How to Win Your I-212 Waiver Application
Deportation and Bars to Re-Entry
In case you are confused about the terms “deportation” and “removal”, please remember that for practical purposes these two terms are interchangeable — they mean the same thing. Deportation/removal is being “kicked out” of the US and sent to another country, typically your country of origin. If you are deported, you will be subject to a bar to re-entering the US — in other words, you will be put on a blacklist that renders you ineligible to re-enter the US.
Remember that if you request and are granted voluntary departure from an immigration judge as an alternative to deportation, the deportation bars mentioned herein will not apply to you, although you may indeed face additional barriers to re-entering the US.
The bars to re-entry based on deportation order work like this:
- If you were summarily excluded from the US (you arrived at a US airport, for example, were found ineligible for entry, and were sent straight back to your home country by an immigration official with no opportunity to apply for a hearing before an immigation judge, a procedure known as expedited removal), you will be subject to a five-year bar,
- If deportation proceedings against you were instituted immediately upon your arrival in the US and you were subsequently ordered deported, you will be subject to a five-year bar;
- If removal proceedings were instituted against you after you were admitted to the US; and if you were ordered deported after a deportation hearing or you left the US while a deportation order was in effect, you will be subject to a 10-year bar;
- If you are deported twice or multiple times, you will be subject to a 20-year bar, even if you did not attempt to enter the US illegally; if
- If you commit an aggravated felony, you will be subject to a permanent bar (for the rest of your life);
- If you attempt to re-enter the US illegally (whether successfully or not) after accumulating more than one year of unlawful presence after April 1, 1997 and then leaving the US for any reason, you will be subject to a permanent bar;
- If you attempt to re-enter the US illegally after being ordered deported, you will be subject to a permanent bar.
Unwaivable Bars to Re-Entry
In some cases, unfortunately, you may find yourself in a circumstance where you will not be able to return to the US during your period of inadmissibility, even by filing Form I-212, Form I-601 or Form I-601. Below is a list of some of these circumstances:
- Not showing up at your deportation hearing;
- Claiming to be a US citizen (if you are not one);
- Seeking to re-enter the US within 10 years of a first deportation or within 20 years of a second deportation;
- Conviction of an aggravated felony;
- Submitting a frivolous application for asylum;
- Renouncing your US citizenship for tax avoidance purposes.
Other unwaivable bars may apply as well.
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