If you’ve ever faced the challenge of deportation or removal from the United States, then you’re probably familiar with the I-212 “Waiver” – for purposes of clarity, the I-212 application is not actually a waiver, but it’s often referred to as such because (like waivers) it provides an exception to admission to someone who is otherwise inadmissible. This I-212, often a lifeline for many, is a legal document that can potentially allow an individual who has been deported or removed from the U.S. to return before their stipulated time of penalty ends.
This might sound like a chance at redemption, and in many ways, it is, but actually going through the process and meeting the eligibility criteria can be quite difficult.
At The Law Office of Lina Baroudi, we aim to shed light on what an I-212 entails and why it’s crucial when facing deportation or removal. We’ll walk you through the application process step by step, helping you understand the various requirements and criteria to be met for a successful application.
What is the I-212 Application?
Form I-212 is a formal request for authorization to reapply for entry into the United States after an individual has been deported or removed from the country.
These policies can often seem harsh as they generally bar such individuals from returning for 5 to 20 years, depending on their removal circumstances. However, by applying for an I-212, it’s possible to seek permission to reapply for admission into the U.S. before this time expires.
Some people mistakenly think that anyone can apply for the I-212 at any time. This isn’t true. You must meet specific eligibility criteria before you can file an I-212 application.
For instance, in those situations, you must have left the United States and spent some time outside the country before applying. Furthermore, there are considerations regarding your moral character and other “favorable factors.”
Eligibility Criteria for Granting an I-212 Application
In general, if you’ve been removed from the United States and want to come back, there’s typically a waiting period you must adhere to before applying for readmission.
This waiting period can vary based on various factors, including the reason for your removal, the duration of your stay in the U.S. before removal, and other related aspects.
Besides meeting these waiting period requirements, you must have a genuine reason for wanting to return, such as being married to a U.S. citizen or having close family ties in the country.
However, simply meeting these criteria does not guarantee approval; each application is evaluated on its own merits, and even minor criminal offenses can result in denial.
I-212 Application Process
To apply for an I-212, you must gather all necessary documentation to support your case.
- Documentation detailing the circumstances of your prior deportation or removal, including the reason for removal and the duration of your presence in the U.S. before removal.
- Proof of “favorable factors” such as certificates of completion for rehabilitation programs or letters of recommendation from respected community figures or employers.
- Evidence of your connections to the U.S., which could involve family ties, property ownership, or business interests. If you include relatives in your application, provide evidence of your relationship. If your relative is a U.S. citizen, you must submit proof of their U.S. citizenship.
- Any pertinent court records or police reports related to your previous deportation or removal.
You must attach this information to your I-212 and file it at the appropriate filing address, along with the filing fee of $930. Upon receipt of your application, USCIS will begin processing it; however, the application timeline can be unpredictable.
Proving “Favorable Factors” for an I-212 Application
When applying for an I-212, demonstrating “favorable factors” is crucial to enhance the likelihood of a successful petition. Favorable factors are positive aspects of your case that can weigh in your favor and support your request for permission to reapply for admission into the United States.
Here are some examples of favorable factors you can consider including in your application:
- Close Familial Connections in the United States: Highlight any strong family ties you have with U.S. citizens or green card holders. This may include immediate family members such as parents, spouses, or children residing in the United States. Emphasize the significance of these relationships and how your return would positively impact your family.
- Hardship Experienced by You or Your Relatives: If your absence from the United States is causing or would cause significant hardship to you, your U.S. citizen or green card-holding family members, or your U.S. employer, it’s crucial to provide evidence. This can encompass financial, emotional, or other hardships that underscore the importance of your presence in the country.
- Evidence of Reform and Rehabilitation: Demonstrate your commitment to reform and rehabilitation since the time of your removal or deportation. This could include participation in rehabilitation programs, educational achievements, or community involvement that showcases your efforts to lead a law-abiding life.
- Previous Lawful Presence in the U.S.: If you have a history of lawful presence in the United States before your deportation or removal, it can serve as a favorable factor. This demonstrates your prior compliance with immigration laws and your potential for future adherence.
It’s essential to provide detailed and well-documented information to support these favorable factors. You can include affidavits, letters of support, financial records, certificates of rehabilitation, and any other relevant documentation that strengthens your case.
Additionally, consult with our family immigration lawyers to help craft a persuasive application and navigate the complexities of the waiver process.
What Happens After Filing Form I-212?
If your application is granted – congratulations! You can proceed with visa processing or adjustment of status procedures depending on your situation. However, an approval doesn’t guarantee visa issuance – other grounds of inadmissibility can still apply.
On the other hand, if it’s denied, don’t lose hope! It’s a tough blow, but remember that there are options like appealing the decision or reapplying after addressing factors that led to denial. Each case is unique, and outcomes can be different even under similar circumstances, so it’s essential to consult with immigration lawyers who understand these processes thoroughly.
What to Do if Your Application is Denied
If your I-212 is denied, don’t lose hope, as options are still available.
Here are a few things to consider moving forward:
- Appeal Procedures: In most cases, if your I-212 is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. This process involves submitting additional evidence and legal arguments about why the denial was incorrect. It’s advisable to consult with an immigration attorney with experience in these types of cases.
- Reapplication Strategies: If appealing isn’t an option or doesn’t lead to success, reapplying for the I-212 might be another route worth exploring. You’ll need to address any deficiencies identified in the original denial and provide new evidence supporting why you should be granted a waiver.
- Seek Legal Advice: Whether you decide to appeal or reapply, seeking advice from experienced immigration attorneys can greatly increase your chances of success by guiding you through these complicated procedures.
- Patience is Key: Remember that both these processes take time – often months or even years – so patience and persistence are key here.
For legal guidance and support with your I-212 application, contact The Law Office of Lina Baroudi.