When residents of Canada, including British Columbia, enter the United States without the appropriate approval, the legal consequences can be severe. To stay in the United States, any foreign visitor must have the proper authorization and the appropriate visa. However, some measures under U.S. immigration laws can convert a person's illegal status to legal.
One method is by getting married to a person who is a permanent citizen of the United States. Marriage will make the visitor an immediate relative, entitled to get a green card. Another way to become legal is if the individual has a record of service with the U.S. Military in World War I or II, the Vietnam and/or Korean hostilities, operations that formed part of Operation Enduring Freedom, and the Persian Gulf War.
If an illegal immigrant is caught and his or her removal is ordered, that person may apply for cancellation of that order if he or she had been living in the United States for a continuous period of at least 10 years. However, the individual will have to prove the length of stay and that he or she has no criminal record. If the risk of immediate harm to loved ones can be shown, it might help. Qualification for a stay in the U.S. asylum may allow a person to remain there for a year -- followed by a possible extension and citizenship after four years if there is proof that the person will be persecuted upon return to his or her home country.
An illegal immigrant from a country that is at civil war may apply for temporary protected status, which may grant permission to stay for as long as 18 months, but it will not grant immigration rights. Some of the above may apply to British Columbia residents finding themselves in the United States without the necessary documentation or approval. However, immigration is a complicated field of the law, and the support and guidance of an experienced lawyer registered on both sides of the border may be an asset.
Source: canadaupdates.com, "Five easy and quick ways to get Immigration in USA once you enter illegally", Accessed on June 9, 2017