There are several reasons why non-citizens may have found themselves in deportation (removal) proceedings, including failure to obey the terms of a visa, failure to advise United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of change of address, commission of a crime, violation of immigration laws and the need to receive public assistance. For whichever reason, an individual has been ordered removed and left the U.S., is there any way for this person to return to the U.S. after being deported?
The answer is yes; however, there will be difficult challenges with obtaining permission to return to the U.S. that are best dealt with by finding an experienced immigration lawyer. For an individual to do so, he or she will need an approved visa petition and a waiver of inadmissibility. If the individual is seeking permanent residence in the U.S., he or she would need to apply for an immigrant visa (green card).
The two ways an individual interested in returning to the U.S. can obtain an immigrant visa are through family-based immigration and employment-based immigration. Family-based immigration can be applicable to this individual if he or she has a sponsoring relative willing to file a petition on their behalf. If the sponsoring relative is a U.S. citizen, they may be the individual’s spouse, son or daughter over the age of 21, parent, brother or sister. In the instance that the sponsoring relative is a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR), he or she may petition for a spouse (husband or wife), unmarried children under 21 or unmarried son or daughter of any age. For those who are engaged to a U.S. citizen, the individual’s fiancé(e) may also file a petition for a K-1 visa, which is a non-immigrant visa, but hold many of the same requirements.
Family-based immigration petitions are based on a preference system. In other words, the closer the familial relationship, the shorter the waiting period someone has to wait for a visa, with other factors also at hand, such as the country of origin. Spouses and children of U.S. citizens, or the parent of a U.S. citizen who is 21 or older, looking to return to the U.S. may find that the wait time after the petition is filed is shorter than those who fall under the other sponsoring relative categories.
There are five categories an individual may fall under in order to apply for employment-based immigration, which are priority workers (includes those who meet extraordinary ability standards such as outstanding professors and researchers, multinational managers or executives); professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business; certain immigrants who fall under distinct categories (including religious workers and foreign medical workers); skilled and unskilled workers; and foreign investors. For all of these categories, the individual’s employer must first submit a petition to the USICS and — for certain categories — the Department of Labor.
WAIVERS OF INADMISSIBILITY
Individuals who have been ordered deported and left the U.S. — whether through a removal order or on their own — are ineligible for a visa for a certain period of time, depending on his or her circumstance, unless they qualify for a waiver (Form I-212) to reenter the U.S. The most common deportation scenarios are highlighted below:
For more information about returning to the U.S. and applying for an immigrant visa, or if you have other immigration issues, the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney can help protect your legal rights. If you are seeking help on immigration matters or would like to apply for a green card, call the experienced attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP at (212) 267-2555.