Question: I committed a crime and was deported from the United States about 3 years ago. I’m wondering if I can get back to the United States? There are those that are encouraging me to come illegally to the US as I will never be able to return to the United States.
Answer: There are several parts to this question. First of all, it is possible to get back legally to the United States. However, there are several different factors here. First of all, I would need to know about what type of crime you committed. Some crimes have waivers. Some do not. Some are aggravated felonies. Each particular kind of crime gives me information as to how I can help you and what can be done. For example, if it were classified as an aggravated felon, I might determine whether you had a jury trial or whether you plead guilty or nolo contendre.
I might then determine whether you were properly advised of your immigration consequences and whether you knowingly made a guilty plea or not. We might be able to then do a motion to vacate or reduce the judgement so that you are not considered to be an aggravated felon. Afterwards, I might be able to make the necessary motion to reopen or various other motions to vacate a prior immigration or deportation order (since the crime leading to the deportation might have disappeared.)
Alternatively, I might determine you are not an aggravated felon, and therefore, do not need to do criminal relief and/or vacate the crime. Rather, I would determine if the particular crime allowed for a Waiver of that crime and if you had a qualifying relative. If so, then we could get the Waiver prepared along with the various petitions to get you back to the US.
Finally, I might determine that you are not inadmissible on the crime and no Waiver is needed.
Question: How about the prior deportation order? What can be done?
Answer: Again, some of the actual procedures will differ depending on the actual case and what needs to be done. However, there have what is known as a Permission for Re-entry to the US This is an entire application upon which will have a legal brief, declaration, affidavit and other types of evidence. If approved, then the deportation bar will basically disappear. Normally, you would be given a 10 year bar to not being able to return to the US. This has nothing to do with the crime or Waivers. Rather, it has to do with the actual deportation order itself. Thus, if the Permission to Reapply is granted, the 10 year deportation bar is removed and you are permitted to come legally back to the US (with the proper petitions) even though you had a deportation order.
Thus, there is no reason to await for 10 years before you start the process. In fact, you can actually start the Permission to Reenter a day after you are deported. You can even start it while you are still in the country with a deportation order.
Question: So, after that I can just return?
Answer: Still yet, it is not that easy. Once the Permission to Reenter is made and approved and any Waivers of Inadmissibility are done and completed, there must be a visa petition upon which you qualify to come back to the U.S. Thus, in most cases, there are three separate petitions needed in order to eventually come back. However, if done properly, all three could take as little as about 1 ½ years instead of the 10 or 20 years.