What is 212(a)(9)(A) of the INA?
Section 212(a)(9)(A) is a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that applies to people seeking admission into the US after they have been deported, removed, or excluded from the US. The I-212 waiver request allows previously removed aliens to be readmitted into the US before their inadmissibility (bar) has been completed.
The I-212 readmission must be sought from abroad unless the individual is not permissible under section 212(a)(9)(A) and has an order of deportation and is still in the US. These individuals may file their I-212 waiver before leaving the US.
Who is Not admissible for the I-212 under Section 212(a)(9)(A) of the INA?
- Aliens previously removed:
- Under section 235(b) (1) or under section 240, who seeks admission within five years from their removal date ( or 20 years due to a second removal, or aliens convicted of an aggravated felony
- Other aliens who:
- Are not described as the above who:
- Have been removed under section 240 or other law or
- Departed the US with a deportation order in effect and sought readmission before the 10-year bar is in effect (or 20 years if the deportation was a second offense, or the alien committed an aggravated felony.
What Bars to Reentry to the US Can Not Be Overturned?
There are some cases where you will not be granted entry to the United States, even if you file your I-212 waiver form. These situations include:
- Failure to be present at the legal hearing of your deportation
- Fraudulently claiming that you are a legal American citizen if you are an illegal alien
- If you attempt re-entry into the US before your ten or twenty-year ban has been fulfilled
- You have been convicted of an aggravated felony
- You have practiced polygamy
- Your application for US protection from hardship or abuse was fraudulent
- You have renounced your United States citizenship to avoid paying taxes.
How Does The I-212 Work For Those Still in The US?
If the individual remains in the US despite deportation orders, they are guilty of breaking immigration law and suffer legal penalties. But if a person is under a deportation order but remains in the US under TPS protection may apply for adjustment of status. Those who have a prior removal order in effect and are preparing to leave may apply for a conditional I-212 before the initiation of 212(a)(9)(A).
How Do You Win an I-212 Waiver Application?
The I-212 waiver approval is entirely up to the discretion of the United States immigration authorities. However great your application may be, the immigration official is under no obligation to approve your request for a waiver. The most critical aspects that the immigration officials will take into consideration are:
- The duration of time that has passed since you were deported from the US with a greater approval chance for greater lengths of time since the deportation.
- Your criminal history both in the United States and any other country that you might have had residence
- If you have a record of any criminal activity, your chances of approval would be higher if you have proof that you have rehabilitated yourself in the subsequent passage of time
- The amount of time you have been living in the United States and how much of that time was spent as a legal citizen
- Whether you have close family connections and responsibilities to members of your family that reside legally in the US
- You should make sure that you present real evidence of substantial hardships to your close relatives, to yourself, or other US residents should your waiver be denied. This evidence should be more than just the simple hardships of separation
- You can show that you have certified skills or vocation that is in demand in the United States
- If you suffer from poverty and cannot show a viable skill or means to support yourself, you may be denied I-212 approval. The officials need to see that you would not become a ward of the state due to extreme poverty and inability to provide for yourself once you are granted permission to reenter the United States
- You have provided evidence of a law-abiding and good moral character from your home country and your dealings in the United States. There should be no question of you harming national security or endangering the citizens of the United States
- You provide some evidence that you are likely to be granted residence in the US once your I-212 waiver is granted.
- You have some form of proof that you did not gain illegal employment while you were in the United States.
What Documentation Should You Provide With Your I-212 Application?
Ensure that the documentation you provide is in the proper legal format to increase your chances of approval for your waiver application. Where possible, certified birth documentation should be provided ( not copies), and testimonies of family and members of the US should be in the form of a legal and notarized affidavit.
An immigration lawyer can assist you in providing the necessary legality to your supporting documents that will aid you in receiving approval from the immigration official. I-212 processing time can be several months, and you may lose considerable time in having to reapply for your I-212 due to insufficiently certified documentation and affidavits. From October the 2nd, 2020, I-212 fees increase to $1,050, so you need to provide the most relevant and legally compliant documentation to ensure your success.
Although this may not be an exhaustive list of documentation, here is a list of the primary documentation you should provide with your I-212 application.
✱ Documents to support the fact that your chances are good for your residence application should your waiver be approved
✱ Affidavits from reputable sources that reflect your good moral character and provide testimony regarding the hardships your family or other people might face should your waiver be denied
✱ Legally certified proof of family ties or marriage by providing birth certificates or marriage certificates
✱ Medical documentation or Psychiatric evaluations that might aid your I-212 approval
✱Financial statements and documents that show the effect your denial for reentry may cause your family or spouse
✱ Records of your employment both in your home country and legal work within the US
✱ Certifications and qualifications that show proof that you have skills/certification suitable for employment in the US
✱ Any evidence of your tax history
✱ reports of the conditions of your home country from media sources of untenable life in your home domicile should your waiver be refused
✱ Provide certified evidence of a clear criminal history in your home country and the US. If your record is not clear, provide evidence that you have rehabilitated (length of time since your offense can show this.)
How Can an Immigration Lawyer Help Your I-212 Application?
An experienced immigration lawyer can help your I-212 application substantially and ensure a streamlined and expedient application process. The benefits of enlisting the services of a qualified Immigration lawyer are numerous. Some of these benefits include:
✓ A qualified immigration lawyer would be able to advise you if you are eligible for an I-212 and the best way to proceed with your application
✓ An immigration lawyer can advise you if the I-212 is viable for your reentry into the US and whether you are admissible under the I-212 waiver. Your lawyer may advise you if your circumstances are more suited to a 1-601 or 1-610A application.
✓ A lawyer may be able to bypass the I-212 application by legal loopholes such as ‘voluntary departure’
✓An immigration lawyer will help you create the best possible application for your I-212 to approve immigration authorities’ approval. By understanding the full nuances of the legal structure and workings of the immigration law, your lawyer has in-depth knowledge of the application process.
✓Your lawyer can aid you in collecting the proper legal documentation to support your waiver application
✓ Your lawyer can ensure properly notarized and persuasive affidavit material to best promote your case
✓ Your lawyer will create a legal document that states the benefits of approval for your application in legal terms to persuade the immigration officials to approve your submission
✓ Your legal representative can respond to any follow-ups to your I-212 application process.
✓ If your I-212 is approved, your lawyer can assist you in your application for United States citizenship moving forward to your eventual aim of becoming an American legal resident
✓ Immigration laws in the US are in a state of constant flux due to changes in the political climate. Your lawyer is up to date with any immigration law changes and can advise you of their implications in your application.
When you are dealing with the complexities of unlawful presence in the US and have had previous immigration violations, the services of a lawyer specialized in the field of immigration law will stand you in good stead. I-212 applications are costly and may take many months to process, so you really should try and put your best foot forward when applying for your I-212.
Each applicant’s circumstances are unique, and consulting with a lawyer may even provide you with a legal solution without an I-212 application. A lawyer’s introduction to your case’s specific advantages that accompanies your application can also help persuade immigration officials of your individual case’s merits. with the right legal assistance, you will be one step closer to achieving your dream of living legally in the United States.