Wondering, “How long after deportation can you return to the U.S.”? Depending on the circumstances of deportation, deportees will need to wait a certain amount of time before they can re-enter the U.S. This waiting period usually lasts for around five to 20 years. In some cases, deportees may be entirely unable to regain entry into the U.S.
The amount of time a person needs to wait before re-entering the country depends on the specific reason they underwent deportation. For instance, the government may deport immigrants for committing certain crimes or entering the country illegally.
Reasons Why the Government Deports Individuals
The U.S. government may choose to deport certain individuals for several reasons. Typically, deportation can take place if the individual:
- Was inadmissible upon either entering the U.S. or making adjustments to their status or if they violated the specific terms of their immigration status.
- Has a criminal charge involving any crimes that qualify for deportation.
- Failed to register with immigration authorities in time or forged documents
- Appears to pose a threat to national security
While the first three reasons for deportation have waivers available, individuals found to be a national security threat won’t be able to apply for a waiver. Additionally, individuals who undergo deportation because of an aggravated felony conviction will likely be unable to re-enter the country for 20 years. However, lesser charges tend to allow re-entry within five to 10 years, after which time individuals can apply for a waiver.
What Happens During Deportation
Once a judge orders a person’s removal from the U.S., deportees will receive a “bag and baggage” letter from the American government. The letter will go to the address that the deportee gives the immigration court. The details of this letter will include the location and date to which the individual must report, along with information about how much baggage the person can carry with them. The government then arranges transport for the individual to physically remove them from the country and transport them to their designated location.
Waiting Period to Return to the U.S.
Following the deportation process, deportees will be unable to re-enter the country for a minimum of five years, with some being unable to enter permanently. The majority of deportees are unable to return for 10 years, but the specific waiting period depends on the circumstances of the deportation.
Five-Year Waiting Period
Some individuals may have to wait for five years before they can re-enter after deportation. This might happen if they were removed or deported at a border or port of entry in the U.S. and found to be inadmissible. Deportees may also have a five-year waiting period if they were deported or removed via removal proceedings upon arriving in the United States. Another reason for this period is if an individual failed to appear at or prematurely left their court proceedings.
10-Year Waiting Period
Some may face a 10-year waiting period if they appeared before an Immigration Judge who ordered deportation, regardless of the person’s appearance or absence.
20-Year Waiting Period
Deportees who already underwent deportation once and subsequently tried to illegally re-enter the U.S. before their 10-year waiting period concluded face a 20-year ban.
Some circumstances may warrant a person’s permanent removal from the U.S. Specifically, individuals will be unable to re-enter entirely if they have an aggravated felony conviction or if they re-entered the country unlawfully after deportation.
Applying for Re-Entry to the U.S.
After deportation, applying for re-entry can be a strenuous process. First, you need to wait the appropriate amount of time. In most cases, applying for re-entry to the U.S. involves restarting the entire visa application process.
Preparing to Apply for Re-Entry After Deportation
Deportees will have to wait different amounts of time before they can return to the U.S. If people facing deportation are uncertain about the waiting period they face or want to learn about their options, they can consult an immigration lawyer to discuss their case. It’s important to understand how immigration violations can impact your future in the U.S. and your ability to return if you’re deported.