Are you subject to the Permanent Bar?
By: Ally Bolour, Law Offices of Ally Bolour, APC
The permanent bar is ominous. A person who is subject to the permanent bar is potentially many years away from ever being eligible for immigration to the U.S.
INA Section 212(a)(9)(C)(i) makes inadmissible “Any alien who (I) has been unlawfully present in the United States for an aggregate period of more than 1 year, or (II) has been ordered removed under section 235(b)(1), section 240 , or any other provision of law, and who enters or attempts to reenter the United States without being admitted.” This law went into effect on April 1, 1997.
Examples – For entries after April 1, 1997:
- Foreign national (FN) crosses the border without authorization and stays in the U.S. for one year or longer – then goes back home and returns again without authorization. FN is subject to the permanent bar.
- FN crosses the border without authorization but stays for a few months only. He crosses the border again without authorization several times, but only a few months at a time. If the total amount of time spent in the U.S. is over one year, FN is subject to the permanent bar.
- FN tries to cross the border but is apprehended. He gets an “expedited removal” order and is sent back. The next day, he successfully enters the U.S. and never leaves. FN is subject to the permanent bar.
- FN tries to cross the border but is apprehended – and is sent back voluntarily. The next day, he successfully enters the U.S. and never leaves. FN is NOT subject to the permanent bar.
FNs who crossed the border without authorization – with or without a prior deportation – are not subject to the permanent bar.
Its extremely difficult, but not impossible, to overcome the permanent bar. A FN subject to the permanent bar may request permission to enter the U.S. after waiting outside for 10 years or apply for special waivers if he/she is a victim of crimes or a battered spouses.
Unless Congress changes the law – the permanent bar is here to stay. If you are unsure about your immigration history – we can obtain a copy of your records via a request under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA.) Please feel free to contact our office at 323-857-0034 for a free consultation regarding this or any other immigration issue.