Citizenship and Immigration Services Updates Policy on Unlawful Presence Bars | Harris Beach PLLC

On June 24, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Expert services issued new guidance in its Plan Manual on inadmissibility below area 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The new advice clarifies that the three- and 10-year illegal existence bars continue to run after reentry to the United States, formalizing the statutory interpretation that the area of an particular person issue to an illegal presence bar is irrelevant – the bars can be discharged in full or in element inside of the United States.

Especially, the new guidance states: “A noncitizen who once more seeks admission additional than 3 or 10 decades after the related departure or removal, is not inadmissible under INA §212(a)(9)(B) even if the noncitizen returned to the United States, with or devoid of authorization, for the duration of the statutory 3-year or 10-yr time period.” In so stating, USCIS articulates, for the initial time, that the three- and ten-year bars carry on to operate, even when an particular person topic to possibly bar returns to or stays inside the United States. The new steering does not deal with or otherwise reduce inadmissibility owing to the permanent bar in INA §212(a)(9)(C).

What is Unlawful Existence?

“Unlawful presence” is a phrase of art in immigration regulation referring to any time accrued towards the a few-12 months or ten-yr bars. It is a separate authorized idea from getting “out of standing,” which, while illegal, has no direct bearing on regardless of whether a three-12 months or ten-12 months bar applies.

A overseas countrywide can go out of status for any style of position violation. For case in point, an individual on an H-1B visa is restricted to working for the petitioning employer, so if he is effective on the facet for yet another business with no authorization, he goes out of standing. Nevertheless, this person would not be accruing any unlawful existence.

USCIS advice implies that international nationals start accruing illegal presence only on a person of the subsequent occurrences: entry to the U.S. without inspection (unlawful existence accrues as of the day of entry) expiration of an I-94 entry document (unlawful existence accrues as of the working day right after it expires) or notification by the Immigration Assistance or an Immigration Judge that the overseas nationwide is out of standing (illegal existence accrues as of the working day of the created detect). Any time put in in the U.S. right after a single of these triggering occasions is viewed as “unlawful presence.”

Who Turns into Matter to The Three- or Ten-12 months Bar?

Less than INA §212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I), an individual who has accrued a lot more than 180 but considerably less than 365 days of unlawful presence during a one keep in the United States, and who has voluntarily departed the United States, is inadmissible for a three-yr interval from the date of “departure or elimination.” In addition, beneath INA §212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II), an person who has accrued one particular 12 months or much more of illegal presence through a solitary stay, and who thereafter departed the United States, is inadmissible for a 10-yr period. An immigrant waiver of these bars (filed on Sort I-601) is offered to people applicants who can set up “extreme hardship” – hardship that includes additional than the frequent consequences of denying admission – to a qualifying relative. A qualifying relative is outlined as a U.S. citizen or lawful everlasting resident, partner, or dad or mum under INA §212(a)(9)(B)(v). As lots of men and women issue to the bars do not have these precise family and thus cannot file the waivers, any steerage that gets rid of them from inadmissibility thanks to unlawful presence will be pretty welcome.

What Is the Long term Bar?

The so-known as long term bar is identified in INA §212(a)(9)(C)(i), which would make inadmissible “Any alien who (I) has been unlawfully current in the United States for an mixture interval of additional than 1 yr, or (II) has been requested taken off beneath part 235(b)(1), area 240, or any other provision of legislation, and who enters or makes an attempt to reenter the United States with no being admitted.”

For illustration, if somebody have been to enter the United States devoid of inspection, then keep on being in the United States for a person entire 12 months or more, and then depart and endeavor to cross the border without inspection a second time, they would be inadmissible beneath the lasting bar. Equally, if someone were to depart and reenter the U.S. several instances without having inspection and if the complete time period of time spent in the U.S. right after entry with out inspection had been to add up to a person yr, they would trigger the permanent bar the to start with time they try to enter immediately after accruing one particular full yr of unlawful presence in the U.S. “in combination.” In addition, anyone who was earlier taken off from the U.S. (irrespective of whether as a result of formalized removal proceedings or by means of an expedited removal) would trigger the long-lasting bar by seeking to enter the U.S. with no inspection thereafter.

Implication of the New Guidance in the Family members-Primarily based Immigration Context

Until the issuance of USCIS’ new advice, it was unclear wherever people matter to the three- or ten-12 months bar must discharge these bars. Could they be expended inside of the United States or have to they be spent outdoors? Offered the lack of any statutory assistance or revealed Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision stating the agency’s interpretation on this challenge, practitioners would argue with different levels of good results that clients who departed and brought on the a few- or ten-yr illegal presence bar did not have to devote that time period outdoors the United States. In 2009, USCIS agreed in a memorandum that the bars would run while the subject matter was inside the United States in just one pretty constrained situation: where he or she re-entered the nation lawfully and remained in standing for the duration.

Discharging the 3- or ten-12 months bar when physically existing in just the United States is typically favored by persons, as quite a few of the people topic to an illegal existence bar have ties to household associates and communities inside the United States.

How Could Someone Who Is Subject matter to Three- or Ten-12 months Bar Reenter the United States?

An personal who has accrued sufficient illegal presence to set off a 3- or ten- yr bar only triggers that bar by departing the United States. That specific is inadmissible to the United States in any capacity—whether as an immigrant or as a nonimmigrant, absent a waiver. So how could anyone reenter the U.S. to serve the bar when physically current in the United States if they are inadmissible?

People today with a pre-existing nonimmigrant visa who overstayed a prior admission might not use that visa to legally enter the U.S. following triggering a 3 or 10 12 months bar, as the prior overstay voids the visa as an act of legislation under INA §222(g). If a person were being to enter the U.S. using a prior visa in this circumstance, they would be committing fraud. This is an illustration of “robbing Peter to shell out Paul,” as the discharging of inadmissibility owing to illegal existence is exchanged for new inadmissibility due to misrepresentation (and the latter simply cannot be discharged by time and persistence, only by the aforementioned waiver application).

In some situations, the particular person really obtains the new visa at a U.S. consulate just after departing from the to start with trip. Right here all over again, there is a obvious misrepresentation, as the visa would not be granted ended up the consulate aware of the prior overstay, which should be disclosed on the DS-160 Sort. The act of leaving the travel background off of Kind DS-160 or legacy Form DS-156 is once again a misrepresentation that would let an specific to get hold of the new visa and enter the U.S. to provide the 3- or 10-year bar, but at the same time triggering a new floor of inadmissibility that can not be discharged, but needs a waiver.

How then to re-enter lawfully, devoid of misrepresentation, and provide the bars? The personal would have to have a nonimmigrant waiver. Nonimmigrant waivers are much a lot more broad than immigrant waivers and do not call for a qualifying relative. Anyone who is subject matter to the bar could apply for a nonimmigrant waiver in conjunction with a visa application at a U.S. consulate overseas. If granted, that particular person would be qualified to enter the U.S. on a short term visa and carry on to accrue the requisite a few- or ten-12 months time period required to discharge the bar.

In observe, it is a lot more likely that an person matter to the three- or 10-calendar year bar would be granted a nonimmigrant waiver if seeking admission to the United States in an employment-centered nonimmigrant position this kind of as H-1B or L-1, than if they had been seeking admission as a customer. This is since a person of the aspects thought of in adjudicating eligibility for a nonimmigrant waiver (which is granted in the government’s discretion) is the objective of the individual’s entry to the United States. If the person is trying to get admission to the U.S. to pay a visit to kinfolk (especially a U.S. citizen husband or wife), the govt may perhaps believe that the unique, who not long ago overstayed a prior admission time period, will simply do so once more and then use for everlasting residency once the bar is discharged. The plan update does not support those people people seeking to enter lawfully a next time about until they also refrain from committing additional acts for inadmissibility applications, i.e., committing fraud or misrepresentation on Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, to understate the length of their previous overstay through a prior admission period.

Regardless of whether obtained with an attached nonimmigrant waiver or by way of misrepresentation, entry with a visa will serve to discharge the bars by means of time. What is startling to many practitioners, however, is that the new advice also implies that if the unique enters the United States devoid of inspection, the time they shell out in the U.S. also counts towards discharging the bar. Keep in brain, however, that this can only take place for people today who are not also subject matter to the long-lasting bar, and that the long term bar is induced when an unique makes an attempt to enter the U.S. (or essentially does so) with no inspection just after obtaining accrued a single 12 months of unlawful presence in mixture.

It must also be observed that if an individual were to enter the United States devoid of inspection, he would all over again be unlawfully existing in the U.S.—meaning that even while discharging a prior three- or ten-calendar year bar, he is accruing time towards a potential new three- or ten-calendar year bar and/or a permanent bar. On the other hand, these bars are only induced by a subsequent departure from the United States. Thus, if a person continues to be bodily existing in the U.S. lengthy sufficient to discharge the prior 3- or ten-calendar year bar and thereafter has a basis to change status in the U.S. (usually by means of marriage to a U.S. citizen), they would keep eligibility for lasting residency.


In summary, the new plan assistance may perhaps be helpful for noncitizens who ended up admitted to the United States but overstayed and induced a bar on departure from the U.S. They might be now qualified to utilize for long lasting home, if usually competent to do so, with no the will need for an immigrant waiver, even immediately after reentering the United States and discharging some or all of the three- or 10-yr bar while physically present in the United States. The new guidance will result in a additional reliable software of how the 3- or ten-year time period of inadmissibility below INA §212(a)(9)(B) will be established amongst neighborhood USCIS discipline workplaces that adjudicate apps for lasting residency.

Illegal presence is just one of the most challenging subject areas in immigration legislation, and every single predicament really should be analyzed diligently.