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Unlawful Presence in the U.S.

People facing removal from the United States on the basis of unlawful presence will need to know the reasons for their potential forced departure. Unlawful presence is defined as existing presence after a visa's period of stay has concluded. An alien who is present in the United States without having gone through an inspection and in violation of the period of stay may be served a notice to appear as a result.

What Constitutes "Unlawful Presence"?

An alien residing in the United States must do so legally. If an alien is present in the country without a legal basis for being here, then the government has grounds for removal and inadmissibility.

Examples of unlawful presence include:

  • Overstaying of a visa
  • Staying in the U.S. after illegal entry

Exceptions to the unlawful presence rule include:

  • People seeking asylum
  • Minors who accrued time while they are under 18 years old
  • Victims of violence who are petitioning through VAWA (Violence Against Women Act)
  • Victims of trafficking
  • Individuals who are protected under the Family Unity Program

If the alien is found to be inadmissible on the grounds of unlawful presence, or in violation of any immigration law, then he or she will be subject to removal.

3 Year & 10 Year Bars: Consequences of Unlawful Presence

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, there are two provisions that directly handle aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States.

  • An alien who is unlawfully in the country for a period of 180 days or longer but less than one year is not eligible for reentry into the United States for three years.
  • If an alien is unlawfully present in the country for one year or longer and is removed from the country, then they are inadmissible for a total of ten years from the date of removal.
  • It is also possible to be permanently barred from the country under INA §212(a)(9)(C)(i)(l).

Learn Your Options

No matter what the situation, it is important to pursue relief from removal. Unlawful presence is taken seriously by the federal government. For this reason, it is vital to get the assistance necessary to avoid a bar from returning to the country. At Brown Immigration Law, we offer effective and powerful assistance for those who are facing removal on the grounds of unlawful presence. We can listen to your situation and develop a case that pursues your ultimate goal in a timely manner.

Need immigration help in or near Orlando, FL? Contact our deportation defense firm at your earliest convenience!

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