Life after Removal
Removal from the United States is usually one of the most traumatic and life-altering events of an immigrants life. A deportation can end up splitting families apart, separating husbands from wives, parents from children and brothers from sisters. Deportation can leave deep emotional and psychological scars for all people involved. However, deportation is not necessarily permanent and depending upon the reasons behind the removal, a deportation can often be reversed overseas by the approval of a Waiver of Inadmissibility. A waiver can help to forgive a deported alien for his past immigration violation(s) and provide a partial means towards returning to the United States.
Can You Come Back to the United States After Deportation?
The first question commonly posed after the removal of a family member is whether such an individual will ever return to the United States. As a general rule, the answer is typically it depends on the particular reason for removal and the hardship the family. As the reasons for deportation of an individual will vary from the overstay of a visa to a serious criminal matter, providing a generalized answer to what is often a very fact-specific question is often difficult. Having a knowledgeable legal authority review the circumstances with you to determine whether return is possible is certainly an important first step in the process.
In addition to a waiver, the first step in which to return to the US is to have an available visa usually based on a petition by a family member or employer. This is a visa must also have a current priority date or one that makes the beneficiary immediately eligible to obtain a visa to the United States. Interestingly, both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas are suitable for initiating the process. However, generally speaking, the nonimmigrant visas requirements are far different than those for an immigrant visa after a deportation. The outcome of a visa application generally varies based upon the specific circumstances of a case.
For immigrant visas, applicants will typically have several different of waiver choices and may require more than one. The Immigration and Nationality Act offers a variety of waivers for the various possible offenses. Typically, anyone subject to an order of removal (deportation or exclusion) will require a waiver specifically for the deportation or removal order. However, such waivers are time sensitive, meaning that if the removed individual waits for the required statutory period (5 years, 10 years or 20 years) no removal waiver (or strictly speaking advance permission to reapply) is required if such an individual would like to return after the required time period has run. In addition to a removal waiver, applicants may need a second waiver, typically to forgive the basis upon which the order of removal from the country was issued. This second waiver can forgive a wide range of immigration violations, such as overstaying a visa for more than 6 months to criminal violations to fraud and misrepresentations. To obtain such a second waiver, the applicant must typically prove extreme hardship on a US citizen spouse or parent (and in some limited instances, children). Other, less common waivers are also available for immigration violations and can usually be diagnosed quickly by an attorney.
For nonimmigrant visas, as indicated above, waivers are generally more difficult to obtain after removal, as a nonimmigrant may have fewer ties to the United States, thus providing less of an incentive to allow such an individual to return to the United States. Such nonimmigrant deportation waivers are a discretionary and may require a deportation waiver as indicated above, but again a nonimmigrant inadmissibility waiver, differs significantly from the "extreme hardship" waivers needed for immigrants. Nonimmigrant inadmissibility waivers are discretionary and have no required level of hardship to be proven. The granting of such waivers is charged to the US Consulate (or the corresponding USCIS office abroad or port of entry) and generally requires significant evidence of good moral character, rehabilitation, and assurance that the applicant will return to his country of origin.
In sum, waivers are difficult to obtain and are very document-intensive to submit. However, an individual's ability to lawful return to the United States is not entirely foreclosed by a deportation order and many Immigration practitioners' ultimately have good success with the waiver process. People do return to the United States after being removed, often in the status of a permanent resident eventually to become US citizens. With the correct effort and strategy, even an individual subject to removal can return to the United States and rebuild his or her life in the USA.
Contact Robert Brown LLC
If you have questions about your immigration status, we invite you to contact the Cleveland immigration attorneys at Robert Brown LLC to request an initial case evaluation. We would be happy to help you understand your options.