When a non-citizen is deported from the United States, the federal government typically imposes a period of inadmissibility. During this time, the individual is banned from re-entering the country at a port of entry. In most cases the ban lasts for 10 years, but it can range anywhere from 5 years to a permanent ban.
While a ban on entering the United States is certainly a serious matter, the good news is that it’s not necessarily as bad as it sounds. Depending on the situation, it’s still possible to reapply for admission into the United States, and there are legal means to receive a waiver of inadmissibility during the imposed ban.
The bad news is that applying for legal admission to the United States after being deported is a lengthy, complicated legal process. Immigration officials are hesitant to allow someone back into the United States after they have broken immigration laws, and the burden is on the applicant to provide sufficient evidence that regaining a visa is warranted. It’s critical to retain an experienced immigration attorney before submitting the appropriate paperwork for readmission. A good attorney can guide you through the complex process and drastically improve your chances of successfully re-entering the United States.
Revocation of the Original Visa
On the topic of getting a visa after being deported, remember that your original visa cannot be reclaimed. A final removal order from a US Immigration Court is irreversible. You can apply for the same visa that you had before, but you’ll have to go through the full application process all over again. Similarly, you can apply for a green card under the same conditions that warranted one before, but you’ll have to start the legal residency process over.
If you believe you have wrongfully received a removal order, you only have a short amount of time to correct the mistake. After receiving a removal order, you only have 30 days to appeal the court’s decision before the removal order is finalized. In select cases you may be able to petition for a review of your case at a later date on the grounds that there was a miscarriage of justice or new information comes to light, but these circumstances are pretty rare.
How Long is the Period of Inadmissibility?
Generally speaking, most removal orders carry a 10-year ban. However, the length of the ban hinges on the circumstances surrounding your case. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, Immigration Court judges are bound to the following terms when applying a ban:
- 5-Year ban – applicable if the immigrant is summarily removed or deported at a US border or port of entry based on a finding that he or she is inadmissible; if the immigrant is removed or deported after having been placed in removal proceedings when they first arrived in the US; or if the immigrant failed or refused to attend or remain in an immigration court proceeding or walked out before it was over (without reasonable cause).
- 10-year ban – applicable if the court issues a removal order at the conclusion of a standard merits hearing.
- 20-year ban – applicable if an immigrant is removed from the country and subsequently attempts to unlawfully re-enter the country during the original 10-year ban.
- Permanent ban – applicable if the immigrant is convicted of an aggravated felony; if the immigrant enters the country unlawfully after a removal order; or if the immigrant unlawfully re-enters the country after having previously been in the US for more than a year.
Preparing to Get Your New Visa
If you have been deported from the United States and you believe you have sufficient cause to reapply for a visa, don’t be dismayed by the travel ban imposed in your removal order. It’ll take some work to get past that, but with the assistance of a good immigration attorney the chances of success are in your favor.
When you meet with your immigration attorney for the first time (likely by phone or video conference), remember that it’s a two-way evaluation by both parties. The attorney will assess the facts of your case before he or she accepts you as a client, and at the same time you should assess whether or not the attorney is a good fit for you and your unique immigration situation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, such as:
- How many years of experience do you have with immigration law?
- How much of your practice deals with applications for visas after deportation?
- Will you be able to assist me in the process, or do you just provide advice?
- Do you charge a fixed rate (aka a retainer) or by the hour?
Assuming you feel comfortable working with this attorney and both parties agree to work with each other, the next step is to discuss your case in depth. It’s best to collect all of the necessary documentation and materials to support your case in advance, including:
- A record of how long you lawfully lived in the United States before you were deported
- Court documents from your removal proceedings
- Evidence that you possess good moral character
- Proof of personal reformation or rehabilitation since your removal order
- Proof of your responsibilities to family members who are US citizens, or your intent to hold these responsibilities
- Proof that you are eligible for a Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
- Proof that you are experiencing hardship due to the inability to enter the United States
- Proof that you have close family members in the US
- Proof that you respect law and order
- Proof that you will be a lawful permanent resident in the near future
- Proof that your employer is experiencing hardship due to your inability to enter the US
- Proof that your family members who are US citizens or green card-holders are experiencing extreme hardship in your absence
- Relevant paperwork from your prior visa
- Verification of your immigration status during your time in the United States
Note that if you don’t have all of the necessary court documents from your removal proceedings, you can request copies from the US Immigration Court that handled your case. It’s best if you can have someone collect the documents from the court in person, but in most cases, you should be able to handle the request remotely as long as you pay the appropriate fees and follow court procedures.
Apply for a Visa During a Period of Inadmissibility
Once everything is in order, you’re ready to apply for your new visa. With the help of your attorney, you’ll need to complete the following forms and submit them along with the appropriate documentation and payment of fees:
- Form I-212 – Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal
- Form I-601 – Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
- Visa application – choose the appropriate application based on your situation
Call our Immigration team at(480) 626-2388 to discuss your case today.
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