Approval of your I-212 waiver application might be the only way that you can return to the United States, at least for a long time. Because of this, you need to be particularly careful to avoid any errors or omissions. Use this brief step-by-step guide in conjunction with the I-212 Instructions and advice from your immigration lawyer.

  1. Determine whether you would benefit from an I-212 waiver. Some applicants would not be eligible to return to the US even if they did receive an I-212 waiver.
  2. Leave the United States, if you have not done so already. Remaining in the US will cause you to accumulate unlawful presence, which can be used against you even if you do receive an I-212 waiver.
  3. Complete Form I-212. Part I asks for biographical and identification information. Do not omit anything, and refer to official documents where necessary to jog your memory (your alien registration number, for example).
    • Part I asks for biographical and identification information. Be sure to include any former names, maiden names, aliases or nicknames you have used, as well as the foreign language version of your name if applicable. Don’t take this lightly – failing to include a name could derail your application.
    • Part II is designed to discover why you need an I-212 waiver in the first place. Why were you deported? How many times have you been deported? Why were you deported? When did you last leave the US?
    • Part III seeks information about your deportation and other relevant matters – when you were deported, how long you lived in the US (legally or illegally), where you lived in the US, whether you were detained before you left the US, etc.
    • Part IV seeks information about why you want to obtain an I-212 waiver. What type of visa do you intend to apply for? Do you have any close relatives in the US that could petition for a visa on your behalf?
    • Parts V and VI require your signature and the signature of anyone who helped you fill out the form (your immigration lawyer, for example). By signing the form, you are promising that its contents are true to the best of your knowledge. Deliberately providing false information could result in a criminal prosecution.
  4. Assemble documentation to support your application. This is likely to be the most time-consuming and difficult part of your application. You may need documentation that you will have to request from the US – a US birth certificate, for example. Try to document every statement that you make in your application. Rely as much as possible on certified or original documents (preferably government-issued) and notarized affidavits.
  5. Prepare any other applications that you may need to apply for a visa to enter the US. Many people also require Form I-601 or Form I-601A.along with a separate set of supporting documentation Take as much care with these applications as you did with your Form I-212. You can and should submit these forms together.
  6. Prepare the filing fee, which is $930 as of 2019 (this fee may be “adjusted”, however, and if it is adjusted, don’t expect a downward adjustment. Contact the US embassy or consulate nearest you to find out exactly what form your payment should take (certified check, etc.). You probably cannot pay by credit card.
  7. Send your application, together with all supporting documentation, to the address listed in Appendix I of the I-212 Instructions. The exact address depends on several factors, including the reason why you are currently inadmissible to the US and where you are currently living.

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