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Waivers Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona

Waivers of Inadmissibility & Unlawful Presence

Unlawful presence is the period of time when you are in the United States without being admitted or paroled or when you are not in a “period of stay authorized by the Secretary.” You may be barred from being admitted to the United States for:

  • Three years, if you depart the United States after having accrued more than 180 days but less than one year of unlawful presence during a single stay and before removal proceedings begin;

  • 10 years, if you depart the United States after having accrued one year or more of unlawful presence during a single stay, regardless of whether you leave before, during, or after removal proceedings; or

  • Permanently, if you reenter or try to reenter the United States without being admitted or paroled after having accrued more than one year of unlawful presence in the aggregate during one or more stays in the United States.

According to section 212(a)(9)(B)(ii) of the INA, you accrue unlawful presence if:

  • You are present in the United States without being admitted or paroled; or

  • You have remained in the United States after the expiration of the period of stay authorized by the Secretary of Homeland Security (the Secretary).

Whether an unlawful presence bar applies to you depends on the immigration benefit you are seeking. Depending on the immigration benefit you are seeking, the law may exempt you from the bar.

If one or more of the unlawful presence bars applies to you, you generally cannot obtain a visa from the U.S. Department of State, enter the United States at a port of entry, or obtain an immigration benefit such as adjustment of status (Green Card) in the United States without first obtaining a waiver or another form of relief.

Whether a waiver or other form of relief is available to you depends on the immigration benefit that you are seeking.