If I am deported can I ever come back to the United States?

Whether or not you can return to the United States after you have been deported will depend on what action led to your deportation. For example, some criminal actions such as an aggravated felony will permanently bar reentry into the United States, but other actions will allow a noncitizen to attempt reentry after five, ten or twenty years.

What if I attempt to reenter with permission from the United States government?

Some individuals who attempt to return to the United States after a removal order may simply have the removal order reinstated. If this happens you will simply be sent back to your country of origin without the opportunity to present your case before an immigration judge. Additionally, you may be charged with a crime of illegal reentry. If you are charged with a crime you have the right to hire a defense lawyer and have a criminal trial. If convicted you may have to serve time in jail and pay a fine.

Other individuals who attempt to reenter without permission may be allowed to complete the removal process again. If this occurs you may be able to apply for immigration relief and have your removal cancelled or be granted asylum.

How can I avoid the waiting period for legally reentering the United States after deportation?

As mentioned above, certain individuals are permanently barred from ever entering the United States. Other individuals, however, may be allowed to reenter the United States without waiting the full waiting period if they have new basis upon which to request a visa or green card.

For instance, if you have received an employment opportunity you may complete Form I-212 Permission to Reapply for Admission Into the United States After Deportation or Removal. For this example you are asking for an H-1B visa. By completing Form I-212, you are asking immigration officials to consider whether you are now admissible based on your new admission request.

What will the immigration officials consider prior to granting your new request?

  • The reasons you were deported
  • How recently you were removed from the United States
  • Whether you have committed any crimes
  • If you have been rehabilitated, if you committed a crime
  • Whether you have any family obligations within the United States
  • The amount of time you resided within the United States
  • Your moral character and your respect for law and order
  • Hardship to yourself or your family if you are denied reentry
  • The skills you may offer to a potential employer (if you have requested a work visa)

Consider, not all deported individuals will be able to use the Form I-212 form. This form is generally used by individuals who were previously removed or who were ordered removed but left voluntarily and those who were removed or deported but were in the United States for at least one year without authorization.

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