =
obtain a K-1 visa.
To establish K-1 visa classification for an alien fiancee, an =
American citizen must file a petition, Form I-129F, Petition for Alien =
Fiancee, with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in =
the Department of Homeland Security (BCIS) having jurisdiction over the =
place of the petitioner's residence in the United States. Such petitions =
may not be adjudicated abroad. The approved petition will be forwarded =
by BCIS to the American consular office where the alien fiancee will =
apply for his or her visa. A petition is valid for a period of four =
months from the date of BCIS action, and may be revalidated by the =
Applicants who have a communicable disease, or have a dangerous physical =
or mental disorder; are drug addicts; have committed serious criminal =
acts, including crimes involving moral turpitude, drug trafficking, and =
prostitution; are likely to become a public charge; have used fraud or =
other illegal means to enter the United States; or are ineligible for =
citizenship, must be refused a visa. The two-year foreign residency =
requirement for former exchange visitors is also applicable. If found to =
be ineligible, the consular officer will advise the applicant if the law =
provides for a waiver.
APPLYING FOR A FIANCEE VISA
The consular officer will notify the beneficiary when the approved =
petition is received and provide to the beneficiary the necessary forms =
and instructions to apply for a "K" visa. A fiancee visa applicant =
is an intending immigrant and, therefore, must meet documentary =
requirements similar to the requirements of an immigrant visa applicant. =
The following documents are normally required:
-- Valid passport
-- Birth certificate
-- Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouse
-- Police certificate from all places lived since age16
-- Medical examination
-- Evidence of support
-- Evidence of valid relationship with the petitioner
*Two photographs 1 and 1/2 inches square (37x37mm), showing full face, =
against a light background.
Both petitioner and beneficiary must be legally able and willing to =
conclude a valid marriage in the United States. The petitioner and =
beneficiary must have previously met in person within the past two years =
unless the Attorney General waives that requirement. As soon as the =
processing of a case is completed and the applicant has all necessary =
documents, a consular officer will interview the fiancee. If found =
eligible, a visa will be issued, valid for one entry during a period of =
six months. A non-refundable $100.00 application fee is collected.=20
AFTER ENTRY INTO THE U.S.
The alien fiancee must apply for work authorization with the BCIS. =
The marriage must take place within 90 days of admission into the United =
States. Following the marriage, the alien spouse must apply to the BCIS =
to establish a record of entry for conditional permanent residence =
status. After two years, the alien may apply to the BCIS for removal of =
the conditional status.
The unmarried, minor children of a K-1 beneficiary derive "K-2" =
non immigrant visa status from the parent so long as the children are =
named in the petition. A separate petition is not required if the =
children accompany or follow the alien fiancee within one year from =
the date of issuance of the K-1 visa. Thereafter, a separate immigrant =
visa petition is required.
The alien fiancee must apply for work authorization with the BCIS.
For questions on where to obtain the Form I-129F petition, and how and =
where to file it, contact your local BCIS office for details. For =
questions on processing the visa application at the American consular =
office overseas, contact that consular office.
You will have to deal with his illegal status and amount of time in the US.
Lawyers you might chose to use are:
Mr Joe Grasmick
Williamsville, New York
Ms Terry Preshaw
Mr Greg Suskind
Memphis, Tennessee - Tijuana, Mexico - Las Vegas, Nevada - Atlanta, Georgia -
Just from making up the list, it is obvious that Greg Suskind is more likely to be better dealing with a Mexican national. However, Greg is so big and busy that you will almost certainly be dealing with someone else in one of his offices.
When you have solved it all, please write back and tell me how it went, what you paid, etc.
I am also interested in any opinions others have.
US / Canada / Mexico tax, Immigration and working Visa Specialists
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