Waiver I-212: Permission to Reapply for a Visa After Deportation

Deportation is a very painful event, especially if the individual has tenuous or no ties with his or her country of origin. It is definitely a life-altering event.

Many deportees face penalties of 5 years, 10 years or 20 years away from the USA, depending on the particular circumstances of the case and the reason for removal.

After the penalty time has passed, some persons may seek to ask the USA government permission to re-enter the country legally. Their petition may be considered, again, depending on the specific circumstances of their cases.

Seeking a waiver from deportation

However, persons who had been deported from the USA may seek to re-entry legally before the expiration of the penalty period if they are eligible for a visa thanks, for example, to a previous family petition or marriage to a US citizen. The person may ask for a “permission to reapply” or “consent to reapply” for a visa to reenter before the expiration of the inadmissibility by filing the Form I-212 called Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal.

This means the person must qualify to receive the visa.  If a person qualified and was approved for a visa, for example for being the spouse of a U.S. citizen, after obtaining permission to reapply for a visa, the person will have to start from the very beginning for the immigrant visa process.  But if circumstances have changed such that the person no longer qualifies for the original visa — for example, a divorce previous to the removal – this person will no longer qualify for an immigrant visa.    

Fulfilling deportation penalties 

People who have remained outside the United States for their entire inadmissibility period do not need the I-212 permission to reapply. They must still return to the U.S. lawfully, through a U.S. port-of-entry and in accordance with proper procedures.

It is important to note that I-212 waivers are discretionary (optional) and there are factors the government will consider when deciding whether to grant a waiver such as:

  • The reason the person was deported.
  • How long ago the person was deported.
  • The length of the person’s lawful residence in the U.S. (if any).
  • The applicant’s moral character and respect for law and order
  • Evidence of reformation and rehabilitation
  • Whether the applicant is inadmissible to the U.S. under other sections of law
  • The applicant’s family responsibilities in the United States
  • Hardship to family members who are lawfully present in the U.S.
  • The need for the applicant to work in the U.S.

Applicants who are ineligible by reason of prior fraud may also need to obtain an I-601 waiver. In such a case, both forms should be filed with the U.S. Consulate where the applicant lives.

I-212 waiver cost

The I-212 waiver cost is $930, plus additional fees if biometric services are required (as of 8/12/2019).

USCIS conducts a background and security check-in connection with I-212 waiver applications. It includes a search of criminal history records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

The above is provided for information only. It does not constitute legal advice. Always consult with attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta for the specifics of your case.

Contact Attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta

Please contact attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta for a consultation on immigration matters, including corporate immigration. He was an H-1B recipient and went through the immigration system when he worked as an engineer before he became a lawyer.

Schedule an appointment at (480) 324-6378 with Carmen.

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