FORM I-212 IMMIGRATION FRAUD WAIVER
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Immigration laws are complex, ever-changing, and often difficult to understand. When an immigrant is accused of fraudulently or willfully misrepresenting information to secure a visa or admission to the United States, they have committed immigration fraud. In order to restore any immigration benefit they may have lost, and to avoid removal proceedings, they must file a Form I-212 with USCIS. This is a fraud waiver under immigration law.
At Ybarra Maldonado Law Group, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate complex immigration processes on your own. That’s why our Phoenix immigration lawyers dedicate themselves to the immigrants and immigrant families in our area. If you are an aspiring immigrant or a lawful permanent resident who is seeking immigration waivers for fraud or inadmissibility, we’re here to help. To schedule your consultation with us, please call our Phoenix law office today at 602-910-4040.
How to Get an Immigration Fraud Waiver Through Section 212(i)
There are several ways in which one might intentionally or unintentionally violate certain immigration laws. For example, any willful misrepresentation or omission on an immigration form could constitute fraud. Another example is accidentally forgetting to mention that you were married or that you had previously applied for a visa. If this is the case, USCIS may consider removal proceedings against you, as well as a temporary or permanent bar on admissibility to the country. In either case, if you have been accused or found guilty of immigration fraud, a Form I-212 waiver may help your case.
What Is Form I-212?
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Form I-212 is an Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal. If an immigrant or foreign national is found to be “inadmissible” according to Section 212(a)(9)(A) or (C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, they must use Form I-212 in order to lawfully return to the United States.
The form basically seeks permission from the United States to allow a previously removed or deported person to apply for lawful re-admission to the country. It is one of several types of immigration waivers available to undocumented and aspiring immigrants.
What Is the Difference Between Form I-212 and I-601?
In many cases, one must submit both I-212 and I-601 forms. While they are very similar, they have one notable difference. Form I-212 requests permission to apply for reentry, while Form I-601 is the actual application for reentry. Another form that is often confused with the previous two is Form I-601a. Form I-601a is an Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver.
What Is Form I-212 Used For?
As we stated previously, Form I-212 requests permission to apply for readmission to the United States. After the form is submitted, the United States government will either consent or not consent to allow the immigrant to apply for reentry. Those who have been removed or who have gone through deportation proceedings must file I-212 and have it approved before they can return. Returning to the country before being approved could result in a permanent bar of inadmissibility.
Who Is Eligible for Form I-212?
When a foreign national is removed or deported under the Immigration and Nationality Act, they are usually required to wait a certain period of time before they can apply for reentry. Examples of common bars of inadmissibility include the following.
- 5 year bars: Those removed through a summary exclusion or removal proceedings that occurred when they arrived in the United States.
- 10 year bars: Those removed after a deportation hearing or who left the country while there was an outstanding order of removal.
- 20 year bars: Those who have undergone a second or subsequent removal.
- Permanent bars: Those convicted of aggravated felonies or those who were unlawfully present in the country for more than a year. OR those who were ordered to be removed, but who tried or succeeded with a reentry. In order to qualify for an I-212 waiver, 10 years must have passed since they last departed from the United States.
Both favorable and unfavorable factors exist that could affect the outcome of your case. The more negative factors that USCIS finds, the less likely they are to readmit you. Some of the positive and negative factors they may take into account include the following.
- How recently you were deported
- Grounds for your deportation
- How long you have lived in the United States
- Family ties
- Evidence of good moral character
- Whether or not you have a visa
- Evidence of rehabilitation
- Evidence that you or your family members may suffer extreme hardship
- Employment records
- Records of unauthorized employment
- Past and current immigration status
- Marriage immigration fraud
- Probability of becoming a public charge
- Evidence of bad moral character, including criminal tendencies reflected in an aggravated felony conviction
How to Apply for a 212(i) Fraud Waiver
If you are within the United States when you want to reapply for admission, you will first need to fill out and submit Form I-212. If the immigration judge approves your Form I-212, then you will need to submit Form I-601. USCIS generally requests extensive supporting documents from foreign nationals before they will approve a fraud waiver. These documents will include information about the following topics.
- Whether or not the petitioner has a qualifying relative
- Whether or not they are a VAWA self-petitioner
- Immigrant visa status
- Information about close family ties
- Social, cultural, and economic impacts of the decision
- Conditions in foreign countries of relocation
- Facts and circumstances surrounding the fraud
The best way to ensure that you properly fill out and file the waiver is by working with an experienced immigration attorney. We recommend working with an attorney before you fill out any forms. Attorneys will help you gather as much evidence and supporting documentation as possible as you seek admission to the United States.
How Long Does 212(i) Waiver Take?
Because processing times change often, this is a difficult question to answer. In general, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol recommends allowing at least 150 days from the day you submit the form before you ask about the status of your case. However, thorough reviews of your case can take up to six months, if not longer. You will be able to check the status of your case by contacting the office that you submit your Form I-212 to.
What if My 212(i) Waiver Is Denied?
Form I-212 may be denied by USCIS for a number of reasons. One reason is a denial based on the denial of your I-601 form. Small mistakes and missing documentation can also trigger a denial of your waiver. In this case, we strongly recommend speaking with a skilled attorney. We can help you appeal the denial with USCIS and submit proof to support your petition to reapply for admission.
What Happens After the I-212 Is Approved?
When your Form I-212 is approved by an immigration judge or by USCIS, you can then schedule your visa interview with the United States consulate or embassy. If you are approved for the visa, you will receive your permanent resident card. Keep in mind that it may take anywhere from six to twelve months to receive a decision on your waiver application alone. The waiting period to receive your green card may be another one to three months.
Do You Need an Immigration Fraud Lawyer?
If you are facing removal or deportation proceedings, or if you are seeking permission to reapply for admission to the country, we strongly recommend working with a lawyer. Your immigration attorney should have experience handling I-212 cases, as they are notoriously difficult and are often denied. The attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group will craft a strong legal brief of support for your case. We will gather as much evidence as possible to submit to USCIS in order to give you the best possible chance of approval.
If you’re looking for an attorney you can trust with a delicate immigration matter, we’re here for you.
Contact Our Phoenix Immigration Lawyers Today
If you are currently facing removal proceedings, submitting an I-212 waiver with the appropriate immigration court may be your chance at remaining in the country. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements and you take all the necessary steps while filing, you have a shot at avoiding deportation. Working with an immigration lawyer for the entire duration of your case is crucial. The immigration professionals at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group have extensive experience in helping families and individuals reapply for admission, avoid deportation, and remain with their friends and family.
If you were denied admission to the United States after deportation or removal, our compassionate attorneys are here for you. To schedule your consultation with us, please call our law firm at 602-910-4040 today.
Our team of compassionate and experienced attorneys are here to help guide you in your time of need.