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Understanding Form I-212

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What Is Form I-212?

If you have been deported or forcefully removed from the US in the past, you might have trouble entering the US legally. This is because when a deportation or removal order is issued against you by an immigration court, you automatically become inadmissible for re-entry into the US.

But all hope is not lost. It might be possible to enter the US despite your inadmissible status. But you’ll need to first obtain permission from the immigration authorities before applying for a temporary or immigrant visa. Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal, is the primary document you’ll need for the process.

Read on to understand how Form I-212 works as you prepare for the application process.

Who Needs Form I-212?

Anyone who is inadmissible for entry into the country under Sections 212(a)(9)(A) and (C) of the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) would need Form I-212 to gain lawful entry into the US.

Under those immigration laws, the categories of foreign nationals who need Form I- 212 include the following:

  • Anyone who had a removal order issued against them and seeks re-entry into the US within five years from when the order was given
  • Anyone who has had more than one removal order issued against them and seeks re-entry into the US within 20 years from when the last order was given
  • Anyone who was deported after a criminal conviction for an aggravated felony and is seeking re-entry into the US
  • Anyone who voluntarily left the US after a removal order was issued against them and who desires to reenter the US within ten years from when the order was made or 20 years for those who had multiple removal orders issued against them
  • Anyone who has been unlawfully present in the US for a cumulative period of up to one year.

This list is extensive. Hence, if your case is outside the above categories, you can contact an immigration attorney to evaluate your situation and help determine your eligibility.

Filing Form I-212

Before filing Form I-212, you’ll need to complete the form carefully. Some of the information you’ll need to provide in the form includes the following:

  • Your full name
  • Physical address
  • Your date of birth
  • Your nationality
  • Your reason for filing Form I-212
  • Biographic information, including details of your race and ethnicity.

Accurately completing your form is the first step toward getting the approval you seek. Mistakes at this stage could set you back, so you must try to avoid such issues. It’s okay to seek professional help from an immigration attorney if you’re struggling with the process.

Supporting Documents for Form I-212

After completing your form, you’ll need to gather certain documents that support your application. These documents will accompany your form when you send it to the immigration authorities. They include the following:

  • All documents related to your deportation or removal proceedings
  • If you relied on your relationship with a family member who lives in the US while completing your form, you need to submit proof of relationship to the person and evidence of their current immigration status.
  • Your official police records from your home country or country of residence or evidence that such a record does not exist
  • Evidence relating to your last departure or removal from the US, such as airplane tickets and exit stamps on your passport.

Where to File Form I-212

Form I-212 can be filed with different immigration authorities depending on your country of origin and whether you’re applying for an immigrant/non-immigrant visa or a green card via the adjustment of status process.

It is important that you confirm the appropriate filing location based on your unique circumstances before you mail your application. Sending your application to the wrong authority could delay or prevent your application from progressing altogether.

Get help from an immigration attorney to determine the appropriate venue for your case if you’re unsure how to proceed.

Paying Your I-212 Filing Fees

Before filing your form, you’ll need to pay the assessed filing fees and send proof of payment with your form. The filing fee is set at $930 as of 2023.

The approved payment methods are as follows:

  • Cashier’s check
  • Money order
  • Personal check
  • By credit card, using Form G-1450 (Authorization for Credit Card Transactions)

If you intend to make payment by check, remember to make the check payable to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

What Happens After Filing?

Once you have filed your form successfully, the immigration authorities will process your application. The approval of the application is discretionary, so you may not be granted the permission you seek. Usually, the officer in charge of your case will weigh the favorable and unfavorable factors presented in your case before reaching a decision. Hence it is important that your application contains as many favorable details as possible.

Examples of Favorable Factors

Some of the factors that could convince the authorities to decide in your favor include:

  • Evidence of close family ties in the US
  • Evidence that a denial would cause hardship to your family members or employer in the US
  • Eligibility for a waiver of inadmissibility on other grounds
  • Evidence of rehabilitation

Examples of Unfavorable Factors

  • A history of fraudulent marriage to a US citizen to obtain an immigration benefit
  • Proof of criminal tendencies reflected by repeated violations of immigration law. An example of such a situation is when you have a second or subsequent removal order issued against you.
  • Absence of close family ties
  • Unauthorized employment.

Do not be discouraged if any unfavorable factors apply to you. You could still get approval if other favorable factors are presented in your application.

If Your Application Is Approved

Once your application is approved, you have permission to reapply for admission into the US. You can then proceed with other aspects of the immigration process, depending on your unique circumstances.

If Your Application Is Denied

If your I-212 application is denied, you’ll be notified by the authorities in writing. There may be alternative procedures that could help you gain lawful entry into the US. Consult an immigration attorney to learn your options and determine the next steps.

Get Help From an Experienced US Immigration Attorney

If you have further concerns about Form I-212, immigration waivers, or other immigration law issues, we can help at the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney.

We have extensive knowledge of US immigration law and the procedure at the USCIS Los Angeles and other field offices. This means we are in an excellent position to provide personalized guidance and representation to help you achieve your immigration dreams.

We are big on communication with our clients. If you need experienced English, Spanish, or Russian immigration lawyers who can speak your language, our team is here to serve. We also offer remote consultations to help us serve you wherever you are.

Contact our immigration lawyer in Los Angeles immediately for detailed answers to your immigration questions. Let us help you take positive steps toward your US immigration dreams.

Schedule Your Consultation

Regardless of your circumstance, you are not alone in your fight. We are ready to stand by your side and fight for your rights, freedom, and reputation. Contact us today to schedule a free remote or in-person consultation, and let us assist you in finding a solution to your problem.