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What is the permanent bar under Section 212(a)(9)(C)(i)?

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) there is a long list of grounds of inadmissibility. Basically, these are things about you, or about your circumstances, that would prevent you from being allowed into the U.S. They can also prevent you from successfully adjusting status to a green card holder even if you are already in the U.S.

The so-called permanent bar is especially important to understand because it is permanent. The full text of Section 212(a)(9)(C)(i) is shown at the bottom of this post. The bar applies to two different groups of people. We’ll take a look at each one, then cover some of the basics of the permanent bar.

Those illegally present in the U.S. for 1 year or longer.

The first group subject to the permanent bar is those who have been unlawfully in the United States for a total (“aggregate”) period of one year or longer. Unlawful presence can be a very technical term in immigration law, though in most cases a person knows whether she has been unlawfully present. The most common examples are someone who entered the U.S. illegally (e.g., using a fake visa or sneaking into the country) or someone whose visa has expired.

It is very important to understand that it is the total period of unlawful presence that matters.

Example. Florian sneaks into the U.S. on January 1, 2010 and leave 6 months later. Two years later she comes back into the U.S. on a tourist visa, but the visa expires and she stays an additional 7 months. Then she leaves the U.S. but wants to return. Florian will be subject to the permanent bar because she has more than one year of total unlawful presence.

Those previously removed (deported).

The second group subject to the permanent bar is individuals who have been previously ordered removed (meaning ordered to be deported). There are different procedures that can be used to deport someone but generally any removal order will fall under this category.

In some circumstances an individual may not know if he has been deported. When someone has been caught entering the U.S. the government can put that person in “expedited removal proceedings.” In that case the person never even sees an immigration judge, but the result is still a deportation order. But the government can also just allow the person to return to her home country. If you were caught entering the U.S. how do you know if you were deported? It is not always easy. Sometimes the only way to tell is by filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the border patrol. These requests are free, but can take over a year to process. Worse, sometimes the border patrol cannot find any records.

Illegal entry or attempted reentry.

It is not enough only to have someone fall into one of the two groups above. To be subject to the permanent bar the person must fall into one of those two groups and enter – or try to enter – the U.S. illegally. The permanent bar is triggered at the time the person tries to reenter the country.

Example. Suzan is illegally present in the U.S. for 2 years and leaves the country. She then tries to sneak into the U.S. and is caught. Since she was her for longer than one year and then got caught trying to enter illegally she is subject to the permanent bar. By comparison, Luis has been illegally present in the U.S. for two years but is still in the country. Since he has not left the U.S. the permanent bar does not yet apply to him.

Here is one important point. The permanent bar is not the only immigration law that might create problems for someone with illegal presence or a removal order. A person who has been ordered deported cannot apply for most immigration benefits for a period of 5 or ten years. It can even be 20 years for someone with a second deportation order. You have to think about more than just the permanent bar issue.

Example. Juan was ordered removed five years ago by an immigration judge but is still present in the United States. Since he has not left the U.S. the permanent bar does not apply to him. But his prior order of removal still prevents him from applying for most immigration benefits.

How are the 3- and 10-year bars different?

You may have heard about the 3- and 10-year bars, which are also caused by illegal presence. The 3-year bar applies to someone who has 6 months of illegal presence in the U.S. And the 10-year bar applies to someone who has 1 year of illegal presence. Just like the permanent bar, these bars are triggered when you leave the U.S.

Example. Samuel overstayed his visa by 7 months, then returned to his home in Canada. Starting the moment Samuel leaves the U.S., he is barred from returning for 3 years.

Remember that the permanent bar applies to a person who tries to illegally enter the U.S. By contrast, the 3- and 10-year bars do not have that requirement. Once a person has been illegally present and leaves the U.S. that triggers the bar. Another very important difference is that the 3- and 10-year bars may sometimes be waived. As discussed below, a waiver is like a type of pardon.

Another difference is the way unlawful presence is calculated. Remember that for the permanent bar we could total unlawful presence. So if the person has more than one period of time illegally in the U.S., those will be counted together. For the 3- and 10-year bars it is different. Multiple periods cannot be combined. Instead, the government looks at only uninterrupted unlawful presence.

The permanent bar and 245(i).

To apply for a green card in the U.S. a person usually has to legally enter the country. There is an exception, though, for someone who had a petition filed before April 30, 2001. The program is called 245(i) adjustment after a section of the immigration statute. Someone eligible for this program can apply for a green card in the U.S. even though she entered illegally. But the program is not available to someone who has the permanent bar.

Applying for a waiver.

Even though it is called “permanent,” a person is eventually allowed to apply for a waiver of the permanent bar. A waiver is like applying for a type of legal pardon. With the permanent bar, the individual must wait 10 years before she can even apply for a waiver. The government calls this procedure a request for consent to apply for a visa. Even if the request is approved is not guarantee that the visa will be approved. It is just permission to apply for a visa.

The consent request is made by filing a Form I-212. What factors will the government consider?

  • Why the person was deported;
  • How recently the person was deported;
  • How long the person lived in the United States;
  • The person’s moral character;
  • Whether the person has shown respect for the law;
  • The person’s family responsibilities;
  • Whether the person is inadmissible for other reasons;
  • Hardship to the person and to others;
  • Whether the United States would benefit from the person’s return

There is also a separate waiver available to a very small group of people. These are individuals who were abused by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. The individual must have been married to the abuser. Also, the abuse needs to be the reason why the person left the United States.


The Section 212(a)(9)(C)(i)  reads:

Aliens unlawfully present after previous immigration violations.-

(i) In general.-Any alien who-

(I) has been unlawfully present in the United States for an aggregate period of more than 1 year, or

(II) has been ordered removed under section 235(b)(1), section 240, or any other provision of law [basically any order of removal, which is what deportation is called], and who enters or attempts to reenter the United States without being admitted is inadmissible.

(ii) Exception.-Clause (i) shall not apply to an alien seeking admission more than 10 years after the date of the alien’s last departure from the United States if, prior to the alien’s reembarkation at a place outside the United States or attempt to be readmitted from a foreign contiguous territory, he Secretary of Homeland Security has consented to the alien’s reapplying for admission.

 

What is the permanent bar under Section 212(a)(9)(C)(i)?
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Greg McLawsen

I’m proud to be the founder of Sound Immigration. My job is to work behind the scenes to ensure our clients have an outstanding experience at our firm. I’m passionate about reinventing the practice of law to make it work better for those we serve. I work hard to identify the best available technology to make our firm convenient for clients. I look to other industries, like real estate and the restaurant business, to learn about practice that will help serve our clients better.

This Post Has 88 Comments
  1. I am a Canadian citizen. I left USA in Jan 2001, as became permanent resident in Canada. I over stayed in USA for more than a year illegally and I took voluntary departure. Once in late 2001 I was trying to cross border at niagara I was stopped as I was illegally stayed in USA. I was told to apply for waiver. I did apply in 2009 got approved and went 2 times within that 1 year term. Now my question is I am Canadian citizen and 10 years are over. Should I need waiver to visit USA or passport is enough. My INA section is 212(a)(9)b2 thanks

    1. Hi, Balesh: The permanent bar is, indeed “permanent.” But it sounds like you were subject to only a 10-year bar for unlawful presence – Section 212(a)(9)(B)(ii) refers to unlawful presence. If so, that ten-year bar should have run by now.

  2. Hi
    I overstayed my esta for 16 months cause my ex husband was abusing me and I couldn’t leave. I left for europe with my son 16 months later. I would like to apply for b2 visa to visit my current boyfriend. I live now in Canada I have a work permit. Can I get a 212 d3 waiver?

    1. Hi, Cara: That really depends fully on the facts of your case. It appears you would be subject to the 10-year bar (not permanent bar). Non-immigrant waivers can be granted for a pretty broad spectrum of reasons. Seeking waivers is a substantial process, so you might want to consider having him be the one to travel just as a resource-conserving move.

      1. Ok thank you for your answer. Yes he is visiting me often but he got a new job and can not travel like he used to that’s why I wanted to visit him too. But what happens if we decide to get married cause I know for fact that he won’t be able to live in Canada he has one daughter and has the shared custody he knows his ex wife won’t let their daughter travel with him.

  3. Good day i am a u.s. citizen. My wife and i married in 2008 she went back to her native country in 2011 for family reasons . I have been living in her country on and off. We are now ready to return together. She originally entered the u.s on a visa waiver program in 2002 so in total she overstayed 9 years . She never had a criminal issue or record the time she was in the u.s and we currently have an aprroved i 130 . My question is what are the chances that her visa will be approved at the interview . Thank you

  4. Hello there!, this is my case:I tried to cross the U.S/MEX border in 2000 got caught, fingerprinted and photographed; sent back the same day. i didn’t lie about my identity, I tried about a week later and successfully made it to the states, I’ve been living here ever since, i got married to a U.S citizen 3 1/2 years ago. could i apply for a green card through marriage or did i trigger any bar on myself preventing me from fixing my legal status?

  5. In 2004 i tried to enter the calexico border using a friends birth certificate, i was caught and charged with an alien inadmissibility under section 212… ive been in the US since with no problems and would like to fix my legal status, do i have a chance?

    1. Hi Maria, I am in the same situation as you and would like to know if you found a way to become legal. Please reach back out to me. Thank you.

  6. HI my husband came here when he was 16yrs old in 2006.He got pulled over for a DUI left in 2009 at the age 18 yrs he stayed in mexico for a 3 months..he attempted to come back in december 2009 and got caught and attempted again that same week and succeeded he’s been here ever since 2009
    Does he have a permanent bar? if so can ever apply for his green card?

    1. Hi, Ofelia: It sounds very likely that he is subject to the permanent bar. You should get a lawyer to actually review the full case history, however, before giving up.

  7. Hi, I have a question. My husband tried to cross the border illegally 5 years ago. First time he tried to cross at san ysidro port eluding inspection without any paper and the cbp gave him a 5 year bar. The second time he tried to cross the border at nogales desert and got a 20 year bar. Can I still apply to get his green card if I am a citizen? Or do I have to wait 20 years to apply for a waiver.

      1. Ok, so do I have to wait 20 years in Mexico in order to apply for a green card? He have never lived in the UNited States, he just tried to cross but he could not. What do you recommend to do? Thank you in andavnce

  8. I have a question. I came to the US when I was 6 years old been here all my life went to school. Got high school diploma but in 2007 I left US and came back 5 months later but I did apply for a tourist visa in Mexico and got denied but came back anyway didn’t get caught. Got married to a US Citizen have 4 US citizen children what bar applies to me. I’m confused with the permanent bar and 3-10 year bar. Thank You

    1. Hi, Laura: The timeline here is a bit confusing. It sounds like you would be subject to the 10-year bar and potentially the permanent bar. But please talk to a lawyer before filing anything. The stakes are very big.

  9. My husband entered at the age 3 in 88′
    Returned to Mexico at age 12 in Nov 97′
    Came back to US illegally at age 14 in Dec 99′
    Should we file for 601 a or
    Would he trigger permanent bar?

      1. Thank you. If possible, Could you please be a little more specific as to why he would trigger the bar?

    1. Well if she entered illegally then she is deportable for that reason alone, apart from any other immigration history. There is no such thing as general amnesty, so whether she has any viable case would be completely dependant on the facts of her situation.

  10. Hello I currently have an I-601a approved we are getting ready for our interview in Ciudad Juarez my concern is when I was 12 in 2003 my mother and siblings tried coming across we were detained by border patrol my mother was interviewed ONLY and of course had to give the names of her children we were never finger printed or photographed and were released the next day we tried coming over again and were seccesful my question is will this get my visa denied? I haven’t left the US since we got here I’m worried during my interview that will come up and get denial. I have no criminal record not even a speeding ticket. PLEASE HELP

    1. Sal: Why are you inquiring about this issue so late in the process? This is something that should have been explored before you ever filed a visa petition. At this point you need to answer any questions truthfully, since any misstatement is grounds for permanently barring you from the United States. It’s not possible for us to advise you based on the limited information here. If you haven’t done so already, and especially if you’re in the United States still, you need to speak to an attorney and get individualized advice.

      1. i didn’t think it would be an issue sense i was 12 I couldn’t tell my mother mom I’m not going across it’s not right….. you know what I mean?
        I was reading 212 a 9 c and in there it states:

        (iii) Exceptions.-

        (I) Minors.-No period of time in which an alien is under 18 years of age
        shall be taken into account in determining the period of unlawful presence in
        the United States under clause (i).

        Could this not help me I haven’t left the US since I have been here for 15 years now and never left. Not sure what to do should I not even go to the interview?

      2. Also I never stayed 180 days the first time and the second time I never left it’s been 13 years now! So in other words don’t I need to be in the US for 180 to have unlawful presence?

  11. I am a 21-year-old U.S. citizen and I want to sponsor my parents for a green card. I have been researching the Consular Processing and I am aware of form I-130 and want to petition for my parents. When they lived in the U.S., they entered illegally, but they both currently live in Mexico. If they were never caught crossing, how will this affect my petition?

    1. Hi, Alondra: The process of getting residence from within the United States is called adjustment of status. If they entered illegally then they will not be eligible to adjust status unless they qualify under INA 245(i) because a petition was previously filed for them. Learn more about that benefit here: 245(i) adjustment. Many people in this situation have to consular process in their home country, but they will likely need a waiver (601 or 601a) for their unlawful presence. Basically, it’s likely to be a very complicated case. Feel free to contact us if you would like help identifying whether they have a viable strategy to pursue.

  12. I applied for asylum, denied and order to removal. But since stay in USA for 8 year.
    I have U.S Citizen children under 21 yo. My question is, what are my option?
    If I leave US, how long will I get bar to reentry. Could my children file petition when they are in age (21 yo)?
    Also I couldn’t get any file from my former lawyer because both of them get disbarred and I couldn’t contact them any longer.

  13. Hi! I have two illegal entries. The first one was in 1992, I was 11 years old. My mom send me back to Mexico in 1998, I was 17 years old. I came back at the age of 20 years old, in 2001.Can my husband make me legal since my first entry was in 1992 and I reenter when I was an adult. Thank you!

  14. My question is quick. We are wondering about the permanent bar. My husband crossed the border twice as a child, we have the dreamer act/work visa and just got approval for the 10 year forgiveness one and hardship one, but our lawyer just told us that he is worried that when we get there, they will do the permanent bar due to the two entries. So long story short have you seen them forgive then permanent bar on children who came twice illegally

    1. Hi, Samantha: if he returned after April 1, 1997 – after being here for a year or more – that he will have triggered the “permanent bar.” Your lawyer should advise you very clearly on this before your husband considers leaving the country.

  15. Is a visa petitioner helpful if you have a bar? Can you use that option with any degree of success in getting a deportee back to the states if he has a criminal past and has been deported a couple times. or is the petitioner not helpful in this case?

    1. Hi, Darlene: It’s basically a requirement. If you don’t have a viable visa case, it really doesn’t matter if you are a good waiver candidate or not. In fact, you have to have the visa case proceeding in order to raise the waiver application.

  16. Hello Mr.McLawsen,
    My parents brought me to the US back in 1998. I was 9 years old at the time. I grew up as an undocumented immigrant and lived in Arkansas most of my life. In October 2010, I was arrested for having false documents i used to work with and pleaded guilty to a class C felony for forgery. Since i never had any legal problems in the past, i qualified for act 346 aka the first offenders act. In March 2011, i had my immigration hearing and signed my deportation. I am not sure why but i got a permanent bar. As soon as i arrived to my country, i entered school and well, to this date, i am still staying out of trouble. I want to get a waiver and apply for a visa to go back to the states. But i need information if i can apply now and what process to take if its possible. Thank you!

    1. Hi, Daniel: Without knowing more about the removal case I wouldn’t be able to say whether you are subject to a permanent bar. There are reasons other than the statute described in this post that can lead someone to be permanently inadmissible, such as criminal issues. So that’s the first issue. The second is that even aside from the bar issue, you would still need a visa petitioner. That would need to be a US citizen or permanent relative family member. Without a visa petitioner, there is often no way to reenter the US (aside from routes like asylum).

      1. My state charge is a class c felony for forgery of the second degree.

        Also I dont know if this is the information you meant which was printed on the paper they gave me:
        “In accorance with the provisions of section 2 12(a)(9) of the immigration and Nationality Act (Act), you are prohibited from entering, attempting to enter, or being in the united states: At any time because you have been found inadmissible or excludable under section 212 of the Act, or deportable under section 241 or 237 of the Act, and ordered deported or removed from the United States, and you have been convicted of a crime designated as an aggrovated felony.”

        1. Daniel, criminal immigration issues are sometimes referred to as the “rocket science” of immigration law. An attorney would need to review your entire “record of conviction” and immigration court file before offering an opinion about where you stand. If you were represented in the immigration court matter that would be the natural place to start.

  17. HI my husband came here when he was 16yrs old in 2005 he then left in 2008 at the age 18 yrs and 10 months he stayed in mexico for a year..he attempted to come back in may 2009 and got caught and gave him an voluntary deportation and attempted again that same week and succeeded he’s been here ever since 2009
    Does he have a permanent bar

  18. HI, MY UNCLE HAS HIS GREEN CARD, BUT STOOD 2 YEARS OUT OF THE USA, THEY DID NOT LET HIM IN AND GIVE HIM A PENALTY OF 10 YEARS. IS THERE ANY WAY TO APPLY AGAIN WITHOUT MAKING A PETITION WITH A RELATIVE?

    1. Hi, Laura: It sounds like there must have been something else going on here. A person can lose resident status by spending too much time out of the US, but wouldn’t be barred like this unless he had been deported or stayed illegally in the US.

  19. Hello:
    My boyfriend, who is Irish, resided in the US for 6 years illegally before returning home. After 1 year, he returned to the US and crossed the border illegally. I gather he falls under the permanent bar. Is there no recourse for him except to leave?

    1. Hi, Sarah: I’m afraid that certainly looks like the case. I can never say definitively without actually talking to someone, but that sounds like a classic permanent bar scenario on the way you describe it. That’s assuming this was all post-1996.

      1. Ok – he was also in the US as a child for about 5 years, though I don’t know if it was legally or not. Does that make a difference?

  20. Hi,
    I entered USA in 2008 August as F1 Visa student. My visa expired but I managed to stay on student status through transfer, graduation and OPT as well as CPT. Now the CPT college I had from turned out to be fake college run by DHS( University of Northern New Jersey), Cancelled all i-20 documents and now I am put for removal proceedings since April 5th.(The Date UNNJ came out as a string operation to catch the overseas agents who abuse the F1 visa law). The court date is in March. What are my options?
    thanks,
    Ricky

    1. Hi, Ricky: Our firm does not currently offer removal defense work, so this topic is outside of our expertise. Others caught up in scams for fake schools have applied for U-Visas, which in some circumstances can be used as a defense to removal. You absolutely need to talk to a removal defense attorney ASAP to figure out if you have a chance to fight removal. Successful removal cases need to be prepared many months in advance, so now is the time to get started. Good luck!

  21. Hi I’m 17 years old and I recently had to self Deport myself at the airport while returning to the United States while on vacation in Canada which is where im a citizen of. This year was going to o be my senior year and my plans was to go back to Canada and study since I would be 18 and could decide for myself where I want to live. When I left Canada I was 8 tuning 9 in 2008. No one wanted to take care of me, my mom was in n Haiti and my Dad was not present and his family did not want to take me in. So my aunt was the only person that was willing to watch over me. I did not want to come live here. My question is what can I do in order to have this erase so that once I’m an adult I can travel freely to the united states for vacation or to visit family. I have all my friends there and my boyfriend my mother and my aunt. Am I not eligible to come back at all or do I have to get a special Visa or can this be annoled. I am currently going to school here and next year I’ll be getting my first apartment so I do plan on staying in Canada and if I want to come live in the united States I will do it legally because I’ll be an adult and can now be held accountable for my actions. I know that in the future my job will require me to travel especially to the united States will this situation impact me from getting it? Would I be able to travel for work?

  22. Hello,

    I heard of a case where someone attempted to cross the border 3 times and was caught, fingerprinted, gave different names, but fingerprinted, on his last attempt he stayed for over 5 years and adjusted his status through his U.S. Citizen wife. All this would make him eligible for the 10-year permanent bar, however, he was given the green card. I asked and apparently all facts were given during the application, which brings me to my question. Is this permanent 10-year bar at the immigration officer discretion? Is it based on luck in general? Or was this person just lucky the immigration officer did not check all facts before approval? I know it’s a very general question, but I have been wondering if it has happened in other cases.

    Thank yu for your help

    1. Hi, Virginia: Ask any immigration attorney. All of us speak to someone every week who says, “my brother’s-friend’s-mother’s-high school teacher was arrested 21 times for armed robbery and cocaine trafficking… she got her green card so why can’t I?” Almost always there’s been either a miscommunication about the story, or maybe someone lied to the immigration authorities and got away with it. Be very cautious about believing such stories.

      The permanent bar is absolutely non-discretionary. If an immigration officer determines that it applies she has absolutely no authority to simply ignore it.

  23. I was convicted of 2 aggravated felonies back in 2001, Was 17 at the time I commited crime but convicted as an adult. I was not a LPR but was in the prcocess since my father had petioned for my legal status. I was sentenced to 4 years which I served half. Was paroled to immigration custody to see if I was available for relief. Was deported (since I was not eligible for anything ) on 2004. Have never attempted to go back to the US, only this deportation on my record. It has been 12 years since I was deported and have stayed all that time in Mexico. Am I available for 212 waiver? Thanks for your time.

    1. Manuel: This is far more complex and individualized of a question than we can answer here. Under Matter of J-H-J-, 26 I.&N. Dec. 563 (BIA 2015) certain aggravated felonies can be waived under 212(h) for LPRs, but it’s not clear that would apply to your situation. You really need individualized advice from someone who can look at your full record.

  24. My husband has a 10 year bar under 212 a9c is there a waiver for this or do we have to wait the 10 years?

    1. Lori: There are two different things: (1) the 10-year bar for 1+ year unlawful presence, and (2) the permanent bar as described in this post. The 10-year bar can be waived for those qualifying for an I-601; the permanent bar can be waived only after remaining outside the US for 10 years.

      1. He had his consulate appointment would they have told him if he had an available waiver? We were told he had a 10 year bar not permanent but everything seems more complicated than we thought.

        1. Lori, typically yes – the consular officer will indicate whether a waiver is available. But at the end of the day it’s not the officer’s job to offer legal advice to interviewees. You can’t rely on the consular officer to advise you about what strategies are – or aren’t – available to you. That’s what a lawyer is for. If your husband is available for a 10-year waiver (I-601) that’s a very large undertaking to do an excellent job.

  25. I’m 34 and illegally entered when I was 14 years old. In 2005 I had to exit the US for an emergency. I tried to re-enter 2 days later and got caught. They took finger prints and pictures. The next day I got deported. However, 5 days later a successfully entered, got married on 2006 and currently have 3 kids. My Wife filed the I-130 form on 2011. It has been more than 10 years since they deported me. Would it be possible to apply to stay or am I on the Permanent Bar status?

    1. Hi, Jose:

      I’m sorry to say that the answer is no, since you have to wait *outside* the US to apply for the waiver for the permanent bar. But have you ever looked into DACA? If you have a clean criminal record it looks like you might be able to qualify…

      1. Would you be able to tell me if DACA and expanded DACA are the same program? And I do have a clean criminal record.
        Thank you for your time.

        1. Jose, no they’re not the same program. As you may have heard, the Supreme Court effectively put a stop to expanded DACA in its US v. Texas case. Original DACA, however remains a viable program and we have many clients who are still enrolled in it.

  26. My husband was caught at the border in 1998 while trying to enter the US. He was detained and served with an expedited removal. A few days latter he crossed using someone’s passport and visa. we’ve been married since 2001. I am a US citizen and filed a petition for my husband inder thr 245i. However, because he has the 212 (9) (c) we have not followed up. My question is can my husband file for a waiver inder thr new provisions that will be taking place starting August 29, 2016??

    1. Hi, Gaby: If you’re talking about the new provisional waiver rules regarding the I-601A, unfortunately no. The 3- and ten-year bars are subject to I-601A/I-601 waivers, but not the permanent bar. The only waiver for the permanent bar requires first waiting outside the country for 10 years.

  27. I have u visa im in adjust green card now but uscis want intent to revoke my u visa because i had deportation prior order 241(a)(5) they aprove my 1-192 waiver in the past … Is there an other waiver for this ?

    1. Ana: This is a very serious situation and you absolutely need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Along with the revocation it is possible you could have the prior removal order reinstated against you. Whether there is a viable path forward depends on the details of your case. Since this could involve immigration court I would encourage you to contact a qualified local attorney near you.

  28. My husband and divorced but are still together and have a child. He was brought by his mom when he was young and grew up here. When he was 17 he was convicted of attempted murder. His brother had been shot in a driveway and ended up in a wheel chair. He had flipped out after his brother was shot and almost died, and had tried to shoot the guy who did it. He was sentenced to 8 years served his time and was deported upon release. He has returned and been deported 3 more times just for retunring illegally. He has a child with me and a teen son by someone else. He grew up here and all of his family is here. He doesnt speak good spanish and doesnt feel like Mexico is home, The most recent deportation was in MArch 2016. Is there any chance one of these waivers will work for him? If so how long before he could apply for it.

    Also, coming across the broder there is a billboard that says that they can help deported people get their green card back. I called and they said for 15000(which is a lot to me and more than I have) if the person has served and completed their court ordered sentence, they can clean their record an get a green card. The gyuy said that it didnt matter that hed been deported 4 times. Ive been to lawyers who say not a chance and then see this bill board an wonder if there is hope. Does anyone know if that is a sham???

    1. Hi, Darlene: First, regarding the billboard, that’s a very concerning situation. I can’t say whether or not that particular business is a scam, but it sounds very suspicious. It’s not possible to “clean” records of prior deportations or criminal conduct. Sometimes a lawyer can re-open removal proceedings or criminal proceedings, but whether not that is possible is highly fact-dependent.

      Regarding your former husband, he is currently barred from returning due to the recent deportation (and likely because of the prior ones in addition). You would have to talk to an attorney about whether the deportation could be re-opened, but based on what you describe here it sounds very unlikely there would be a path forward. Still, it’s impossible to say without an individualized assessment. Our firm does not do deportation work, so you would want to talk to an attorney focusing on removal work.

      1. I thought it sounded suspicious and too good to be true. He said they were based in the US and offered payment plans so so I was hopeful.The billboard is right at the San Ysidro crossing for anyone in the line. If it is a sham, someone should do something so they arent swindling desperate families!

        Thanks for the insight! I really appreciate it.

  29. Hi I’m a us citizens my husband has been told he has a permanent bar because he was caught in 2008 trying to enter ilegal but he tryed again and was not caught he has been in the USA scence 2008 before 2008 he had been in USA scence 1990 he would go and come back to Mexico and was cought 3-4 times anyways we have been together scence 2005 and married in 2009 does he qualify under the new law of forgiveness without leaving the USA for 10 years

    1. Hi, Ana: Unfortunately there’s no new law concerning waiver of the permanent bar. You might have heard about new rules concerning the I-601A stateside waiver program, but that unfortunately doesn’t apply to the permanent bar. For someone who’s subject to the permanent bar the only solution (and it’s bad one) is to wait out ten years abroad before applying for a waiver.

  30. I’ve entered US on an J1 visa , overstayed for 11 years, I was in deportation procedures and was granted voluntary departure and departed in time (I had no other law troubles) . Now i’ve been permanent resident of Canada for 3 years and I want to travel to US as a visitor (because of my nationality i need a visitor visa). Do I have a permanent bar? if yes where do I apply for removing that bar (at the consulate when I apply for travel visa?)
    Thank you

    1. Hi, Ovy: Based only on the facts you describe here you would not be subject to the permanent bar. You are likely going to have a difficult time with the B-2 application, though given the prior immigration law violations.

  31. My husband lived in the US from 2005-2009, he then left to Mexico. Came back in 2012 but was caught, he was given a voluntary departure and then came back again after that. He has been here since 2012. Does he have a permanent bar against him?

    1. Yes, on the facts you describe such a person would be subject to the permanent bar. He would have triggered the bar when he attempted (unsuccessfully) to enter after his 2009 departure. The 2012 entry also would have been sufficient to trigger the bar.

  32. My husband was pulled over for a DUI, went to jail and got deported. I was 17 years old at the time and pregnant so there wasn’t much I could do. He came back shortly after being deported. We are now married and have 3 kids. Can I petition for him?

    1. Ms. Rodriguez: I certainly can’t offer legal advice here, and the above facts aren’t enough to determine whether your husband has viable options available. But if he illegally reentered the U.S. “shortly after being deported” that will likely mean he cannot successfully pursue adjustment of status (a green card application in the U.S.). If you want to figure out what options – even if long term – are available to him, then you’ll want to meet with a knowledgeable immigration lawyer and have him/her assess the full history of his situation.

  33. If my husband came to the US. at the age of 10 yrs in 1995. Left at the age of 14 in February 1998 and returned to the U.S in August 1998. Is he eligible to apply for a green card?

    1. Hi, Lucia. If an individual enters the U.S. after 1996 “without inspection” (meaning illegally) then they are generally not allowed to get a green card without leaving the United States. There are exceptions, primarily under what’s called 245(i) for those who had old petitions filed for them. However, stay tuned. The Supreme Court is going to decide a case – potentially next week – that could help people who entered the U.S. illegally if they have a U.S. citizen child.

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