USA Definition of Undocumented

Who is Undocumented?

The definition of an undocumented person is someone who is in the United States without any type of permission. Persons in Temporary Protected Status, or granted withholding of removal, can live legally in the United States most of their lives with a work permit.

Likewise, just because a person entered the United States by crossing the border does not mean they are undocumented.  Those processed and released by Customs and Border Patrol are in the country legally

A person may even have been ordered deported but is not undocumented.  Those who lose their Immigration Court case can have it reopened or appealed. In this way, they remain legally in the United States with a work permit while due process is carried out.

Can an Undocumented Person Get a Green Card?

The definition is extremely important because those who are undocumented face more challenges to becoming legal permanent residents.  For example, an undocumented person CANNOT get a green card simply by marrying a US citizen. This is a common myth.  In reality, the process is much more difficult.

Nevertheless, some of the laws that allow the undocumented to get green cards include:

  • Asylum
  • 245i Amnesty
  • Violence Against Women
  • Provisional Waiver
  • Conditional I-212 pardon with Provisional Waiver
  • Cancellation of Removal
  • Motion to Reopen
  • Leaving the US prior to turning 18 years of age
  • Leaving the US after one illegal entry, before accruing 180 days of unlawful presence

If a foreigner believes they meet the definition of undocumented, they should call Blandon Law before giving up hope.