I-212 Waiver: Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal
Many grounds of inadmissibility allow applicants to apply for a waiver, or “forgiveness” by the U.S. government. Different grounds of inadmissibility have different waiver requirements, and the application itself will need to be carefully prepared and documented. For example, an I-212 is a waiver request that allows such aliens to seek consent from the United States government to apply for lawful re-admission to the United States after having been deported or removed. You may not return to the United States until your I-212 application has been filed with the Department of Homeland Security and is subsequently approved. Failure to do so may result in your permanent inadmissibility from the United States.
The I-212 waiver is only one of many waivers that can provide relief for immigration violations under U.S. immigration law. However, only individuals who have been found inadmissible under sections 212(a)(9)(A) or 212(a)(9)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) may apply for the I-212 waiver. The alien must file the I-212 waiver from outside of the United States and remain abroad for a continuous period of time. If you are inadmissible under another section of the law, you must apply for a different waiver type.
The Unlawful Presence Waiver I-601 – Provisional Waiver of Three- or Ten-Year Time Bar
Certain relatives of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents have an opportunity to have their unlawful-presence inadmissibility waived in order to qualify for a green card.
Periods of Inadmissibility
The number of years you are found inadmissible following your deportation/removal from the United States depends on the period of unlawful presence you have accrued and the circumstances surrounding your removal. The following removal scenarios may help you determine the inadmissibility period you are facing:
5-Year Bar: If you were removed upon arrival to the U.S. (expedited removal) or were placed in proceedings upon arrival and then ordered removed by immigration judge, you are subject to the five-year bar on reentry, from the date of your removal (single offense);
10-Year Bar: If you entered the U.S. and were later placed in removal proceedings, or if you left the U.S. willingly but before removal proceedings were concluded, you are subject to the ten-year bar on reentry, from the date of your removal (single offense);
20-Year Bar: If you have been removed from the U.S. on more than one occasion, you are subject to the 20-year bar on reentry, from the date of removal (multiple offense);
Permanent Bar: If you were convicted of an aggravated felony, you are permanently inadmissible and forever barred from reapplying for a visa without filing Form I-212. If you are permanently barred under Section 212(a)(9)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.), because you aggregated one year's unlawful stay in the U.S. and left, or you were ordered removed from the U.S, and then you attempted to reenter illegally, you must wait ten years before filing Form I-212 even if you are married to a United States citizen or have citizen children.
If you are unsure of which period of inadmissibility applies to you, it is best for you to seek professional guidance. An individual's period of unlawful presence is counted in the aggregate when an alien has entered the United States multiple times and has accrued one year of unlawful presence during those multiple stays, thus resulting in a permanent bar.
If you want to find out the requirements and whether you are eligible for a waiver, please call our office and schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney.