What if I Was Deported in the Past?

If you were deported from the United States in the past, can you ever return to the U.S? The answer will depend upon why you were deported in the first place.

When you are deported an immigration judge issues an order of removal against you. If you cannot remember if this happened to you, the first step in figuring out if you can return to the U.S. is to find out this information. If you left the country voluntarily without the removal notice, you may have a chance at coming back, but it will still not be for a number of years. 

However, if you were given the chance to leave voluntarily and did not do so, your voluntary departure turns into an order of removal, in which case it may be very difficult to come back to the United States. Even if you left the country voluntarily after being here illegally, it may take several years before you can return, depending upon how long you were in the U.S. illegally.

Why were you deported?

The number of years you can be banned from entering the United States will be determined by the reason you were deported. There are four different time spans that the government uses when deciding when and if you can return to the U.S.

  • Banned for five years – If at the U.S. port of entry you were found not to be admissible, or if you were removed shortly after you were put in removal proceedings when you entered the U.S., it may be five years before you can come back to the U.S.
  • Banned for ten years – This is issued by an immigration judge at the end of your removal hearing. This could take place even if you were not at immigration court to attend the proceedings. This ban keeps you from returning to the U.S. for ten years.
  • Twenty-Year Ban – If you try to come back into the U.S. before your ten-year ban is up, the immigration judge may add another ten years to your ban.
  • Banned Permanently – You are banned from re-entering the United States if you are found guilty of committing an aggravated felony. You are also banned from ever coming back if you attempt to re-enter the U.S. after you were removed because you were in the country illegally for greater than one year. 

Do you have any options if you were issued a Removal Order?

There are a few options you may be able to use to return legally to the U.S.

  • Sponsorship by a employer or member of your family
  • Student visa
  • Tourist visa

To do this, you have to apply for forgiveness of your prior removal order. This is done in the form of a waiver and its purpose is to allow you to re-enter the United States legally with a green card or visa. Even if you were given notice that you were permanently prohibited from coming back to the U.S., you can still apply for a waiver. Note that if you were permanently barred, you cannot apply for the waiver until you have been outside of the United States for the full ten years.
To get help with a recent immigration issue, contact an immigration lawyer Des Moines IA from The Law Group of Iowa right away.