Permission to Reapply After Removal from the U.S.
Once an individual has been removed (deported) from the U.S., they cannot re-enter the United States without asking permission from the U.S. government. An I-212 waiver is needed for some individuals who have been removed from the United States pursuant to an order of removal, and for individuals who have previously been removed or overstayed their visas for a year or more and subsequently attempted (whether successfully or not) to reenter the United States during the ten-or twenty-year period when they were prohibited from returning. An I-212 waiver, when granted, allows some individuals who are otherwise inadmissible to apply to adjust status in the United States.
It is important to note that an I-212 waiver, if granted, only helps an individual to overcome one particular type of inadmissibility ground, namely their inadmissibility due to a prior order of removal and/or their inadmissibility due to their attempted return to the United States while they were subject to a 3-year or 10-year time bar. Individuals who are subject to other inadmissibility grounds, for example due to the commission of an aggravated felony, are not eligible to have their other inadmissibility ground(s) waived by the I-212 waiver and may or may not be eligible for other types of inadmissibility waivers.
Generally, an individual who has been ordered removed from the United States by the Immigration Court for the first time will not be permitted to reenter the United States or to receive a visa for ten years after their departure from the United States. If an individual who has been removed from the United States wishes to apply for a visa during this ten-year period, they will need an I-212 waiver to do so. After ten years has elapsed, they will be free to apply for admission and will no longer need an I-212 waiver. For individuals who have been ordered removed twice, they must wait 20 years to reenter the United States, or they must be approved for an I-212 waiver to apply for admission during the 20-year period when they are prohibited from reentering.
Individuals who leave the United States after having been unlawfully present for a year or more are also subject to the ten-year time bar, even though they have not been ordered removed. Such individuals also need an I-212 waiver to apply for admission during that ten-year period.
Individuals who attempt to reenter the United States without inspection during the ten-year period when they are barred from reentering (whether due to a prior removal order or an overstay) are subject to a permanent time bar. These individuals may apply for an I-212 waiver after they have been outside of the United States for at least 10 years; they are not eligible for a waiver prior to that.
If you are interested in learning more about the I-212 waiver, please contact Tanner Law Offices at (717) 731-8114 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.