I read your article where a business professional wanted to marry a felon, and I really need your help.
I’m in a worse situation than her because of a Visa issue. I’m here in N.Y. from Ireland. I’m a lawyer at home and came here to sit for the N.Y. Bar. My Visa ran out a year ago, and, so every lawyer I met with told me to get married to stay here. They said at this point I’m too late to get a work or study Visa.
I have been with this guy for three years and I love him, but he is a felon. He was released last November after doing a one year stint for breaking his probation. I would just break up with him, but I do love him and I need to get married.
If I marry someone under an arrangement I know if I get caught that I can get in trouble for marriage fraud. I also have a misdemeanor charge that was sealed. I was on a date with a guy, who is not my boyfriend, and the guy ran off and left me to pay the bill, but I didn’t have cash on me. I freaked out and ran also. It was a pancake house and the bill was $25. Anyway, the case was sealed three years ago.
So, I’m worried because I need to get married and my boyfriend is my best bet. Also, he won’t get a job and he’s very needy. I’m moving out of my apartment in a week and was just going to move downtown and start over, date men who are successful, and hope one I care for will marry me, but also the clock is ticking.
I’m being honest. I’m trying to live a good life here in N.Y., and I don’t want to get in any trouble. I love him and I want to stay with him, but I can’t see being with him and marrying someone else because legally I have to live my with husband. Whereas, I know he would love me and stay with me. I feel that other men may blackmail or threaten to leave before the end of the three years, which I need to be legally in order to be a granted green card through marriage.
I can’t sleep. I can’t speak to my family at home. I am so scared of getting in trouble with the law here. I visited my boyfriend while he was in jail and it was so scary. I’ve made mistakes in my past, but I am a legally qualified lawyer at home. I don’t want to squander my chances to practice law here. I feel so scared and confused. I love him. I don’t want to leave him, but I think if he wants to be with me he should first change his life. – Stuck In A Bind
Dear Ms. Stuck in A Bind,
So, you’re a lawyer in Ireland, yet, you can’t figure out what to do here in the U.S. Hmmm, isn’t reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving part of being a lawyer?
Well, here’s my advice – The other lawyers you’ve met with told you to get married to stay in the U.S. because you’re too late to get a work or study Visa. Other qualified lawyers are telling you that your only option to is to get married. But, the option for marriage is your felon boyfriend who doesn’t work, is needy, and is probably still on probation. So, I say go back home, get your life in order, and study for the Bar exam. Then, you can reapply and come back to the U.S., take the exam, and not have to worry about these stressors on your life.
Right now, you are not thinking clearly, and you’re confused on what to do. You know that you don’t want to squander your chances on studying law here. You know that your boyfriend is not the best bet or option to remain in America. You know that time is of the essence, and if you move downtown with the hopes of meeting a successful guy whom you will fall in love with and marry is slim, and, you don’t want to marry a guy who may potentially blackmail you or leave you before the three years are up. Therefore, go home, get yourself together, refocus, and come back with a plan.
If your felon boyfriend is not a viable option, and the only reason you will only marry him is because you’re in a bind, then don’t make the mistake of acting out in desperation. It will bite you in the ass later, and you will regret it.
I know you may not want to go home, and I know it seems tempting to do whatever you need to do to stay here in America, but you already have a misdemeanor, and you’re dating a felon. He’s already violated his probation, and had to go back and spend a year in jail. And, on top of that he doesn’t work. Thus, this tells me that he is very reckless, and he isn’t serious about changing his life. Marrying him is not going to change anything. It will only complicate your life. Sure, you may love one another, but do you want to risk it all on him? I would never put my life into someone else’s hands, especially someone who is not responsible, and is reckless with their own life.
And, if you do decide to stay how will you earn money and work? If you can’t get a work Visa, then, how are you earning money? What company will hire you, unless you’re a waitress, or you work and are being paid under the table. You will always be worried about work, and making money just to live. New York City is an expensive place to live.
But, how will you be able to sit for the Bar exam if you’re not here legally? I’m sure they will ask for some credentials to make sure you’re here on some type of Visa. Before you go through all of this drama you should find out what does it take for you to be able to sit for the Bar exam.
I don’t know why you won’t call and tell your family. If something were to happen to you, they wouldn’t know who to contact, or, if someone would contact them immediately. I think you should at least be honest enough to let them know what’s going on. You don’t have any family here, and the only person you are counting on is your felon boyfriend. I’m not so sure he can step up and take care of you and give you the life you deserve, and if something was to go down he is not in a position to help you himself. He doesn’t work, doesn’t have any money, and he’s needy!
Whatever you decide you have to live with your decision. But, make sure you are doing what you need to do for the best interest of yourself, and not some long term consequence in which you will regret later. Never act out of desperation. If you do, then you may end up doing something that may cause more potential harm than good. – Terrance Dean
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