It’s important to know if your husband entered the U.S. legally or illegally.
If he was legally admitted and inspected upon entry, you may file a family petition for his benefit with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and he may be able to concurrently apply for permanent residence (“green card”), a temporary work card, and a temporary travel document.
If he entered illegally, you may none-the-less file a family petition for his benefit with USCIS; however, unless you or another family member or prospective employer filed a petition or labor certification for his benefit, or in some cases for the benefit of his parent (s), on or before April 30, 2001, he may be required to complete his green card processing by attending a final interview at the American Consulate General or Embassy in his native country.
It is likely that your husband will encounter a significant problem if he is required to complete his immigrant visa processing in his home country because U.S. immigration law provides that if he has been unlawfully present in the U.S. in excess of 180 days after April 1, 1997, he may not reenter for 3 years after voluntarily departing. Similarly, if his unlawful presence exceeds 1 year, he may be excluded for 10 years after his removal or departure. In that regard, your husband’s trip to his home country to complete his immigrant visa processing will trigger the 3 year or 10 year exclusion and, although a waiver is available if his exclusion would be an extreme hardship to you or another qualifying relative, a waiver may be difficult to obtain.