Sun | Dec 15, 2019

Immigration Corner | Will my stepson be granted a waiver?

Published:Tuesday | November 12, 2019 | 12:16 AM
Dahlia Walker-Huntington
Dahlia Walker-Huntington

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

My stepson was deported from the United States because he ran out of status and got into trouble with the law for marijuana. He is married and has one child with his wife. Is it possible for her to file for him to come back to the United States?


Dear MP,

There is a lot of information missing from your question that needs to be known in order to give you an answer.

Since you said your stepson 'ran out of status', I am assuming he entered the United States with a visa and overstayed. When persons overstay their allotted time in America and leave, they face a mandatory bar to returning. If they overstay for six months, but less than a year, they face a mandatory three-year bar from going back to America. However, if they overstay for a year or more and leave the United States, they are barred from returning for 10 years. An individual can overcome the inadmissibility of the mandatory bar if they have a qualifying relative to apply for a waiver.

There are numerous criminal charges that can be associated with marijuana - from simple possession to drug trafficking. Possession of 25 grams or less is a deportable offense and if you are trying to enter the United States, that will make you inadmissible. However, there is a waiver available if the intending immigrant meets the necessary requirements. Anything over 25 grams needs detailed analysis with an immigration attorney to determine any possibility of your stepson returning to the United States.

When a person is removed from the United States, their deportation document indicates how long they are to remain out of the US – there is a different waiver if the deportee is applying to return before the specified time.

You didn’t indicate if your stepson was married at the time of his removal and/or if he had an immigration attorney who tried any measures to prevent the removal. That information will be instructive to any avenue to return.

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