I-212 Waivers or Permission to Reapply

I-212 Waivers or Permission to Reapply

Foreign nationals who have been deported or ordered removed from the United States are prohibited from returning to the country for a specific period of time. If they would like to enter the U.S. before the end of that period, they must apply for an I-212 waiver or “permission to reapply.”

How Long is Re-entry Barred?

The reasons for barred re-entry and the timeframes are as follows:

5 years

➤ Individuals who were ordered deported in an expedited removal proceeding, or

➤ Individuals who were ordered deported in regular removal proceedings that began once they arrived in the U.S.

10 years

➤ Individuals who were otherwise deported after a routine immigration hearing, or

➤ Individuals who left the U.S. while there was an outstanding order of removal

20 years

➤ Individuals who were either deported or ordered deported for a second time

Permanent inadmissibility

➤ Individuals deported for an aggravated felony

➤ Individuals who were unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than one year in the aggregate prior to being ordered deported

➤ Individuals who either entered the U.S. unlawfully or attempted to after being ordered removed

Individuals who are subject to a permanent bar based on the above circumstances cannot apply for an I212 waiver for at least 10 years after departing the U.S.

Who Qualifies to Apply for an I212 Waiver?

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) can apply for the I212 waiver. If an individual has been found inadmissible under another section of the law, they must apply for a different waiver. The I-212 waiver cannot be applied for while residing in the U.S.—it must be applied for abroad. Additionally, individuals are required to remain abroad for a continuous period of time before applying for re-admission.

If an individual was found inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(A)(iii) and has waited the applicable bar time, they are no longer considered inadmissible and do not need to file an I-212 waiver.

If an individual attempts to reenter the United States unlawfully after they were ordered removed, or they’ve spent more than one year in the U.S. unlawfully, they will become permanently inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality act. In this case, they would need to wait at least 10 years from the date of their removal or last departure before filing an I212 waiver, even if they have a qualifying relative.

There are some exceptions for people who entered the U.S. before April 1, 1997, as they are protected by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA). Individuals who re-entered the U.S. prior to April 1, 1997, or who accrued unlawful presence prior to that date are immune from the permanent bar.

Understanding the Decision Process for an I-212 Waiver

The I-212 waiver is not a visa application; it’s an application for permission to apply for a visa after deportation. This type of waiver is discretionary, so the government isn’t under any obligation to permit deported individuals from re-applying to enter the U.S. In addition, even if your I212 waiver gets approved, there’s still a chance your visa could be denied. I212 waivers are adjudicated by the Admissibility Review Office in Washington D.C. with consideration to a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

➤ Whether the applicant has been rehabilitated (if criminal activity was the cause of deportation)

➤ The length of time the applicant was previously present in the U.S. and their status at the time

➤ Whether the applicant demonstrates proper respect for laws and is of good moral character

➤ Whether admitting the applicant to the U.S. could pose any national welfare, safety, or security issues

➤ Whether any unusual hardships could occur to the applicant’s U.S. citizen or lawful permanent relatives, the applicant themselves, or their employer should they be denied permission to reapply

During the decision process, any negative factors in the applicant’s case will be weighed; all decisions are made on a case-to-case basis. In general, the I-212 waiver may be granted if the applicant:

➤ Is a beneficiary of an approved family or employment-based petition

➤ Has only been deported once

➤ Doesn’t have a criminal record

➤ Did not commit serious immigration violations

➤ Can demonstrate hardship to their family or employer if they’re not allowed to return to the U.S.

What Type of Evidence Can Be Submitted?

All assertions (by the applicant or others) must be supported by evidence to show why the application should be approved. This may include:

➤ Affidavits from the applicant or other individuals, along with supporting evidence; an affidavit alone is not enough. If evidence cannot be obtained, a detailed explanation will be required.

➤ Evidence of family ties in the U.S.

➤ Police reports from the countries where the applicant has resided

➤ Complete court records regarding arrests, charges, or convictions from any country

➤ Evidence of rehabilitation, if applicable

➤ Evidence that the applicant’s admission to the U.S. would not be against national security or public safety

➤ Medical reports

➤ Employment records

➤ Evidence of hardship to the applicant, their relatives, or other individuals that would result if the applicant was denied admission to the U.S.

➤ Documentation showing the impact of family separation

➤ Documentation of the conditions in the country where the applicant’s family would have to relocate if their I212 application was denied

➤ Any other evidence that establishes why the applicant should be granted permission to reapply for admission to the United States

Get Assistance with Your I212 Waiver

It’s important to note that this information is not all-inclusive regarding the requirements and qualifications for filing Form I-212. The process to re-apply for permission to reenter the U.S. can be long and complex, which is why it’s vital to work with an experienced immigration lawyer. Ranchod Law Group has helped many clients successfully navigate the I212 waiver process and achieve permanent residency. For more information or to discuss your case, please schedule a consultation with us at 916-613-3553 or email us at info@ranchodlaw.com.