What is the permanent bar?
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- What is the permanent bar?
Some people have years, maybe even decades, trying to become lawful immigrants, but have not found a way to achieve it due to unlawful entries and exits. For that reason, it is recommendable to get the assessment of an immigration attorney.
Certain people who have unlawful entries and exits don’t have a way to become lawful immigrants due to their under-permanent bar situation. It is worth mentioning that not everyone who has unlawful entries and exits is under permanent bar.
Permanent bar prohibits immigrants to fix their immigration status in no other way than leaving the US. This bar affects people with more than one year of unlawful presence in the US, unlawful entries and exits, or a deportation order (after April 1st of 1997). If a person re-enters the country unlawfully, it will fall under the permanent bar.
Those people who tried to enter the US with someone else’s visa or passport can get an expedited removal from immigration officers. If a person who has a deportation order exits (or is removed from) the US and comes back unlawfully (after April 1st of 1997), it will be under the permanent bar.
A common scenario is that a person tries to enter the US unlawfully, gets captured while trying, returned with a voluntary exit: and ends up entering the US successfully. In these cases, leaving the US to fix migratory status in Ciudad Juárez or in a US consulate abroad is not an option.
Those who are married to a US citizen or legal resident, or have a US citizen or legal resident parent, looking to submit a waiver for the unlawful presence or entries, and trying to fix immigrant status via I-601A should be careful with this strategy. Salir de los Estados Unidos bajo el castigo permanente puede ser peligroso, ya que podrían negarte la petición y aplicarte un castigo de 10 años. Leaving the US under permanent bar can be risky, since you could get your petition denied and a 10-years bar.
The problem is not having a 10-year bar, but that there is no way to apply for a waiver other than waiting for the 10 years to pass out of the US. You would also need to apply for an I-212 waiver, and even this way there is no way to guarantee the waiver to be approved after 10 years.
For those with unlawful entries and exits, whose last entry was illegal, or who are under the permanent bar, it is recommended to avoid trying to fix migratory status out of the US by applying for a waiver, since the case could get denied and penalized with a 10-year bar. It is also recommended to be cautious with migratory procedures that give the opportunity to obtain legal status without leaving the US, like 245i law protection.
With 245i law, even if you have a petition filed before April 30th of 2001, are an ex-spouse or offspring of someone with a petition filed before April 30th of 2001, it should be handled carefully, since this law won’t either help if you are under the permanent bar.
Those with an offspring or spouse who is (or was) in US Army looking to start a Parole-in-place procedure should know that this won’t either help with permanent bar. Permanent bar cannot be pardoned.
If you try to leave the country to apply for a waiver and are under the permanent bar, your case will be denied. This option won’t work. Neither if you are under 245i law protection or Parole-in-place. It doesn’t mean that there is no way to obtain legal status when under the permanent bar. There are different ways to achieve it.
3 ways to become lawful while under permanent bar
It is worth noting that not everyone can become lawful when under a permanent bar.
There are three ways to get those procedures done through humanitarian visas:
- T Visa
- U Visa
These visas can give the opportunity to reach permanent residence even when having unlawful entries and exits, being under the permanent bar, or having entered the US unlawfully after a deportation order.
Even with these visas, you may not be able to obtain permanent residence. However, you could reach a migratory status with which you have working permission, social security number, and protection against deportation for life.
VAWA visa, for example, can apply to people who are married to (or separated from) a US citizen or legal resident, people who have divorced a US citizen or legal resident (up to 2 years), or people with a son or daughter who is US citizen or legal resident and over-21-years-old. A requirement to apply for a visa via VAWA is that some type of violence exists.
As VAWA cases are completely confidential procedures, it must be known that such procedures won’t affect the person on who the case is based. Either if you are applying for becoming a lawful immigrant through your married (or divorced) to a US citizen or legal resident status. or if you are applying through a son or daughter over 21 years, you won’t harm this person in no way.
Bear in mind that violence includes emotional mistreatment, either verbal or psychological. For instance, if your spouse screams or offends you, makes despective comments regarding your migratory situation, or threatens you on calling Immigration Department, among other ways of mistreatment.
Also, if you were victim of certain types of crimes within the US and help the police or government with information about the crime, you could apply for a U visa.
One feature about humanitarian visas is that they can help with the permanent bar if you are eligible, so you could fix your migratory status without leaving the US and get a work permission while the procedure is being held.
Would you like to know if you are under the permanent bar or which ways you have to become a lawful immigrant in the US? Call us at (202) 933-3379, and we’ll gladly evaluate your case to provide the best possible solutions.
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