When Can You Return to the Country After Deportation?

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When Can You Return to the Country After Deportation?

Deportation is the worst fear of many immigrants within the United States. However, even if you were deported or have been placed in removal proceedings, it does not always mean that you cannot return to the country in the future. 

After deportation, you will be banned from returning to the country for five, 10, or even 20 years. In some cases, you may be ineligible to return at any time in the future. In other situations, you may be able to return even before your ban expires. An Illinois immigration lawyer can advise on your case and the options available to you.

Determine if You Have an Order of Removal Against You

People do not always know if an immigration judge has actually issued an order of removal against them. This sometimes happens because a person did not appear in immigration court when they were required to do so, or because they went to court but do not remember what happened during the proceedings. If this is the case, it is important to determine if an immigration judge has issued an order of removal.

If you did not show up for your court hearing, an immigration judge may have ordered you removed without your knowledge. If you went to your court hearing and the judge granted a voluntary departure request, you can leave the country within a certain period of time without any of the legal consequences that result from an order of removal. However, you may still not be able to return to the country for a certain period of time.

The Length of Bans After Deportation

Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act outlines the lengths of bans on individuals returning to the country. The length of these bans will depend on your situation, but generally speaking you could face any of the following:

  • Five years: If you were deported upon arrival at a port of entry into the United States, or if you were summarily removed, you may have a five year ban before you can attempt to enter the United States again. You may also face a five-year ban if you entered the country but were placed into removal proceedings immediately afterwards and then deported. Failing to show up for your removal hearing can also result in a five-year ban.
  • 10 years: If an immigration judge issued a removal order after your removal hearing, you may not be able to return to the country for 10 years.
  • 20 years: If more than one order of removal has been issued against you, or you have been convicted of an aggravated felony, you are banned from returning to the country for 20 years.

While these bans do extend for long times, an immigration lawyer can advise on the options you still have, such as applying for a waiver.

Our Illinois Immigration Attorneys Can Help with Your Case

If you are facing deportation, or have already been removed from the country and wish to return, our immigration attorneys in Illinois are here to help. At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC we are dedicated to helping immigrants remain in the country and we will also advise you of your options for returning if you have already been removed. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation.