Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal
If you have been previously deported or otherwise removed from the United States, you may be ineligible for future admission into the United States. If you are ineligible for admission, you are considered “inadmissible.” Because admissibility is a prerequisite for lawful permanent residence and many nonimmigrant classifications, you may desire to find a way to overcome your inadmissibility grounds and halt the removal proceedings.
In this article Seattle Immigration Lawyer Brandon Gillin will describe when noncitizens may use Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal to overcome their inadmissibility grounds.
Filing Form I-212 does not guarantee future admission into the United States, but it does begin the process of you regaining the ability to be admissible.
If you are unlawfully present in the United States or are being permanently inadmissible from the U.S, working with an experienced immigration attorney can help you out with deportation hearings and the process of nonimmigrant visa application for foreign nationals.
Relevant Inadmissibility Grounds
The Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) describes a variety of circumstances that make a noncitizen inadmissible as per current Immigration Laws. There are two relevant inadmissibility grounds that may be excused by filing Form I-212.
- INA § 212 Waiver(a)(9)(A) bars admission after a removal order is executed.
- INA § 212 Waiver(a)(9)(C) bars admission after a noncitizen has reentered unlawfully after (1) a prior order of removal or (2) accruing more than one year of unlawful presence in the United States.
If you are inadmissible under either of these grounds, you will be barred from being admitted into the United States until certain time periods and conditions are met.
You will need “consent to reapply” in order to be admitted into the United States in the future. Through Form I-212, you may overcome your inadmissibility grounds and be eligible to gain lawful entry into the United States.
Form I-212 Uses
As noted above, there are two inadmissibility grounds that may be overcome by requesting consent to reapply through Form I-212.
Inadmissibility due to INA § 212(a)(9)(A): Removal Order
Form I-212 may be used if you have been physically removed from the United States, either pursuant to a removal order or while a removal order is pending. If you have been removed under these circumstances, you typically must wait a certain period of time before you can be admissible. There are three possible time bars:
- If you have been expeditiously removed, you must wait five years before seeking admission.
- If you have been ordered removed by an immigration judge, you must wait ten years before seeking admission.
- If you have been convicted of an aggravated felony or have been ordered removed multiple times, you must wait 20 years before seeking admission.
Rather than waiting for the applicable 5, 10, or 20-year periods, you may file Form I-212. A granted Form I-212 excuses the time bar and permits you to seek admission in the United States without satisfying the requisite waiting period.
Inadmissibility due to INA § 212(a)(9)(C): Unlawful Reentry
If you have entered the United States without inspection after an order of removal or after accumulating more than one year of unlawful presence, you will face a “permanent bar” from admission. This bar does not have an associated waiting period because it is intended to be permanent. Filing Form I-212 is the only way to overcome the permanent bar.
Certain conditions must be met before you may file Form I-212 and overcome the permanent bar. You must reside outside the United States and wait at least ten years after your last departure from the United States before filing Form I-212.
If you satisfy both of those conditions, you may use Form I-212 to request consent to reapply, effectively overcoming the otherwise permanent bar. Please note that Form I-212 does not waive the required ten-year wait period for this inadmissibility ground.
Consequences of Not Obtaining Consent to Reapply
If you fail to obtain consent to reapply before returning to the United States, you may face severe immigration consequences. These consequences include a reinstatement of your removal order, a criminal prosecution, or a permanent bar from admission.
Filing Form I-212
If you are seeking consent to reenter the United States, you should file Form I-212 while residing outside the United States. Form I-212 should be completed and filed by the appropriate immigration officials. The appropriate immigration official varies based on your specific situation and may either be U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), a United States consulate, Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), or an immigration court.
If you have remained in the United States despite having been ordered to remove, you may file Form I-212 prior to departing the United States. If your Form I-212 is approved while you are still in the United States, the approval remains conditional until you have been deported or otherwise removed. Conditional approvals are also revocable.
If you are inadmissible pursuant to INA § 212(a)(9)(A) because you have been physically removed after having a removal order entered, then you do not need to file Form I-212 if your inadmissibility time period has expired. Form I-212 is only beneficial to you if you desire to seek admission to the United States while your time bar is still pending.
On the other hand, if you are inadmissible pursuant to INA § 212(a)(9)(C) because of a prior unlawful reentry, then you must file Form I-212 because your permanent bar never expires.
Discretionary Factors Considered with Form I-212
Various factors will be considered in determining whether you should be eligible to reapply for admission.
Positive factors include:
- Hardship to your family members or employers who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents
- Good moral character
- Family ties in the United States
- Criminal convictions (i.e., aggravated felony)
- Reformation and rehabilitation
- Previous duration of lawful presence in the United States
Negative factors include:
- Repeated violations of immigration law
- Bad moral character
- Likelihood you will become a public charge
- Fraudulent marriage to obtain an immigration benefit
- Unauthorized employment
The relevant immigration official or judge will weigh these factors against each other to determine whether you merit a favorable exercise of their discretion.
Is It Guaranteed That I can Reenter the U.S. after Obtaining the I-212 Waiver?
Obtaining the I-212 waiver doesn’t guarantee your reentry in the United States after deportation. However, it forgives the prior deportation or removal order. It doesn’t provide a waiver for any other legal grounds under the Immigration and Nationality act. You might still be inadmissible for any prior criminal conviction.
Can I Apply for I-212 Waiver Reentering the U.S. after being Ordered Deported?
Foreign nationals who want to enter the United States after a deportation order will be permanently inadmissible. You have to wait at least ten years before you submit your application for permission to reapply for admission.
Specific Time Period for Readmission Application
Foreign nationals who have been ordered deported or removed from the United States may not be readmitted until they have remained outside of the U.S. for a specified period.
Those who are being ordered for removal from the U.S. on the grounds of summary exclusion or through removal proceedings initiated upon the arrival into the U.S have to wait five years before filing for the reentry application.
Ten years time period is required for those who are ordered removed after a deportation hearing from an immigration judge or who departed after a removal order was outstanding.
Foreign nationals who are being ordered for deportation or removal for a second or subsequent removal will have to wait for twenty years before they submit an application for permission to reapply for admission in the United States.
How Can an Immigration Lawyer Help in 212 Waiver Application?
Applying for I-212 Waiver for permission to reapply for admission is a complex process and can be tough to handle if you are a foreign country resident. However, retaining an experienced attorney can help you go through the process smoothly and easily.
Your attorney will access your case and provide a legal brief on whether determining the I-212 waiver is the best for your case or not. Moreover, he will also help you identify any other better option that you could consider if I-212 is of no avail for you.
Your attorney will also help you complete and submit the form correctly and accurately and help you put together your application with necessary and most persuasive documents.
If you want to submit the I-212 waiver application and looking for legal guidance, feel free to connect with our experienced immigration attorneys and get the best legal advice you need to reenter the United States after deportation, legally.
Resources on Permission to Reapply After Deportation or Removal
We provide the following resources for the prospective applicant on Form I-212.
I’ve always known Mr. Gillin to be nothing less than intelligent, honest, and diligent in his craft. I refer all of my clients in need of immigration services to him with confidence, and I have heard nothing but good things. You’re in good hands here.
— Jeffrey K. Traylor, Attorney at Law