Being deported can put a person’s entire life on hold. If it happens to you, you have every right to want to return as quickly as possible. However, depending on your situation, you may not be able to do so without waiting a very long time, if you want to do so legally. Before putting the process in motion to return to the U.S., it is a good idea to learn if it would even be possible, and how long it might take.
Bars and Waivers
If you or a loved one have been deported, it is because you were found to be in violation of some provision of U.S. immigration law, most often the Immigration & Nationality Act. Depending on the nature of the offense, immigrants who are deported are subject to what are called bars, which last either five, ten or twenty years. In rare cases, there is a permanent bar, but that tends to be reserved for those who commit offenses like entering the country without inspection (unlawful entry) after being deported, given the rationale that the consequences of such an act were already spelled out for those people. Normally, a deportee must wait this time out; however, he or she may be eligible for a waiver of the offense in certain circumstances.
For example, the most common reason for deportation in recent years has been the accrual of unlawful presence (that is, living in the U.S. while undocumented), which can provoke either a three or 10 year bar, depending on the length of time he or she resided in the country without leave to do so. While most people simply wait out the bar, others may attempt to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility—essentially, permission from the U.S. government to apply before the bar expires.
Waivers of Inadmissibility
A waiver of inadmissibility is only granted to those whose cases do not set off any potential red flags for U.S. government interests, and even that is a somewhat subjective set of criteria to meet. Applicants will be denied if they have committed an aggravated felony or have been implicated in terrorist activity, but very little else is an automatic refusal. Moreover, applying for a waiver is a fairly streamlined process, despite its complexity.
Generally, there is a specific list of factors that U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) personnel consider when determining whether or not to grant a waiver. While there are many, the most common include the reason why the foreign national was removed, the general moral character of the foreign national (aside from any immigration violations that resulted in removal), hardship to him or her or to any U.S. citizen family members that might be exacerbated if the waiver is not granted, and other similar potential issues. The final decision is up to USCIS personnel, but it can make a difference if you present the information about your case in the most effective and truthful way.
Seek Experienced Legal Assistance
Applying to re-enter the U.S. after a deportation depends on so many factors that it can be a hard process to undergo on one’s own. If you or a loved one are in this position, engaging a knowledgeable attorney can be a significant help. The skilled Chicago immigration lawyers at Mevorah Law Offices LLC are well versed in these types of cases, and have offices throughout the city. Contact one today to set up an initial appointment.
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