Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.
QUESTION: I am a US citizen and I filed an I-130 for my husband which was approved. My husband went to Cidad Juarez, Mexico for the visa interview. He was denied the visa and told he has to stay in Mexico for 10 years before he can reapply. Can we do anything?
ARI SAUER THE IMMIGRATION ANSWER MAN: A foreign national who enters the US without inspection or who enters on a visa and overstays their expiration date on their visa may fall into a category called “unlawful presence.” Someone who has been unlawfully present for more than 180 days and leaves the US will be subject to a three-year bar from being able to get a visa to return to the US. Someone who has been unlawfully present for more than a year and leaves the US will be subject to a ten-year bar from being able to get a visa to return to the US. There is a possibility of obtaining a waiver of the 3 or 10 year bar, without waiting the 3 or 10 years, if the applicant has a US citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent and can show that their relative will suffer extreme hardship if the waiver is not granted.
Someone who accrues a year of unlawful presence, leaves the US and then reenters the US without inspection will be subject to a permanent bar from being able to get a visa. Also if someone has been issued a removal order by an Immigration Judge or by CBP, leaves the US and then reenters without inspection they will be subject to the permanent bar as well. Someone subject to the permanent bar for unlawful presence must wait outside the US for at least 10 years before they are eligible to apply for a waiver based on hardship to their relative.
This is a brief overview of these rules. If someone feels they might have been out of status for any period of time, they should consult an immigration law attorney before filing any application or leaving the US. Also, not everyone who has fallen out of status has been “unlawfully present.” Sometimes people are not subject to the bar even when USCIS or the Consulate says they are. An attorney should be consulted to determin if the person is unlawfully present or subject to one of the bars.
More information is available at The ABC’s of Immigration: Inadmissibility – Undocumented Entry and Other Immigration Violations.
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* This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is an attorney with the Siskind Susser law firm. www.visalaw.com/ari.html. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of New York and New Jersey. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed.