Illegal re-entry into the United States often appears to be the only option for some migrants separated from loved ones after deportation or who have been prevented from entering the country due to inadmissibility.
However, far from being a way to be reunited with loved ones, this constitutes a crime for which you can be deported, fined or even imprisoned. The attorneys at Urbina Immigration Law will analyze the consequences of illegal re-entry into the United States and the grounds for inadmissibility.
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What is considered an illegal re-entry into the United States?
Following the immigration laws, it is considered illegal reentry to the United States to return or be in the country without government approval after the following situations:
- You left the United States with an outstanding order of deportation or removal.
- The authorities denied him entry into the United States.
- He was deported from the United States.
- He was removed from the United States.
Please note that illegal re-entry into the United States constitutes a federal crime for which you may be deported, fined and/or imprisoned. Therefore, if you are faced with any of these situations and wish to enter the country, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of an attorney.
What does it mean to be “inadmissible” in the United States?
Being inadmissible to the United States means that you cannot legally enter the country or obtain a Green Card. There are multiple reasons why immigration authorities may declare you inadmissible. Some of the most common are:
- Health reasons.
- Criminal record.
- Threat to national security.
- Probability of becoming a public charge.
- Lack of labor certification.
- Fraud or misrepresentation.
- Prior proceedings for removal, unlawful presence or reentry into the United States.
Even if you have some grounds of inadmissibility to your credit, do not despair: certain waivers of inadmissibility may apply and you may be able to enter the country legally.
What is an immigration waiver?
An immigration waiver, also known as a Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, is a pardon granted by the government to certain aliens who have violated the laws of the United States, as long as the alien has not committed certain crimes that render him or her inadmissible.
Who qualifies for a waiver of inadmissibility?
The following persons may apply for a waiver of inadmissibility:
- Applicants who are outside the United States and have attended a visa interview with a consular officer who deemed them inadmissible.
- Applicants for adjustment of status.
- K-1 or K-2 visa applicants.
- K-3 or K-4 visa applicants.
- Visa applicants V.
- Applicants for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
- Applicants under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA).
- Applicants under the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA).
- Self-petitioners under VAWA (Violence Against Women Act).
- T visa beneficiaries who apply for adjustment of status and are deemed inadmissible for reasons that the T status does not waive.
Don’t let inadmissibility ruin your dreams or risk your future with illegal reentry to the United States. At Urbina Immigration Law we have the experience and dedication to help you obtain the immigration waiver you need.
What types of immigration waivers are there?
There are currently 10 types of immigration waivers. However, the most common are the following:
- The I-601: The Form I-601 (Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility) is used when a migrant wishes to obtain permanent residence in the United States and has any grounds of inadmissibility for crimes related to:
- Drug possession.
- Lack of vaccines.
- Immigration fraud.
- The I-601A: The Form I-601A (Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver) is filed when the only crime of the immigrant applying for U.S. residency is having entered or remained in the country illegally. Its applicability requirements are:
- Have a U.S. resident or U.S. citizen spouse.
- Have a U.S. citizen or resident parent.
- The I-202: The Form I-202 (Application for Permission to Reapply for Reentry to the United States) is filed when you have been declared inadmissible because you have been deported from the United States and wish to return to the United States. If you apply for this type of immigration waiver, it is extremely important that you wait until it is approved before entering the country. Otherwise, you will incur an illegal re-entry into the United States.
Please note that each of these waivers are different processes with their own requirements. Therefore, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a professional attorney who can help you choose the right one for your case.
Penalties for Illegal Reentry
The penalties for illegal reentry depend on the grounds of the previous deportation. These range from financial penalties to deportation and imprisonment. Therefore, we will discuss some of the penalties for illegal re-entry into the United States.
Penalties for Illegal Re-entry after deportation
According to Federal Law, the punishment for an illegal re-entry into the United States after having been deported may be:
- Financial penalties.
- Up to 2 years imprisonment.
Please note that both penalties may be given separately or imposed together, as deemed appropriate by the sentencing court.
Punishments for Illegal Reentry of persons with a criminal record
A migrant who illegally reenters the United States after being convicted of an aggravated felony or at least three misdemeanors of a certain class may be punished in the following ways:
- Financial penalties.
- Up to 10 years in federal prison.
Again, both punishments may be given jointly or separately, as the court may decide. In addition, prison sentences for illegal re-entry to the United States can be up to 20 years if you have committed certain particularly serious crimes(terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, etc.).
Consequences of Illegal Reentry after Voluntary Departure
An illegal reentry into the United States after a voluntary departure is also considered a crime. It is important to remember that, although voluntary departure is a benefit that allows you to leave the country without the stigma of deportation, it does not guarantee that you will be readmitted at a later date.
Therefore, re-entering without a government permit or failing to comply with the established deadline may result in the following penalties:
- Prohibition of re-entry to the United States for 10 years.
- Financial penalties of up to $5 thousand.
How to obtain an immigration waiver to re-enter the United States after being deported?
Step 1 – Download and complete Form I-212
Go to the official USCIS website and download Form I-212 in PDF format. Complete it by carefully reading the instructions attached to the form to understand the requirements and the steps to follow. Do not forget to sign the form, as an unsigned application will be rejected.
Step 2 – Prepare the required documentation
Gather all necessary documents to support your application. These may include the following:
– Copies of exclusion, deportation, or removal orders.
– Evidence of your relationship to family members listed on the application.
– Evidence of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(9)(c) of the INA (if applicable).
– Relevant evidence to support your application.
– If any of the documents are in a foreign language, be sure to include a complete English translation along with a translator’s certification.
Step 3 – Pay the filing fee
The Form I-212 has a filing fee of $930. You may pay by money order, personal check, cashier’s check or by completing Form G-1450 for authorization of credit card transactions. Be sure to follow the specific instructions on how to make the payment based on where your application is submitted.
Step 4 – Submit the application
Check the USCIS website for Form I-212 direct filing addresses to determine where to send your application. You can file in person at a local USCIS office, through the Electronic System for Secure Adjudication of Forms(e-SAFE) if you file with CBP, or by following the special instructions (if you are in removal proceedings).
Step 5 – Follow-up of your application
After submitting your application, you will receive a receipt number from USCIS. Keep it in a safe place, as you will need it to check the status of your application in the future. Remember to wait for USCIS approval before re-entering the country. Failure to do so will result in illegal re-entry into the United States and could result in fines and/or imprisonment.
At Urbina Immigration Law we know how desperate deportation can be. That is why our experienced team of attorneys will put all their effort and knowledge into helping you get the immigration waiver you need. Don’t risk your future with an illegal re-entry to the United States and let’s fight together for a second chance.
What is the difference between Form I-601 and Form I-601A?
While both forms are related to the application for waiver of inadmissibility, they differ in when and where they are filed:
– Form I-601 is used to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility grounds after being interviewed at a consulate or after having been deported.
– Form I-601A is used to apply for a provisional waiver of inadmissibility grounds prior to departure from the United States for a consular interview.
Where to file an immigration waiver?
The filing directions for an immigration waiver application vary depending on the type of waiver you are applying for. Below is a list indicating the places where they should be submitted:
– VAWA applications:
USCIS Vermont Service Center
38 River Road
Essex Junction, VT 05479-0001
– Applications for immigrant or nonimmigrant visas (K or V Visa):
Attn: I-601 Foreign Filers
P.O. Box 21600
Phoenix, AZ 85036-1600
– Requests for Form I-485 filings:
If the form is pending and does not have a 3-letter code at the beginning of the receipt number, it should be sent via USPS to:
P.O. Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680
*If you are using FedEx, UPS or DHL services, it must be sent to:
Attn: AOS (Box 805887)
131 S. Dearborn-3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517
Applications with a pending Form I-485:
*If you have not yet filed Form I-485 and it begins with“EAC”,“SRC” or “WAC” it should be sent to:
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266-0867
Is there a fee to file a waiver of inadmissibility?
Each type of immigration waiver has its own filing fee. However, some individuals may apply for a fee waiver through the Form I-912 (Fee Waiver Request).
Obtain an immigration waiver with a professional attorney
Don’t risk your future by entering the U.S. illegally. Apply for an immigration waiver with Urbina Immigration Law by your side. Our team of experienced lawyers has the experience and dedication to help you return to the country you have chosen as your home legally and safely.
The U.S. immigration system can be extremely complex and navigating it can be overwhelming at times. But he is not alone. Take the first step towards a better life in the United States. Contact our offices today and let’s work together to build a better tomorrow.
8 U.S. Code § 1326 – Reentry of removed aliens