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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re-Entry After Leaving the Country Voluntarily

    Hello,

    I hope there will be someone on this forum that is able to provide me with some much needed advice.

    My family and I came to the States back in 1999 under a diplomatic visa. We applied for adjustment of status in 2001-2002, filing our case with a well-known lawyer. Our whole family received the social security number, employment card and California IDs.

    Fast forward to 2008, we received an order of Voluntary Deportation within 60 days due to INS stating that my father left the country without the permission back in the summer of 2002. My father did leave but he was told by our lawyer that since his A-1 visa was still valid, he could use to exit and enter the country without any problems. Since my father assigned to a post in a different country, he took our lawyer's words to heart and used his diplomatic visa to exit the country.

    When we received the notice, we were all shocked and went to our lawyer to discuss on the impending removal. It turns out that the lawyer who gave us that advice quit that firm a few years ago...and she blatantly lied about my father being able to use his A-1 visa to exit and re-enter the country whenever he wishes. We were not told until 2008, that my father had to surrender his A-1 visa at the time of the application in order for it to be valid.

    We went to several lawyers but because of the severity of this case, they couldn't do anything or were not willing to take us at their clients. We had to resort to going back to our lawyer who then appealed the denial. (We felt that this lawyer cheated us out of our money by giving us unhelpful advice and incorrect information...to this day, I wished I complained about her to the State Attorney.)

    From 2003-2008, I was working legally and filed my taxes without fail every year (except 2003 since it was a part-time job during high school). I had filed for my 2009-2010 Employment Authorization with the lawyer and went to do my biometrics, paid the fees and was told it was pending at that time. My father and my sister both received their employment cards and I was still waiting for mine....when March 2009 came, I still hadn't received my employment card and my university graduation was just coming around the corner.

    I supported myself all throughout college & university and I had to pay for my school tuition, books, car loans, personal loans and credit cards. Because I was still waiting for the employment card which took forever (and I never received a denial) I had to work without the card for almost close to a year.

    Since the appeal was still pending and being reviewed, we weren't sure how long it would take. Our lawyer said that it could take years and we would just have to wait. Since I had waited so long for my employment card and still haven't received it (and I wanted to start my career post graduation), I decided to leave the country voluntarily 3 months after my father (who was the primary applicant) left the country when he got offered a job in my birth country. The offer was also given on a short notice so he wasn't able to apply for advance parole. I too, left the country without requesting advance parole and it could be seen as abandoning the appeal and procedure.

    After 10 nearly 11 years of living in the US, I was disappointed at the end result but miss the country since my friends and members of my family are still there.

    My question is...if I ever want to go back to the US a few years in the future (say 2-3 years from now) with a tourist visa, will I be barred from entering the country and getting the 5 or 10 year ban? I am only saying that because of my unauthorized employment (taxes paid) for nearly a year while waiting for the employment card. I also did not overstay since my father left 3 months before me and I followed him soon after.

    Thank you very much for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Re-Entry After Leaving the Country Voluntarily

    It sounds like you were well into your twenties by the time you left the U.S., meaning you overstayed for a year or more (for minors, the clock on unlawful presence starts to run when you turn 18) and thus would appear to have a ten year period of ineligibility. If you want your situation clarified I suggest contacting the lawyer who was previously handling your case, as that lawyer knows a lot more about your situation than we do.

    If you do manage to obtain a tourist visa despite the overstay, you may well be able to enter on it - I can't guarantee that you won't face problems at the port of entry. But I would expect the visa application to be rejected based upon the overstay.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Re-Entry After Leaving the Country Voluntarily

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    It sounds like you were well into your twenties by the time you left the U.S., meaning you overstayed for a year or more (for minors, the clock on unlawful presence starts to run when you turn 18) and thus would appear to have a ten year period of ineligibility. If you want your situation clarified I suggest contacting the lawyer who was previously handling your case, as that lawyer knows a lot more about your situation than we do.
    Hi, thank you for your reply.

    My fault, I should have clarified more on the situation in the original post.

    My EA card expired in Feb 2009. I applied for the 2009-2010 EA in August 2008 and was called for the Biometrics on Sept 2008. Worked til Jan 2010 while waiting for my new EA card to show up (which I know was wrong, but I desperately needed the money to pay off my school and car bills).

    My father left in Nov 2009 while the appeal was still open, I left in Feb 2010.

    I understand that once my father left without permission, the appeal process may have been seen as being abandoned. I read though that people who overstayed their visas (in my case, I overstayed 3 months after my father left) for 180 days but less than a year will get a 3 year ban; 10 years was for people who overstayed for more than a year like you said.

    So yes, I am confused right now if I will get the 10 year ban because I worked illegally for that amount of time or if the authorities will be more lenient since I left the country voluntarily after overstaying for less than 6 months. (I guess I will find out when I go to the American Consulate 2-3 years from now!)

    Thank you for your earlier advice.

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