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Bars to Returning to the U.S.

Punishment for Unlawful Presence

When a foreign national is accused of having violated some aspect of United States immigration law, the risk of being deported / removed is not the only problem that he or she will face. As a punishment for having broken the rules, the individual may face a bar to returning to the United States. This barrier comes in the form of being declared inadmissible for entry to this country, even if the foreign national is otherwise able to satisfy all of the requirements for eligibility.

You may be declared inadmissible based on a number of different grounds, including unlawful presence - whether through unauthorized entry or overstaying the period of your visa - as well as criminal conviction and fraud or misrepresentation in your immigration petition. In most cases, the bar to reentry is only of temporary duration. For example, if you are accused of being unlawfully present for more than 180 days continuously, you will most likely be placed under a 3-year bar, while more than a year of continuous unlawful presence is punishable with a 10-year bar.

Options for Overcoming Bars to Returning

There are, fortunately, many different options for challenging your inadmissible status, one of the most common of which is to file a petition for a Waiver of Inadmissibility. Such waivers are reserved for cases in which deportation would impose "extreme hardship" upon a family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Further, you may be eligible for the U visa, which is available for certain victims of violent crimes. Another option is to file a motion to reopen the case based on the fact that circumstances have changed or if the original ruling constituted a miscarriage of justice.

For example, your alleged unlawful presence may have actually been during a period in which you were awaiting a decision on your immigration petition, or perhaps you were actually eligible for temporary protected status during that time. To find out what strategy is best for your case, contact us at the Mathur Law Offices, P.C., A Dallas immigration lawyer from our team can assist you while you are abroad, as well as working with family members in Dallas who need help in resolving a loved one's immigration legal issues.

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