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Immigration Corner | How do I get around this ban?

Published:Tuesday | November 15, 2016 | 12:00 AM
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Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

If I get a 10-year ban from the United States (US), is it possible to start the process for a waiver before the 10 years are up?

- CA

Dear CA,

The answer would depend on your immigration status when you were banned from the States, i.e., whether you were a permanent resident; in the US undocumented; left and were trying to return; or if you were a non-immigrant and received the ban. It also depends on whether you are trying to return as an immigrant or a non-immigrant.

If you were a permanent resident and were removed from the US, it would depend on what the reasons were for your deportation because the same reasons that caused your deportation also make you inadmissible to America. As a result, although your removal documents may say that you are banned for 10 years, when you apply to return, there may not be a waiver available for you that would even apply that could waive your inadmissibility.

If you were in the US and either entered fraudulently or legally and stayed for a year or more and left the country, once you leave, you trigger a mandatory 10-year ban from returning. If you are trying to return as an immigrant, you would have to apply for a waiver after you were denied your immigrant visa and your qualifying relative would have to demonstrate extreme hardship.

As a non-immigrant who is denied entry at a US border and told that you are banned for 10 years, or if a waiver is otherwise available to you as an intending immigrant, and depending on the reason for your inadmissibility, you may be able to additionally file an Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission to the United States After Deportation or Removal. Almost anyone who is inadmissible to the US can apply for a non-immigrant visa accompanied by a non-immigrant waiver.

Waivers are highly complicated and require an in-depth knowledge of the particular circumstances before an immigration attorney can advise a client on the matter.

- Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States and family, criminal, and personal- injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator, and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida.