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The deportation or removal of an alien from the United States erects time period bars to the United States of five, 10, 20, or lifetime depending upon the basis for the prior deportation or removal. While Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, increased the length of time the alien must remain outside the United States after a prior removal, it did not alter the mechanism by which an alien can seek permission to return prior to the expiration of those bars on a discretionary basis.

If the alien has remained outside the United States for the required time frames, it is not necessary to file an application for consent to reapply for admission after deportation or removal. The alien seeking admission, a visa or adjustment of status must present proof to the adjudicating officer that he or she has remained outside the United States  for the appropriate time frame and if there is not satisfactory proof, he mus submit an application for permission to reapply.

For aliens seeking admission on a nonimmigrant visa, the regulations provide use of either a waiver or an “Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal.

Finally, an alien can seek advance approval if he or she is in the United States and is expected to leave under an order of deportation, but has a good basis for returning to the United States in the future. It is a “conditional” approval contingent upon the alien’s satisfactory departure and does not waive any inadmissibility for proceedings instituted subsequent to the day permission is granted.

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